Superfoods- Are They Just a Myth?
You already know the value of eating a well-balanced diet, but are you choosing the right fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis? From anti-aging benefits to weight loss, a few of those greens may have extra special properties.
According to Dr. Steven Pratt, author of SuperFoods Rx – Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life, your diet may be lacking some of nature’s best gifts; oats, broccoli, and soy are only a few highly-nutritious choices that may help you live longer, fight disease, and keep you in great shape.
Is the superfood mantra just another diet myth? Or are some fruits and vegetables really an anti-aging miracle?
What are Superfoods?
Superfoods are the latest classification of foods that contain a high ratio of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. They may have special properties that support good health, anti aging benefits, and may even help with weight management. Eating foods in their natural state is the best way the body can convert the food into energy – a higher absorption rate means you benefit from the macronutrients, and some health experts now recommend eating a few specific foods on a daily basis.
Fourteen Superfoods Missing From Your Diet
Dr. Pratt encourages us to develop a diet plan based entirely of superfoods. He outlines the 14 major superfoods as:
- Beans – high in fiber and low in calories, beans can fill you up quickly and also give your diet a protein boost. These are also a great source of folate, iron and phytonutrients that may be linked to a lower risk of cancer.
- Blueberries – a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients, blueberries are low in calories and an easy way to curb that sweet tooth. They’re also loaded with Vitamin E, an important vitamin for healthy skin and hair.
- Broccoli – this green vegetable contains high levels of Vitamin C, fiber, and calcium. The high level of lutein also makes this a valuable vegetable for any healthy diet.
- Oats – rich in fiber and chock full of potassium and zinc, oatmeal is a dieter's best friend. The high fiber content means you’ll feel fuller faster, and this complex carbohydrate can provide long-lasting energy to keep blood sugar levels steady.
- Oranges – citrus fruits are full of Vitamin C, but oranges are also a valuable source of pectin. Pectin has been linked to lower cholesterol levels, and oranges are also a simple way to protect the immune system.
- Pumpkin – rich in Vitamins C, E, and beta carotene, pumpkin is also a valuable source of fiber. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating pumpkin-based foods may be a simple way to keep those pounds at bay.
- Wild Salmon – with it’s high level of Omega-3 fatty acids, wild salmon is also a valuable source of lean protein.
- Soy – the high protein content and Omega-3 fatty acids qualify soy as a superfood, and can be especially valuable for vegetarians and vegans.
- Spinach – this leafy green vegetable is a valuable source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and can be eaten both ocoked and raw. Eating a spinach-based salad is the easiest way to incorporate this into your daily diet.
- Tea – making the switch from coffee to tea can be challenging for some, but health experts recommend tea to prevent cancer, enjoy a healthy source of caffeine, and add more antioxidants to the diet.
- Tomatoes – lycopene isn’t the only reason to eat more tomatoes and tomato-based foods. Tomatoes are rich in B vitamins, chromium, and even lutein that supports good eye health.
- Turkey – another valuable source of protein, turkey is also rich in iron, zinc, and B vitamins that provide a boost of energy. Eating just 3-4 servings of this lean meat each week is all you need for optimum health.
- Walnuts – vitamin E, fiber, protein, and B vitamins are just a few reasons to reach for the walnut for a snack. This superfood can help maintain healthy skin, hair and nails. Yogurt – improving the digestive system is just one reason to reach for a cup of yogurt between meals.
- Yogurt is also a valuable source of protein, calcium, and B-vitamins that give you an energy boost.
Will Superfoods Give You Complete Nutritional Balance?
Since all of these foods contain higher-than-average ratios of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, superfoods may just give your daily diet a boost. Both medispas and cosmetic surgery centers now offer on-site nutritional services that can help you create the best diet plan for your health and fitness goals. Adding a few powerful foods on the superfoods list can help boost your weekly intake of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals and support a healthy lifestyle.
Whether your goal is weight loss, reducing the signs of aging, or just preventing disease and illness, superfoods may be the missing link on your road to optimal health. Learn more about nutrition and diet in our weight loss guide, or turn to a weight loss expert in your area for tips and advice for healthier living.