With increasing focus on eating wholesome and nutritious food these days, many people have become conscious of maintaining a healthy diet. By making a few simple changes, you can greatly enhance your health. Below are a few super foods to include in your diet for healthy living.
Purple colored food: The dark colored foods have huge amount of phytochemicals and antioxidants that will help protest against cancer and heart diseases. For example purple, dark red or blue grapes, beets are good for the immune system and contain Vitamin C and Selenium. Blue berries and red berries can also be thrown into this group as it also contains much of the same vitamins and antioxidants. Purple cabbage has anti cancer properties and can be eaten by fermenting or just making a stir fry out of it while making sure it stays crisp to retain the nutrients.
Cooking generally destroy most of the nutrition in the food. So it is best of eat the super food raw so that most of the nutrition gets absorbed by the body. Grating the beets, adding lemon juice and sprinkling with a dash of pepper and salt makes a nutritious salad. You can add grapes to your salad or simply eat them as post meal dessert.
Nuts: Almond is regarded as a super food. This nut is packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. It is one of the best source of vitamins E the intake of which can reduce health disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. It has also powerful antioxidants which can protects the cell from free radicals there are produced due to the toxins in the body. The high magnesium content can help control blood sugar. In general nuts and seeds are very rich in fiber which could explain why almonds are good for heart health.
Walnut is another super food to include in your diet. This nut has large quantities of omega – 3 fatty acid, fiber and a high concentration of antioxidants. Omega 3 fatty acid are essential fats that comes from diet. Consuming a serving of walnut provides the needed fatty acid for a healthy heart. The polyphenol in walnuts can help fight inflammation, which is the major cause of many chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, GI tracks issues, heart conditions etc. Walnut promotes the good bacteria in the gut. According to a study where adults ate 1.5 ounces of walnut everyday for eight week showed increase in beneficial bacteria.
Peanut is also a nutritious nut. However it has got a bad reputation due to number of sufferers of peanut allergies. If you are not allergic to peanuts, then it is healthy and cheap alternative for consuming protein, vitamins and minerals. Peanuts contain vitamin E, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, vitamin B6, zinc, copper and potassium. It is also high in fiber which can contribute to lower levels of LDL cholesterol. Recent studies have shown that regular peanut consumption reduce the risk of heart disease, cancers, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
The best way to consume to nut is by soaking it in water for 6 – 8 hours. Clean out the water and rinse the soaked nuts a couple of times. Voila! you have nuts that are fresh, crunchy and tasty. Soaking allows for better absorption of nutrients.
Green Vegetables: This food group is a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Consuming greens on a regular basis has myriad benefit as represented by the picture below. When it comes to health, keep the tongue aside and eat what is good for the body. Greens are very versatile and are a great addition in salads, smoothie, stirfry, soup etc. If you plan to cook the greens cook it lightly so that most of the nutrition remains as is.
Orange foods: Sweet potatos, carrots, oranges, papaya, pumpkin, mango are the orange food to add to the meals. Orange food have beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A, that is good for the eyes, immune system and also keeps skin and hair healthy. Eating orange foods can help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, fight free radicals and support healthy bones and joints as it contains health promoting nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fibre, lycopene and flavonoids.
Whole Grains: Switching to whole grain food is most important decision that you can make for the sake of your health. Whole grains are filled with phytochemical, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Studies suggest that eating whole grain can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and certain form of cancer. It is good for gut health as it promotes the growth of good bacteria. Whole oats/oatmeal, Brown rice, whole rye, cracked wheat, millet, quinoa, whole wheat flour are examples of whole grains to add to the diet.
Beans: This food group is easily available and affordable. It is packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins that offer many health benefits. Beans contain amino acids, which are the chemicals that combine to form protein and help build muscle. One of the main nutrients that beans contain is folate. Dried beans contain nearly double the folate that canned beans contain, so it is better to cook them from their dried form. It also contain antioxidant that can maintain good heart health reduce cholesterol and it anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the risk of cancer. Soaking the beans for a few hours until it softens helps cook it fast.
With so many varieties of super food that are easily available it is very easy to switch to a healthy and wholesome diet. Health is crucial, so don’t wait to bring these changes into your life. Start today and stay healthy for life.
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