Tags: superfoods | nutrients | vitamins | minerals | berries | fish | nuts

Optimize Your Health With These 10 Superfoods

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By    |   Wednesday, 13 March 2024 04:24 PM EDT

Superfoods are rich in compounds shown to offer a variety of health benefits. Nutrient-dense, these foods are typically high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

According to USA Today, registered dietitian Caroline Thomason explains that superfoods are “nutrient-dense foods that either have a lot of one nutrient or are a good source of several (nutrients.)”  

Harvard Health has compiled a list of 10 of the best superfoods to add to your diet.

Berries. The rich colors in high-fiber berries mean they are full of antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients. When not in season, buy frozen berries, preferably organic, and add them to cereal, yogurt or eat plain as a snack.

Fish. Fish are a great source of heart protective omega-3 fatty acids and protein. The best choices are salmon, tuna, mackerel herring, trout, and sardines.

Leafy greens. Dark, leafy greens contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium as well as plant-based chemicals that improve your health. They also are high in fiber. The best choices are spinach (Popeye had the right idea!), kale, Swiss chard, and collard greens. Use them in salads, soups or sauteed in olive oil and garlic.

Nuts. Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and pecans are good sources of plant protein. Because they also contain unsaturated fat, nuts may improve and protect heart health. Add some to oatmeal, yogurt or eat as a snack. Remember that nuts are high in calories so watch portion size.

• Olive oil. Be kind to your heart by using olive oil for cooking and salads. It’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and contains vitamin E and polyphenols, all of which reduce the risk of heart disease. Use olive oil instead of butter in pasta or rice dishes.

• Whole grains. Oatmeal, bulgur, quinoa, wheat berries and brown rice all contain both soluble and insoluble fiber along with a plethora of vitamins and minerals that have been shown to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease and diabetes. Here’s a recipe for overnight oats that’s a super easy breakfast treat, as well as a healthy mid-morning snack.

• Yogurt. This popular food is a great source of protein and calcium, as well as live cultures called probiotics that are good for gut health. Steer clear of flavored yogurts, however, because they contain added sugar. It’s best to buy plain yogurt and add your own fruit or flavorings. Also look for yogurt that contains “live active cultures.”

• Cruciferous vegetables. Some examples include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, radishes, and turnips. Besides being full of fiber and vitamins, these vegetables also contain phytochemicals that include indoles, thiocyanates, and nitriles which may protect against cancer.  Lightly steam or stir fry these vegetables with healthy oils and herbs to maximize their health benefits.

• Legumes. Studies have shown the many health benefits of including legumes such as lentils, all varieties of beans, chickpeas and black-eyed peas, to your diet. They provide lots of fiber, protein, carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, and other minerals but are naturally low in fat. They may help prevent Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. When buying canned legumes, look for low sodium varieties and rinse well before eating. Add to soups, salads, casseroles, and pasta dishes.

Tomatoes. These are rich in vitamin C and lycopene, which may help prevent prostate cancer. Use tomatoes in salads, or as a tomato sauce over pasta. Tomatoes are also a great addition to soups, stews, and chili. Lycopene becomes more readily available when prepared and heated in a healthy fat such as olive oil, says Harvard Health.

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Health-News
Superfoods are rich in compounds shown to offer a variety of health benefits. Nutrient-dense, these foods are typically high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. According to USA Today, registered dietitian Caroline Thomason explains that superfoods are "nutrient-dense...
superfoods, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, berries, fish, nuts, yogurt, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, legumes
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2024-24-13
Wednesday, 13 March 2024 04:24 PM
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