Superman may have gotten his energy from the sun but we can’t rely on solar power for our needs. Enter superfoods, nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Adding them to your diet may reduce the risk of chronic disease and prolong life.
We give you 12 superfoods you must add to your shopping list every week:
- Dark Chocolate: The food of the gods has to be good for you. Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients and is a powerful source of antioxidants. It improves blood flow, lower blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease and raise HDL. It may also improve brain function. Break out that bar already!
- Broccoli: Known as a superfood across the world, this cruciferous vegetable contains cancer-preventing chemicals like sulforaphane. Broccoli is a rich source of Vitamins A and K, and a flavonoid that lessens the impact of allergens. Steam the florets to enjoy cholesterol-lowering and detox benefits.
- Olive oil: The star performer of the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest oils in the world. It is rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin E, long thought to minimize cancer risk. It is rich in in monounsaturated fatty acids and is linked to longer life expectancy and lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
- Beets: Everyone may not like them but beets are high in vitamin C, fiber and essential minerals like potassium and manganese. They contain the B vitamin folate and betaine, and may help lower blood pressure, fight cancer and inflammation, boost stamina and support detoxification.
- Nuts: Numerous studies have shown that eating a handful of nuts every day could help extend a person’s lifetime. They pack a punch of filling protein, fiber, unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids and important vitamins and minerals. People who eat nuts may be at a lower risk of diabetes and cancer.
- Tomatoes: The original superfood, tomatoes are rich in alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, choline, folic acid, beta-carotene and lutein. A rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid, they are good for the heart, kidney, eyes and skin.
- Berries: These little fruits have high levels of phytochemicals, nutrients that help protect cells from damage. Be it strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, all have antioxidants that protect against ageing and support brain function and muscle retention.
- Spicy food: Studies have revealed that adding spicy food to your plate may add years to your life. Research has also linked consumption of spicy food to a lower risk of cancer and ischemic heart disease. Spicing up things can also help you lose weight.
- Green tea: Add a cup of green tea to your morning beverage rounds. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, which may improve brain function, lead to fat loss and a lower risk of cancer. A Japanese study found heavy green tea drinkers face lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Spinach: Green is good. A recent study revealed that eating a daily serving of spinach or any other leafy green can reduce age-associated cognitive decline. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it is packed with phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids for formidable antioxidant protection.
- Garlic: A small clove of garlic packs a super-healthy punch. It is very rich in vitamins C and B6 and manganese. It’s benefits span the gamut – from the humble common cold to blood pressure, cholesterol levels, heart disease and bone density. Its antioxidants may help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Apples: Apples are chock-a-block with antioxidants and a fiber called pectin. Eating one every day may keep the doctor away! This fruit can help avoid Alzheimer’s, reduce cholesterol and decrease the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. It can also avoid hemorrhoids, detoxify the liver and help control weight.