22 superfoods to add to your diet for a healthy life (1)

 

“Superfood” is a broad term used to identify foods that have research-proven nutritional benefits.
Whether you’re currently suffering from chronic illnesses or want to protect yourself from future health issues, these foods can lower your blood pressure, manage diabetes, improve digestion, help you maintain a healthy weight, improve memory, strengthen your immune system and prevent (even stop the growth of) cancer, to name a few benefits, but you already know you’re supposed to eat your vegetables.

The question is, how? To help you add these superfoods to your diet, we’ve included tips to incorporate them into your current stable of recipes as well as easy ways to prepare them. You’ll also find must-try recipes from around the web to inspire your culinary journey to a healthier life.

Since many known superfoods are fruits and vegetables, consider adding a daily smoothie, fresh juice or sauté to your routine. Veggie superfood salads (and there are some amazing superfood salad dressing recipes in here) and fresh fruit salad can also help you get a daily dose of nutrients, and their benefits.

If you want your diet to support your health, this is what you need to eat, and why:

Contents

• Super Food # 1: Greek Yogurt
• Super Food # 2: Quinoa
• Super Food # 3: Blueberries
• Super Food # 4: Kale
• Super Food # 5: Chia
• Super Food # 6: Oatmeal
• Super Food # 7: Green Tea
• Super Food # 8: Broccoli
• Super Food # 9: Strawberries
• Super Food # 10: Watermelon
• Super Food # 11: Spinach
• Super Food # 12: Pistachios
• Super Food # 13: Almonds
• Super Food # 14: Ginger
• Super Food # 15: Beets
• Super Food # 16: Beans
• Super Food # 17: Pumpkin
• Super Food # 18: Apple
• Super Food # 19: Cranberries
• Super Food # 20: Garlic
• Super Food # 21: Cauliflower
• Super Food # 22: Leeks

Super Food # 1: Greek Yogurt

The calcium, magnesium, and potassium in Greek yogurt can lower your blood pressure and probiotics improve digestion. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight but there are no regulated guidelines on what can and can’t be called “Greek yogurt” so keep an eye on the ingredients for added sugar.

Add This Superfood To Your Diet:

Use Greek yogurt as a base for dips and substitute these for mayonnaise on sandwiches. You can also add Greek yogurt to your smoothies, substitute it for sour cream, add it to homemade creamy salad dressings or enjoy it as a snack.

Must-Try Recipes:

Looking for something different? Ditch the yogurt cup and use that spoon to stir up some Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt or Greek Yogurt Cucumber Tzatziki Sauce.

Super Food # 2: Quinoa

Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, and is a complete source of protein. If that weren’t enough, “About 25 percent of quinoa’s fatty acids come in the form of oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and about 8 percent comes in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the omega-3 fatty acid most commonly found in plants” according to Melinda Lund, M.S., R.D., a registered dietitian and medical nutrition therapist.

Add This Superfood To Your Diet:

Substitute rice and pasta for quinoa. You can also add it to vegetable sautés and soups or use it to create a crust for casseroles.

Must-Try Recipes:

Try Cheesy Broccoli QuinoaSouthwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and a Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pistachios.

Super Food # 3: Blueberries

According to Medical News Today, blueberries lower blood pressure, manage diabetes, and prevent cancer. In a recent study, blueberry consumption was also linked to brain function. Those who ate blueberries “demonstrated improved memory and improved access to words and concepts” according to Robert Krikorian, the lead author of two studies conducted by a team from the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center in Ohio. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the test subjects also showed increased brain activity in the group who consumed blueberries.

Add This Superfood To Your Diet:

Add blueberries to your cereal, yogurt and smoothies. Make fresh fruit salads a summer staple and pack to-go cups for lunches and snacks.

Must-Try Recipes:

Here are 56 Ways to Eat More Blueberries and includes recipes for a Blueberry Peach Chia Parfait, Blueberry-Lime Salsa and a Red Leaf Salad with Blueberry-Pomegranate Vinaigrette.

Super Food # 4: Kale

Kale packs a nutritional punch. One cup of this leafy green contains 14% of your daily calcium, 659% of your daily vitamin A needs and over 900% of the daily recommended vitamin K. Vitamin A supports vision and skin health, bone growth, and the immune system while vitamin K regulates blood clotting and carries calcium through the body.

Add This Superfood To Your Diet:

Kale can be added to soup, sautés, scrambles, wraps, frittatas and salads. If you’re not a fan of kale, try making kale chips. You can also run these greens through a juicer or blend them into a smoothie.

Must-Try Recipes:

This gallery of 50 Ways to Eat Kale includes Coconut Sriracha Kale Chips and Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza.

Super Food # 5: Chia

These are the same seeds that sparked the cha-cha-cha-cha-chia jingle, but they’re good for more than decorative terra cotta. They provide heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, carbohydrates, calcium and antioxidants. According to Health magazine, “Just one tablespoon of chia seeds gives you 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein, as well as magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and omega-3s, and has just 60 calories.”

Add This Superfood To Your Diet:

Chia seeds gel when added to liquid, which is what makes chia pudding possible. You can stir them into smoothies or yogurt for added texture. If you find you don’t like the feel of gelatinous chia seeds, sprinkle them onto your snack right before eating.

Must-Try Recipes:

Here are 14 Creative Chia Seed Recipes that include a Lemon Poppy Chia Seed Loaf and a Chocolate Pistachio Chia Shake.

Super Food # 6: Oatmeal

The fiber in oatmeal helps regulate blood sugar, keeps you feeling full for longer, reduces your body’s absorption of bad cholesterol, prevents cancer and protects against cardiovascular disease, but stick to rolled or steel-cut oats. Flavored oatmeal packets contain an average 10 grams of sugar, as well as other additives and a significant amount of sodium.

Add This Superfood To Your Diet:

You can add oats to your smoothie or pancake batter for a heartier texture or bake them into bars, muffins and breads for heart-healthy breakfasts and snacks. Overnight oats are a convenient breakfast option if you’re prone to skipping this all-important meal.

Must-Try Recipes:

Here are 15 Delicious New Ways to Eat Oatmeal that hits the spot with recipes for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies, Black Bean Oat Burgers, and Blueberry Lemon Oatmeal Muffins.

Super Food # 7: Green Tea

Green tea isn’t fermented, which is why it retains a high amount of antioxidants and poly-phenols, substances known to fight inflammation and DNA damage. It also revs your metabolism and regulates blood-glucose levels. But be warned: “A study in the European Heart Journal found that while tea can improve blood flow and blood-vessel dilation (and thereby lower your blood pressure), adding milk to the tea counteracts these effects.”

Add This Superfood To Your Diet:

Make green tea part of your morning or afternoon routine. Because of its caffeine content, you should avoid it before bed or if you have a sensitivity. If you don’t like the taste of the tea alone, stir some into your (dairy-free) smoothie or juice.

Must-Try Recipes:

Matcha powder is made by grinding up green tea leaves and it’s great for baking. If dessert is your thing, the 16 Matcha Green Tea Dessert Recipes from include Matcha Swirl Cheesecake and Double Chocolate Hawaiian Tiramisu with Matcha.

Super Food # 8: Broccoli

This versatile vegetable offers a host of vitamins and antioxidants including folate, potassium, vitamin C, lutein and beta-carotene. This assortment of nutrients prevents cancer, lowers cholesterol levels, and promotes eye health. It should be noted though that consuming broccoli can cause adverse effects in those with thyroid sensitivities and can interfere with blood-thinning medications.

Add This Superfood To Your Diet:

You can add broccoli to your favorite salads, soups, sautés and scrambles. It can also be juiced. For a super yet tasty side dish, add honey, Greek yogurt, dried cherries and crumbled feta to chopped broccoli.

Must-Try Recipes:

For more recipes, including Broccoli Gratin with Crispy Onions and Creamy Broccoli and Apple Slaw, read 10 Family-Favorite Broccoli Recipes.

Super Food # 9: Strawberries

Strawberries are a natural source of vitamin C, an immunity booster, and ellagic acid, which has been shown to suppress cancer cell growth. Lutein and zeathancins are also present in strawberries. These antioxidants neutralize the potentially negative effects of free-radicals, which could otherwise damage or kill healthy cells.

Add This Superfood To Your Diet:

Fresh sliced strawberries are a decadent topping for waffles, cereal, yogurt and oatmeal. When out of season, frozen berries make a healthy and convenient addition to your smoothies.

Must-Try Recipes:

Looking for more creative ways to eat strawberries? Here you can find 20 Easy Fresh Strawberry Recipes.


Read the second part of this article

 

yogaesoteric
November 25, 2018

Also available in: Français

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