This is a guest post by Katleen Brown.
The widespread popularity of a healthy lifestyle has seen many experts formulate and publicize customized dietary plans to suit various health objectives. While all of these dietary plans may rely on different foods and their unique characteristics to aid in the process, they abide by an underlying universal principle. In each of these diets, the key to a successful implementation lies in its variety. Through consuming a diverse range of foods, it allows the body to absorb all the vital nutrients that it needs to function at its optimum capacity. Listed below are 20 superfoods that should be included in a weekly diet. Rather than restricting their freedom of choice, individuals are at liberty to formulate their own style of diet based on their preferences.
Foods to Include
This superfood contains up to 60% protein and is known for its comprehensive supply of essential amino acids. Due to this characteristic, it is categorized as a supreme detoxifying food that helps to thoroughly cleanse the body system. Extensive scientific studies have also discovered that spirulina offers a certain degree of protection against cancer, aids in managing high cholesterol, and reducing symptoms of diabetes.
- Broccoli Sprouts
The younger generations are known to detest broccoli sprouts due to their appearance and taste. However, as individuals start to mature, the health benefits of broccoli are simply too hard to ignore. Some health conditions that can be aided by broccoli sprouts include hypertension, osteoarthritis, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and UV damage to the skin. To fully benefit from this dietary intake, individuals are strongly encouraged to consume organically grown broccoli sprouts.
- Sweet Potatoes
Health experts have shown undeniable evidence that supports the categorization of sweet potato as a superfood. The most compelling piece of evidence indicates that just a medium serving of sweet potatoes supplies more than 400% of the body’s daily requirement of vitamin A. Together with this impressive statistic, sweet potatoes are also packed with potassium and fiber content. While they contain more natural sugars than the regular potato, they boast a significantly lesser calorie value.
- Dark Leafy Greens
Vegetables such as kale, collards, beet greens, and chard are well-known dark leafy greens. They are loaded with an extensive list of vitamins, mineral, and carotenoids. The combinative effort of these elements in dark leafy greens establishes its antioxidant and anti-inflammation profile. Moreover, medical studies have shown that these compounds can help to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells as well.
- Almonds / Almond Butter
One small serving of almonds or almond butter contains vital nutrients that include protein, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, and manganese. They also contain smaller amounts of copper, phosphorus, and vitamin B2. As researchers from the University of California discovered, the extensive list of minerals that almonds provide pushes it to the forefront as one of the best antioxidants available. It also help make the body more alkaline, which is good for disease prevention and healing.
- Green Tea
Highly regarded as the healthiest beverage in the world, green tea offers a comprehensive list of health benefits. It is loaded with important nutrients that help the body reach its maximum functionality, offering individuals with the benefit of improved brain capacity, fat loss, and even a reduced risk of cancer. A clinical trial conducted in Italy also established green tea as an essential source of antioxidants.
- Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are also known as linseeds. They contain high levels of healthy fat in the form of Omega 3’s, fiber, and antioxidants. It can also help to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
- Chia Seeds
Similar to flax seeds and green tea, chia seeds are an essential source of antioxidants. The high protein and fiber contain found in this food source also help in the process of weight loss.
- Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are technically categorized as nuts. They are rich in linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid. Their protein and calorie content is almost identical with flax seeds and chia seeds. More importantly, they have been shown to reduce the risk of heart diseases significantly.
More than 90% of this fruit is made of water. However, this does not prevent watermelons from providing important nutrients such as vitamin A, and vitamin C. Each bite is also loaded with amino acids and antioxidants. Watermelons are also known for their high lycopene content, which is responsible for triggering healthy reactions in the body. The bonus is this is a very high alkaline food, a great thing for your health.
A unique characteristic of ginger is its ability to treat the digestive system effectively. Regular consumption of ginger helps to ease signs of nausea, motion sickness, pain, and even a loss of appetite. Long-term benefits of this food include weight management, higher energy levels, healthier hair structure and better facial complexion.
Extracted from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammation food. It has been widely used in the medical field as a treatment for conditions such as flatulence, menstrual difficulties, hemorrhage, chest pain, and toothaches. Nowadays, health professionals are advocating the intake of turmeric into regular diets to help individuals fully experience its benefits. Turmeric has even been shown to be as effective as Prozac for depression.
Arguably the healthiest range of berries, blueberries superfoods has experienced an exponential rise in popularity over the last couple of years. Extensive medical studies have shown that consistent intake of blueberries can help to decrease the risk of excessive weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes. They are also greatly beneficial for mental health, digestion, and can even help to prevent wrinkles from developing.
Legumes are an essential source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. They are highly satiating food that allows its consumers to feel fuller from eating lesser. This unique trait means that it is a suitable food to encourage weight loss. At the same time, regular consumption helps to promote good bowel health and keeps blood sugar level in check.
Although it has been used widely for its medicinal properties, garlic is becoming a vital ingredient in food recipes. They have been shown to treat high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and heart diseases. As a preventive measure, high intake of garlic can help to lower the risk of developing several forms of cancer.
- Fermented Foods
Fermented foods offer good bacteria that are essential in maintaining the healthy functioning of the body. Known as probiotics, these elements ensure a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria in the digestive gut. Making your own fermented foods can be fun too!
A healthy intake of lemons can lead to many health benefits. Some of the more prominent benefits include treatment of throat infections, constipation, fever, internal bleeding, obesity, rheumatism, high blood pressure, and even respiratory disorders. Nonetheless, consumers should note that only organic lemon can offer such an extensive list of health benefits. Like almonds and watermelon, this is a highly alkalizing food, one you should consider having every day.
- Coconut Oil
Another food that can help to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure is coconut oil. This is due to its high level of natural saturated fats which increases healthy cholesterol levels and converts LDL cholesterol into healthy elements. Moreover, the beauty benefits of coconut oil have propelled its status amongst beauty enthusiasts. They are greatly beneficial in promoting good hair health and offers essential anti-aging benefits as well.
- Cilantro / Parsley
Folate, vitamin A, and vitamin K are some of the nutrients that are offered by cilantro and parsley. Interestingly, both of these foods help to rid the body of heavy metals. The presence of these harmful elements in the body can lead to detrimental conditions which consequently promotes the formation of other diseases. More importantly, both cilantro and parsley can be easily incorporated into any meal.
It is undisputed that fruits are greatly advantageous for the human body. While avocados equally nutritious, they are unique in the sense that they help to improve mental capabilities. They increase blood flow and lower blood pressure which subsequently reduces the risk of hypertension and promotes brain functions.
Based on extensive medical and scientific studies, health professionals have identified different types of superfoods that are greatly beneficial in promoting a healthy lifestyle. To help health enthusiasts get a better idea of the superfood concept, the comprehensive list above will serve as an important source of information. At the same time, they are given the liberty of incorporating these foods into their daily diets based on their personal preferences.
About the Author
Katleen Brown is a health, beauty and fitness writer. She loves to publish her articles on various health related websites. In her spare time, likes to do research to bring awareness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and outlook, she helps empower women to tune into their innate & inner wisdom to transform their health and truly flourish. Get in touch with her on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.