Superfoods are considered the nutritional powerhouses providing individuals with benefits for their health and well-being. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols, these bite-size heroes work harder than any other foods do towards getting you at your healthiest. Accompanied by a regular fitness regime - incorporating more superfoods into your diet will help you towards reaching your fitness goals.
Given these advantages, you may be wondering what some examples of Superfoods are and what exactly they do for you. Let’s take a look:
Nuts - These hard-shelled pieces of goodness are packed with heart-healthy fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Being high in (good) fat and calories their compositional mix of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber help suppress ones appetite making them supersnacks! But not all nuts are considered superfoods; only these are the ones that are:
- Macadamia Nuts
- Brazil Nuts
- Pine Nuts
Berries - Native to the land, blueberries are truly an all American delicacy. To reach the full health potential of these tasty spheres, it is recommend that at least 1-2 cups be consumed on a daily basis. Toss them in yogurt, cereal, or bread - their versatility is endless!
Tomatoes - Raw, baked, cooked, chopped, or pureed – tomatoes are another extremely versatile superfood! Tomatoes are known to carry cancer-fighting properties known as antioxidant lycopene. Unable to be produced by the body, it is vital that it be obtained through ones diet - tomatoes being the common source. In addition to their lycopene properties, tomatoes are:
- Very low in calories (Whole tomatoes 25 kcal)
- Great source of Vitamin A
- Have heart-health nutrients such as potassium, niacin, and vitamin B6
- May prevent blood clots from forming
- Good source of fiber
- High in Vitamin K which is essential for bone health
- Cholesterol Free
Kale - An antioxidant superstar. Kale is considered one of the vegetables with the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating. Meaning, its ability to scavenge free radicals that can cause damage to your body and contribute to disease like cancer at the cellular level are extremely effective. But that’s not all they do:
- Loaded with Vitamin A, complex B, and C
- Low in calories (33 kcal = 1 cup)
- Rich source of minerals like copper, iron, calcium, and magnesium
- Rich in dietary fiber and assists in effective weight loss
- An anti-inflammatory and skin disease
Salmon - Wild, farm-raised, smoked or canned, regardless of the form in which these species of fish come in, they are vital for their nutritional properties. Packed with heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids - which Americans could use more of in their diets - it promotes joint health, contributes to brain and nervous system functioning, as well as may prevent types of cancer from developing. Kale is especially high in Vitamin D, which is critical for bone health and is also of importance in heart, blood vessels, and immune system functioning.
Eggs - An egg-ceptional superfood, they are one of the most nutritional substances on earth. They are locked and loaded with high quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats, and several trace nutrients. Rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthine antioxidants, eggs help protect individuals from eye diseases such as Cataracts and Muscular Degeneration. And best of all they have the ability to make you feel more full while in turn consuming fewer calories. Additional benefits include:
- Low in calories
- Rich in iron, phosphorous, selenium, and vitamins A, B12, B2, and B5
- Contains Choline- an important nutrient for the brain
- Raise HDL (good) cholesterol
- Cheap and taste awesome!
Citrus - Known for their tart, refreshing burst of acidic liquids, citrus fruits such as orange, grapefruits, tangerines, lemon and limes are the powerhouses of Vitamin C and phytochemicals. Thought to exhibit anticancer properties and protect against heart disease, these superfoods can be incorporated into ones diet in a variety of ways.
- Aid in the absorption of iron
- Protects body from free radicals
- Produces collagen which helps heals wounds
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- May help fight cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease, and prevents cataracts.
Beans - A dual-personality, beans are considered to be both a vegetable as well as a source of protein. While similar to meat in terms of calories, they are high in fiber and water content – ingredients that make you feel fuller, faster! In just one serving, these humble superfoods are packed with calcium, potassium, iron, B vitamins, as well as a provides a quarter of the protein and half the fiber recommended daily for adults.
- Nutrient rich - vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Heart helpers
- Low in fat
- Packed with protein
- Balance blood sugar
- Decrease cancer risk
While the nutritional benefits of these superfoods are definitely essential, it is important to maintain consciousness of portion control. Practically any type of food you eat, will at one point become too much. It is important to define what a daily serving consists of as well as ensuring each element of an essential diet is being consumed.
Stay tuned for more health-related posts to come and the best foods to incorporate into your diet to help you achieve your goals better and sooner. Make sure to check out our homepage: http://cirrusfitness.com for fitness gear and accessories to motivate the athlete in you!