10 Best Superfoods for Healthy Body and Mind

Ross Quade | Health | 24 Apr, 2015 | No Comments

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Superfoods are a very popular topic of discussion these days. Dr. Oz is always talking about them on his popular daytime television show. Superfoods are rich in nutrients and highly recommended for a healthy body and mind. They ramp up your immune system, lower the risk of inflammation, and fight harmful bacteria. Many superfoods also contribute to cognitive reasoning skills. Here are the 10 best superfoods that will lead you to a happier, healthier, and wiser lifestyle.

1.   Avocados

This monounsaturated fat fruit elevates your blood flow and brain health. Don’t be alarmed by the mention of fat though because avocados are a great source of healthy fat. This is what most Americans lack in their diet. It aids in raising good cholesterol levels and lowering triglycerides. Avocados also lower your blood pressure which in turn helps your mental reasoning. They generate almost twenty essential nutrients including: potassium, fiber, B-vitamins, Vitamin E, and folic acid.

2.   Beans

These high protein, low cholesterol fiber sources come in many varieties. They all contain iron and magnesium and lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. The brain depends on blood sugar for a source of energy and beans can provide that fuel for the brain. Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, speed up the transmission of messages in the brain cells. It also allows more blood flow to the brain by relaxing the blood vessels. The fact that beans are economical is a plus. Many families in the South have a tradition of eating red beans every Monday.

3.   Berries

Like beans, berries come in all shapes and sizes. Each type is jam-packed with antioxidants and fiber. They keep your body and mind running strong. Cranberries fight diseases and kill bacteria and many women find them to be a crucial supplement for easing urinary tract infections. Blueberries are popular because of their memory-improving effects. They help minimize the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Strawberries provide a day’s supply of Vitamin C in one cup. Lingonberries are native to Scandinavia and are a natural antibiotic and with more antioxidants than blueberries, they possess anti-aging benefits. Lingonberries are sometimes difficult to find, but are mostly available online and in some health food stores. The good news is that only a small amount is needed to reap its rewards.

4.   Broccoli

It is no secret that broccoli is filled with vitamins. The Vitamin K that it has contributes to healthy brain cell membranes. It also prevents tumor growth and lowers the risk of certain cancers. This fibrous green vegetable reduces the chance of heart disease and strokes and its Vitamin C content absorbs iron. It does not have as much calcium as milk, but it is present. To keep all of its nutrients intact, it is best to roast, steam or microwave broccoli.

5.   Dark Chocolate

Yes, believe it or not, dark chocolate is one of the best superfoods for your body and mind. Moderation is recommended, however. An ounce a day will keep the doctor away due to its antioxidant and natural stimulant properties. Dark chocolate is lower in sugar and fat than milk chocolate or white chocolate. It can lower your stress hormone levels and increase your concentration. Its ability to increase serotonin and endorphins is what boosts your mood and creates a happy feeling. The flavonoids help you ward off diabetes and the flavonols thin your blood and lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate with 70% to 85% cocoa content is the most beneficial.

6.   Greek Yogurt

You have probably seen the various commercials for Greek yogurt starring John Stamos or Iron Chef Bobby Flay. It has more benefits than regular yogurt; is thicker and promotes digestion. This creamier version has probiotics and improves your immune system. The Vitamin B12 content is essential to healthy brain function. You can take it up a notch by folding in squares of dark chocolate. Many people have been using it as a healthy substitute for recipes that call for cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream.

7.   Quinoa

These very tiny seeds are hot commodities right now too. The grain-like superfood has tons of nutrition. It is very similar to couscous or rice; the flavor is quite mild. Its iron helps oxygen travel to our brain. It is one of the only seeds to contain the nine amino acids that our bodies cannot provide on their own. One cup of quinoa has eight grams of protein and the lysine in quinoa is important for tissue growth and repair. This grain-like superfood has magnesium which remedies migraines. The magnesium may also lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes because it controls healthy blood sugar. It is high in Riboflavin (B2) and improves energy metabolism within the brain cells. It helps bring about a production of energy in other cells.

8.   Kale

Kale has more antioxidants than almost any other vegetable and most fruits. High in nutrients, it is comprised of iron, calcium, and fiber. One cup of kale in its raw form has less than one gram of fat. It has all of the amino acids needed for a healthy body. Instead of boiling, roasting, or steaming this healthy green, many people are using it in juices and smoothies. Kale chips are a common household snack too. This inexpensive source of vitamins eases lung congestion and protects you against colon cancer.

9.   Chia Seeds

No need for a double take. This is the same seed as those fur growing planters on television during the 1990s. These itty-bitty seeds have more fatty acids than any plant in existence. One serving of chia seeds gives you antioxidants, iron, potassium, and magnesium. With as many Omega-3s as salmon, the flavor is almost tasteless. It has more calcium than milk. It helps you feel full, making it ideal for a weight-loss plan. You can throw them in a blender for a healthy smoothie or drop them in a glass of water. If you do the latter, drink the water before the seeds stiffen for the best outcome.

10.   Eggs

Forget the egg whites and go for the yolk because that’s where the majority of the nutrients are. This antioxidant has lutein and zeaxanthin which improves the health of your eyes and guards against vision loss. They also contain choline which is good for your brain development, enhances your memory, and advances your cardiovascular system. One large egg has six grams of protein, approximately seventy calories, and has the nine amino acids that everyone needs. You cannot “beat” the amount of omega-3 fatty acids that it has either which are optimal for a heart healthy body. With the energy that an egg gives you, fatigue is far away.

Superfoods are low in calories making them popular among fitness fans. But the news of their benefits is reaching into homes everywhere. If you have not already, try a superfood today.

 




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