Although superfoods is a non-medical term, it’s quite the buzzword in the nutritional field – and with good reason. They pack up some remarkable health-promoting properties, making them a favourite among nutrition enthusiasts.
Superfoods are excellent options if you’re looking to boost your overall immune health. But, like any other food, they work even better when included in a healthy balanced diet.
This article contains a superfoods list with several options you can include in your diet. But first, here’s a little context.
Why Are Superfoods the Healthiest Foods to Eat?
Before we go any further, you must understand that marketing trends in the food industry birthed the term.
So, what are superfoods, anyway?
We cannot give a definitive answer since this food category doesn’t really exist. And that also means there’s no solid criterion to determine what qualifies a superfood. But, we can sum it up with a general description- foods rich in nutrients and essential minerals and low on calories.
Nutritionally speaking, no single food offers all the nutrients your body needs. But, superfoods come pretty close.
They contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that provide various health benefits to just about every body part and system. These nutrient-rich foods boost the immune system and help prevent serious health issues like cancer and heart disease.
Superfoods offer a much healthier option for correcting vitamin deficiencies than using supplements. Most of the foods are plant-based and pose no danger to your body. You can easily find these foods at the grocery store, so you don’t need to fall off your diet plan once you’ve run out.
Some associated benefits of superfoods include –
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Improved energy levels
- Enhanced immunity against disease
- Reduced body inflammation
- Lower blood sugar levels
2022’s List of Superfoods You Must Include in Your Diet
The year’s first quarter is almost up, and if eating healthier was one of your resolutions, you will love this list. We’ve compiled 17 of the best organic superfoods that you should squeeze into your diet plan.
We’ve also snuck in a must-have component in your diet, so be sure to include it, too. Here’s our ultimate superfoods list 2022.
Avocados have a rich nutrient make-up, containing folic acid, B-group nutrients, Omega 3 fatty acids, lutein, and niacin, among others. They also contain essential minerals, including magnesium, iron, and potassium.
Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, while lutein prevents cataract formation and minimises eye damage from light. Avocado is also rich in fibre and boosts gut health by promoting the growth of good bacteria. It also reduces inflammation, boosts healthy hair growth and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Avocados are versatile, and you can consume them in different ways. You can have it by itself, make some toast with it, whip up a smoothie, or have it in a salad.
You can also use it like butter for cooking, thanks to its high-fat content.
Berries are rich in antioxidants that fight against free radicals in the body that could cause cancer. They also pack a range of nutrients, including manganese, folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.
Although different berry types differ in nutritional content, they all offer high fibre content and reduce DNA damage to slow ageing. Berries also help lower cholesterol levels, improve arterial function, and fight urinary tract infections.
You can include different berries in healthy recipes like smoothies and salads. You can also use the berries as toppings for your dessert or cereal or eat them as snacks.
Seafood is an excellent option for anyone looking to regain muscle function. We recommend including options like salmon, trout, and tuna in superfood diets for older people.
Besides the high-quality protein content, seafood contains the essential fatty acids that help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. A seafood-rich diet also protects your brain health and alleviates conditions like anxiety and depression.
Seafood offers a diverse range of flavours that you can prepare in different ways, including baking, smoking, and even grilling. There are also convenient options like canned salmon, making for great sandwiches.
Some of the vital nutrients present in whole grains include vitamins, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and minerals. The entire nutritional package works to lower the body’s cholesterol levels, boost your metabolism, and lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
When adding these superfoods to your diet, ensure you go for whole grains and not refined grains. You can try out some fun baking and cooking recipes or add oatmeal to your breakfast.
Certains types of tea qualify for the superfoods list. These include green tea, kombucha, and matcha tea. Tea is a lost superfood that was forgotten for many years but is now making a comeback.
Green tea’s nutritional value is undeniable. It contains over 450 organic nutrients that boost the cardiovascular system and have anti-ageing properties. Kombucha is rich in probiotics which helps maintain a healthy gut. On the other hand, Matcha tea boosts brain function and promotes overall health.
The legume family is a power-house when it comes to plant-based proteins. Beans, peas, lentils, and other foods in the group are excellent alternatives for meat as a source of protein.
Legumes are also rich in fibre and B-vitamins, bringing health benefits like decreasing blood sugar levels and lowering body cholesterol.
Food options in this category include chickpeas, kidney beans, soybeans, and peanuts, which can be an excellent healthy snack.
Wine And Grapes
Yes, that’s right! You don’t have to ditch your wine glass for a healthy diet. Wine contains many antioxidants obtained from the grapes used in production. It also helps manage diabetes and contains flavonoids that reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
Red wine is great in moderation, but there are no limits on how many grapes you can have. You can snack on the fruits or include them in salads and cereal.
Like berries, nuts offer different individual health benefits. But, they all contain fibre, protein, and healthy fats in high amounts.
Nuts are great superfoods as they are convenient while on the go. The nuts contain antioxidant properties which help keep heart diseases at bay. They also have some anti-inflammatory properties.
Common nuts you can source include almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, and walnuts.
Fruits in the citrus tree family, including oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruit, are rich in Vitamin C, which is helpful for the body. It helps the body develop resistance against infections, facilitates wound healing, and improves your skin.
Citrus fruits also have high fibre content, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium and potassium, which plays a crucial role in the nervous system.
The cocoa used in making dark chocolate gives the confectionery its rich nutritional value. It is rich in antioxidants that help with preventing cancer. The chocolate also contains zinc and magnesium, among other essential minerals.
Dark chocolate also helps improve brain function and reduce insulin resistance as It contains anti-inflammatory properties to reduce body inflammation.
Dairy products, especially when fermented, contain high amounts of probiotics – healthy bacteria for your body. Additionally, they include a range of nutritional benefits and essential nutrients, including calcium and potassium, which boost strong bone formation.
The best thing about this option is that you can choose from various products. Switch up your diet to test out other foods in the group that offer the same nutritional value/.
Eggs contain some unique nutrients that make them some of the best superfoods. They are rich in proteins, vitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids, and minerals like iron.
The rich nutritional profile makes eggs an excellent choice for a healthy diet. The nutrients help with body metabolism and general heart health. Eggs also boost hair growth and help in weight management.
Fish is a rich source of protein and essential fatty acids that the body needs to build immunity. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals necessary for strong bone formation.
Regular inclusion of fish in your diet will help reduce blood pressure and maintain healthy heart function. It also helps reduce the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and arthritis.
Garlic comes packed with several health benefits, including antioxidant properties and sulphur compounds that help maintain the digestive tract’s health. Garlic is also highly nutritious and contains Vitamins C and B6, alongside manganese, selenium, and copper.
It has active compounds that improve hypertension and is a popular remedy for sicknesses, including the common cold. You can also use garlic for detoxification from toxic metals in the body organs.
Sweet potatoes pack some healthy carbs that provide the body with energy. They are also a rich source of Vitamin A and contain antioxidant properties.
These superfoods pack several nutrients that help enhance brain function. They also improve eye health and boost the immune system.
Sweet potatoes come in various types and sizes, making it easy to include them in your diet.
Watermelons are a great fruit snack for the summer when the temperatures are high. But besides the high water content, these fruits also present impressive nutritional benefits. They have low sugar content but are rich in vitamins that boost cardiovascular health.
Watermelons also contain lycopene, which scientists believe might protect against harmful UV rays.
Dark green leafy vegetables contain many nutrients, like Vitamins A, C, and K. They are rich in antioxidants and other essential minerals that help in disease prevention.
These vegetables are also rich in fibre and are a good source of essential fatty acids. They also contain alkalising properties that help balance the body’s pH levels.
Bonus Superfood: Water
Although water is not technically a food, we thought it’d be great to feature it since it also contains several health benefits.
In order to maintain a healthy diet, you need to drink lots of water. It facilitates almost all body functions and boosts body metabolism. It also promotes healthy skin, improves memory and concentration, among other benefits.
The Bottom Line
Although you cannot survive on superfoods alone, they are an excellent addition to help boost your immunity and keep your health in check. Our list of superfoods rounds up 17 of the best superfood options out there, so you have a better idea of where to start.
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