People eat different diets depending on their health needs. Some may avoid dairy, while others eat gluten-free foods. Even with those differences, a few things could improve anyone’s health – from eating superfoods to drinking more water.
Specifically, superfoods provide many nutritional benefits that people lack in their daily diets. Learning more about them makes it easier to identify better foods for everyday meals and snacks. Anyone can understand superfoods and how they can improve their health with a guide like this.
(This post includes affiliate links for which I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase)
What is a superfood?
The term “superfood” isn’t a scientific name. People began using it in the last few decades to describe food with a higher nutritional value than standard household pantry or refrigerator items.
These foods are often high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals while including little to no processed ingredients. Many come from plants, but some are seafood and dairy products.
[Learn more about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle here].
You don’t need to search specialty grocery stores to find superfoods for your daily diet. Consider eating these popular superfoods to improve your nutrition.
Broccoli is available fresh and frozen in most grocery stores. It’s packed with nutrients like fiber and vitamin C. Whether you air fry fresh florets or steam your broccoli, your body will benefit from the calcium and other essential nutrients that support bodily functions.
This superfood also has a neutral flavor, so it’s easy to mix into recipes without changing how they taste. Broccoli mac and cheese or florets in your preferred casseroles will add nutrients to each serving without alerting picky eaters.
Fiber is also present in legumes, and beans are another superfood anyone can add to their diet. They’re also an excellent source of protein, which means you’ll feel full longer after bean-centric meals. Turn them into side dishes or hummus for your favorite chips to enjoy more of this superfood daily.
[Find out more about pantry items for a healthier kitchen in part one of our healthy kitchen essentials posts].
There are several berry varieties available at grocery stores. While picking from options like blueberries, blackberries, golden berries, strawberries, and more, consider how each fruit will serve your health.
Berries are superfoods for a few reasons. They contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber to support your overall well-being. They’re also a rich source of antioxidants, which counteract harmful free radicals from activities like exercising, smoking, and breathing polluted air.
They’re a simple snack that’s easy to take anywhere. Pack a bag of freshly washed berries for your road trips or commutes, so you’re always within reach of healthy food.
[Check out these delicious golden berries recipes].
Who needs superfoods?
Many people could benefit from eating superfoods. Recent research shows that only 10% of American adults get enough daily fruit and vegetables to meet the recommended intake amount suggested by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).
The same research notes that cost is a primary reason 90% of people don’t get fresh fruits and veggies. Instead, their budgets make lower-priced processed foods a more significant part of their diets. Processed foods lack the nutrients in whole organic foods, leading to fewer vitamins and minerals for the average person.
Insufficient nutritional support leads to common effects like weakened immune systems and can also affect a person’s mental health. When someone undergoes biochemical mapping for nutritional therapy and begins a diet that addresses vitamin and mineral deficiencies, researchers have found that their brains can regulate chemical imbalances more effectively and minimize symptoms of conditions like depression, ADHD, and schizophrenia.
Benefits of eating superfoods
Now that you’ve learned what a superfood is and how most people could benefit from eating more of them, check out their primary health benefits. You might feel motivated to adjust your diet and include more superfoods once you know how they could transform your life.
1. They reduce the risk of heart disease
When someone has an unhealthy diet, their bodily functions become less efficient because essential nutrients aren’t supporting their organs. Cellular detoxification is one of those processes. Cells experience oxidative stress when they retain too many toxins, increasing the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Plant-derived antioxidants reduce oxidative stress throughout the body by fueling the detoxification cycle. Superfoods could be an excellent dietary addition for those at risk of heart disease due to this natural phenomenon.
2. They minimize inflammation
Feeling bloated or having patches of itchy, red skin aren’t the only ways inflammation affects the body. It also harms cells and organs. People accidentally cause long-term inflammation with highly processed diets, but superfoods can mitigate the damage and keep it from returning.
A recent study found that when participants ate a designated superfood – sauerkraut – the antioxidant and phytochemical makeup had an anti-inflammatory effect on gut microbiota and lung tissue. Other superfoods high in antioxidants, like cinnamon, pumpkin, and avocado, could provide the same result.
3. They stabilize blood sugar levels
Some superfoods also improve blood sugar levels that otherwise spike after high-carb or high-sugar meals. Oatmeal is one of them because oats have complex carbohydrates and fiber, so the body takes longer to digest them. Slower digestion is easier on one’s blood sugar levels.
[Read about whether carbs are bad for weight loss here].
Other foods packed with nutrients that lower blood sugar are superfoods like berries, nuts, and leafy greens. They provide vitamins and minerals without causing potential concern for people with blood sugar conditions.
4. They increase your energy
Getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods will energize you more effectively than endless cups of coffee. Your brain gets to rest and fuel itself with both practices, but it uses vitamin B6 specifically to create more energy.
Superfoods often contain more of this vitamin than processed alternatives. Almonds, tuna, and sunflower seeds are just a few. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a 2021 study that noted increased energy levels in participants with higher vitamin B6 intake.
Consuming more superfoods with that specific vitamin could produce the same results for anyone who generally feels more tired than their peers. Alongside better sleep habits and healthier foods, feeling awake won’t be as much of a challenge.
[Discover more ways to increase your energy levels here].
5. They regulate the digestive system
Most stores that sell groceries or health supplements have fiber-based products that mitigate digestive problems. Although you could dissolve fiber powders in drinks or take a supplemental pill each morning, superfoods provide rich fiber content without the extra cost to your budget.
Apples and kale are notable sources of fiber and superfood nutrition due to their additional vitamins and minerals. When added to someone’s diet alongside gut-supporting foods like yogurt, regular bowel movements and painless gastrointestinal activity could become their everyday experience.
[You can also check out these yoga poses for digestion].
Other ways to improve your well-being
Regaining control of your health with your diet is a powerful way to improve your well-being, but it’s not your only option. You could also consider lifestyle changes such as:
● Getting more sleep
● Drinking more water
● Practicing self-care
● Exercising regularly
[Check out these related posts on sleep versus exercise (which to choose), a self-care routine for new moms, and how to achieve exercise adherence and stick to your fitness plan].
Explore the benefits of superfoods
There are many benefits of superfoods that could improve your quality of life. You might want to increase your nutrient intake to support your immune system, digest food better, sleep more deeply or fight inflammation. Regardless of your health concern, adding a few superfoods to your diet could help you progress toward your goals.
Consider using superfoods and lifestyle changes to create a holistic approach to your well-being. You can always talk with your doctor about potential changes before trying anything new if you’re curious about how they could interact with your health history.
If you enjoyed this article, check out our other posts about plant-based superfoods such as cacao powder, ashwagandha, sacha inchi oil, pili nuts, and sea moss powder. You can also find out whether fermented foods can be considered as superfoods and whether olives are superfoods.
And…be sure to check out these delicious cacao powder recipes!
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