If you are serious about nutrition, small changes in your diet can make a big difference. Because they are restrictive, most diets don’t work long-term. You don’t have to eliminate everything from your diet immediately. Instead, you can add superfoods to curb appetites and give the body essential nutrients.
What is a superfood? You want to make the most of every calorie you eat if you are interested in following a nutrition plan. Superfoods are usually plant-based foods with high nutritional density. Superfoods offer more health benefits per calorie than regular food.
Superfood Nutrients: Examples
Superfoods have a higher vitamin and mineral content, making it easier to consume more nutrition for fewer calories. What are some examples of nutrients found in superfoods, you ask? Below are some examples of superfood nutrients and benefits.
- Antioxidants Antioxidants are found in plants, fish, and dairy superfoods. They help fight off free radicals that can cause cancer.
- Free radicals atoms, molecules, or ions with an unpaired electron valence are atoms, mollusks, or ions. Free radicals can be found naturally, as in food metabolism. However, they are also linked to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
- Healthy Fats These healthy fats have been shown to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Healthy fats are found in superfoods like avocado, olive oil, nuts, and fish. Contrary to popular belief, healthy saturated fats such as those found in lean beef exist. These are also important to Total Health and Fitness.
- Fiber– Fiber is more than a digestive aid. It can also prevent diabetes. Fiber is abundant in vegetables and beans, including black, pinto, and navy beans.
- Plant-based superfoods contain these compounds: whole grains, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and legumes. These compounds give plants unique characteristics like color, taste, and smell. Phytochemicals are a natural way to support the immune system, prevent cardiovascular disease, lower inflammation, regulate hormones, and help control inflammation.
A well-rounded selection of superfoods can improve your health, lower cholesterol, decrease inflammation, and regulate your metabolism.
You should include superfoods in your diet.
Superfoods don’t have to be plant-based. You can include dairy, fish, and nutrient-dense vegetables in your nutrition plan. Below are some of the top superfoods, along with their nutritional benefits.
- Avocados– Aside from being rich in healthy fats, avocados also contain high amounts of magnesium and fiber.
- Berries– You’ll get fiber and antioxidants depending on which berry you choose. Blueberries are a superfood because of their high levels of pigment.
- Garlic, Onions Allium vegetables (grown in bulbs) have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Root Vegetables Sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets are rich in healthy carbs and starch while remaining gluten-free. Root vegetables are rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and antimicrobials.
- Mushrooms– These mushrooms are another good source of antibacterial substances. They also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
- Fish — For good fats and protein, as well as omega-3, fish are a great way to get some.
- Leafy Greens Spinach, arugula, and kale are rich in fibers and antioxidants.
- Nuts & Seeds – Like fish, nuts & seeds are good sources of omega-3, fiber, and fat.
- Whole Grains These are known as “ancient grain” and include farro, quinoa, and buckwheat. Other whole grains rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins include brown rice, barley, and oats.
- Probiotics Yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha help to promote healthy digestive bacteria.
- Cruciferous Vegetables– Broccoli, sprouts, and cauliflower are all examples of cruciferous veggies. All these vegetables are high in fiber, glucosinolates, and other nutrients that aid in maintaining “good” bacteria in the gut (much as probiotics).
- Legumes and Beans – Like other plant-based superfoods like beans and legumes, these legumes are low in “bad” fats but high in protein, fiber, and vitamins.
- Lean Meats As mentioned previously, lean meats (which include red meats) contain healthy fats and have tremendous nutritional value.
- How to incorporate superfoods into your lifestyle
It’s time to start looking at other ways to incorporate superfoods into your diet. It can get boring to eat the same vegetables every day. Here are some Total Fitness tips for incorporating superfoods into your life.
- Smoothies– You are probably well versed in drinking your nutrients. Who needs to mix up some berries and a banana with some yogurt? Smoothies are a convenient way to combine superfoods and devour them. There are many options, and you can be creative with adding greens, nuts, and seeds.
- Edible Garnish You want to make it easier to incorporate superfoods into your meals. You can have small samples of some to get started. Add berries, nuts, or seeds to your favorite oats. For your next salad, add olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Add mushrooms to your next pasta dish or more nuts to your basil pesto. It can be easier to accept superfoods into foods that you already enjoy.
- Substitution– If you cannot find sour cream in a recipe, like soup, try plain Greek yogurt. Sweet potato fries are a great alternative to chips. Switch to whole-grain pasta for pasta dishes.
- Bake/Roast/Grill/Broil – No one expects you to eat raw fruits and veggies all day to get those superfood nutrients. You can season, bake, roast, and grill them. Root vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fish can have a new flavor and texture when prepared differently.
- Dip it – If everything fails, you can dip your fruits and veggies in your favorite dressing. It’s okay to use superfoods as a vehicle for the food you enjoy the most.