By: Joaquin Ramirez
We have all heard the term “superfood” before, but what exactly is a superfood and why is it so good for us?
A superfood is a particular food that has an abundant amount of nutrients that range from vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber. Missing out on these superfoods can’t hurt your overall health and performance. I have put together a list of eight super foods for you to start with and why it is important to your health.
Heart Healthy – Oats contain a form of fiber called Beta-glucan that dissolves in your digestive tract and forms a gel like substance that binds to excess cholesterol and prevents it from being absorbed by our blood.
Energy – Beta-glucan also slows the rate of sugar that is allowed into the blood stream meaning that sugar (energy) is released slower and more steady throughout the day instead of spiking our blood sugar.
Healthy Blood – Quinoa contains a large amount of iron, which is essential for the production of red blood cells. These red blood cells carry oxygen throughout our body and healthy red blood cells may lower the risks of cardiovascular disease.
Immunity – Quinoa contains a fair amount of zinc, which is very important to help maintain a healthy immune system. People who are active tend to lose zinc through perspiration and Quinoa is a great way to replace that.
Strong Bones – Almonds contain calcium and calcium reduces the activity of cells that stimulate the loss of bone density. Particularly for those who do not consume dairy, almonds are a great way to get in that calcium to keep our bones strong.
Healthy Skin – Almonds are rich in Vitamin E. This vitamin is an antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from free radicals. They also contain fatty acids that help improve skin elasticity.
#4 Flax Seeds
Heart Healthy – Flax seeds contain fatty acids that work to prevent the formation of plaque buildup in arteries.
Hormone Balance – Flax seeds have photochemical that can help balance hormones and protect women from symptoms of menopause.
Digestive Health – The live cultures in probiotic yogurt help promote the “good” bacteria in our gut. This good bacteria reduces the chance of ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease as well as keeping those inconvenient stomach aches away.
Prevention – Studies have shown that regular consumption of probiotic yogurt may help reduce the rick of obesity and diabetes. It contains vitamins, protein, folate and potassium, which are all necessary for keeping us healthy.
Brain Power – The nitrates in beets will help slow the progression of dementia and improve blood flow to the brain.
Muscle Strength – Beets help the muscles recover faster after strenuous exercise. They also help to reduce muscle pain.
Memory – Anthocyanins are phytochemicals found in pomegranates. These phytochemicals are known to help improve and sustain your memory throughout your life.
Cancer Prevention – The antioxidants in pomegranates are believed to help protect our cells and repair DNA damage that can lead to cancer. Studies have shown that drinking pomegranate juice can slow the growth of prostate cancer.
Nausea Prevention – Several studies have shown that fresh ginger can relieve nausea so if you are one of those people who constantly feel nauseous give ginger a try!
Digestion – Ginger helps with indigestion and bloating by boosting digestive juices and neutralizing the acids in our gut.
These are just eight out of hundreds of super foods, but introducing them into your diet daily will help keep you healthy and active. Try and keep a variety of super foods in your diet by mixing in different ones each week to keep those necessary nutrients coming!