Superfoods refer to those foods that offer maximum nutritional benefits and are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (substances that help in preventing cell damage).
Eating good food, especially with family and friends, is one of the pleasures of life. Superfoods are foods that provide you with macronutrients and micronutrients that play a major role in keeping you healthy and keeping you away from infections and other chronic diseases.
Macronutrients include CHO (carbohydrates), proteins, and fats which we require in large amounts and micronutrients are different vitamins and minerals which are required for the normal growth and prevention of diseases.
These nutrients when derived from superfoods are easily absorbed and efficiently utilized by your body, when compared to dietary supplements.
Take a look at some of the common superfoods, their benefits, and ways to include them in your diet.
7 Super Foods With Hidden Powers
1. Avocado (Butter Fruit)
Avocados contribute to your overall well-being and are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid), potassium, vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), and antioxidants.
- Oleic acid reduces inflammation (your body’s response to fighting infections that results in swelling, redness, etc.) and is also beneficial in preventing cancer.
- Potassium helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
- Vitamin B6 supports the biochemical reactions in your immune system and builds up your immunity.
- Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, protect cells from damage, and prevent uncontrolled inflammatory responses from occurring in your body.
Avocados are not only healthy but they are also incredibly tasty and go with many types of food. You can add them to your salads and sandwiches or just eat them plain.
Papaya is a tropical fruit that is high in vitamin A and vitamin C. It is high in antioxidants and fiber (roughage) that helps prevent constipation.
- Raw papaya contains an enzyme called papain, that aids in digestion and soothes your intestinal tract.
- The vitamin and potassium content in papayas also helps to ward off heart diseases.
Papaya is a versatile fruit and can be incorporated into many recipes. They can be a part of your salads, smoothies, or and can be consumed raw.
Grapes come in a range of colours and types. They are packed with nutrients and powerful plant compounds.
They are high in antioxidants like resveratrol that protects you against various chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
They are also packed with nutrients such as vitamin C (essential for healthy skin, bones, and teeth) and vitamin K (vital for blood clotting and healthy bones).
Grapes also contain bioflavonoids which are used for estrogen replacement. This can help in mood swings during menstruation.
Grape seed extracts can also be consumed as they are also of nutritional value and help in strengthening capillaries, arteries, and veins, improving circulation, and reducing nerve damage in your eyes.
Grapes contain soluble fiber that can help in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Grapes are delicious and can be easily incorporated into your daily diet. You can have them in the form of juice and can also add them to your salad.
4. Mango Skin
Mango is a tasty tropical fruit. Like the flesh of the fruit, its skin is also edible and highly nutritious.
Mango skin is loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants like quercetin and mangiferin that can help prevent various chronic diseases such as diabetes and even cancer.
- It is high in fiber and therefore, aids digestion and helps prevent constipation.
The easiest way to consume mango skin is to bite on the fruit without removing the skin. Tossing the skin into your favorite smoothies or other favorite recipes can mask the bitter taste and make it tastier.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera contains powerful antioxidants belonging to a large family of substances known as polyphenols (micronutrients found in plant-based foods). Aloe vera prevents cell damage and increases your immunity by its antioxidant property (inhibits the growth of certain bacteria and viruses that cause infection).
Aloe vera has various uses like:
Preventing premature aging.
Healing wounds and burns.
Improving the glow of your skin and preventing dryness of the skin.
Strengthening hair and preventing dandruff.
Reducing your blood sugar (glucose) level.
Assisting in digestion and helping in curing constipation.
Aloe vera can be consumed as supplements and juices. You can also apply fresh aloe vera in the form of gel, ointment, or cream directly to your skin or add it to a homemade face pack.
Prunes are dried plums and are highly nutritious. They are rich in fiber and therefore, helps prevent constipation by adding bulk to your stools and aids in proper digestion.
Prunes are a good source of boron, iron, and potassium that are vital for a variety of bodily functions.
- Boron present in the prunes is good for boosting bone metabolism and prevents the loss of bone mass.
- Potassium is important for your heart health and helps maintain blood pressure levels.
- Prune juice is a great source of iron and helps prevent iron deficiency.
Prunes can be consumed alone as a snack or as prune juice. It can be added to your breakfast oatmeal or can be blended into your smoothies.
Pears are not only delicious but they also offer many health benefits. They contain folate, provitamin A and niacin. Folate and niacin are important for cellular function, while provitamin A is essential for healthy skin and wound healing.
- They are also a rich source of minerals, such as copper and potassium. Copper plays a major role in proper nerve function, whereas potassium aids in muscle contractions and heart function.
- Pears are low in calories, high in water content, and packed with fiber. This combination makes them a weight-loss-friendly food.
Pears can be consumed as a snack or can be incorporated into your favorite dishes such as oatmeal, salads, and smoothies.
It is important to understand that no single food can offer you all the nutrition that your body needs.
Combining healthy choices from different food groups is a smart and healthy way to plan your diet. These superfoods can offer you some very important nutrients that can power-pack your meals and further enhance a healthy eating pattern.
Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.