Everyone advocates a balanced diet, but having meals with all the nutrients is not possible. A food may be a rich source of fiber or protein, but may be lacking in certain vitamins. Another might be full of antioxidants, but again might not be a good source of certain minerals needed by our bodies. This is why there are superfoods, which are beneficial for your body.
HealthShots reached out to Dr. Shahid Shafi Bhat, Internal Medicine Consultant, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, Moradabad, to find out all about superfoods.
What are superfoods?
According to Dr. Bhat, superfoods are foods that have a very high nutrient density. This means they have the power to give you a substantial amount of nutrients with fewer calories. They contain a high volume of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants – everything your body needs. Antioxidants, which are natural molecules found in specific foods, help neutralize free radicals in our body. Free radicals are natural by-products of energy production that can harm our bodies. Antioxidant molecules decrease or reverse the effects of free radicals which have strong links to health issues such as:
• Respiratory diseases
Superfoods to eat everyday
You can add color to oatmeal with berries or bag over nuts. Here are some of the superfoods you can eat every day!
Whether it’s fiber, manganese, vitamin K, or antioxidants, that’s all there is to blueberries. They can lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
2. Goji Berries
They are small red berries rich in vitamins C and E, as well as different types of flavonoids. Want to have a healthy liver, eyes and kidneys? Have this super food and enjoy its health benefits.
3. Leafy greens
If you want to dig into leafy green superfoods, go for kale, spinach, and collard greens. These foods are rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, and also contain an abundance of carotenoids, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium, explains the expert.
The high content of omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and other oily fish like trout and herring can lower cholesterol and lower the risk of abnormal heartbeats (benefits of fish consumption).
Nuts like walnuts and almonds are a good source of vegetable protein. They also contain monounsaturated fats, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
6. Cruciferous vegetables
These include vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and turnips. Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of fiber and contain phytochemicals like indoles, nitriles and thiocyanates.
Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, or flax seeds are healthy options that you can snack on. Seed consumption has been linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Who should avoid eating superfoods daily?
The expert says extra care should be taken when consuming superfoods if people have a chronic condition.
• People with kidney disease should eat leafy greens with caution, as they can dangerously increase potassium levels and even lead to cardiac arrest.
• Do you have liver disease? So do not take animal protein, including fish in excessive amounts. It can cause hepatic encephalopathy, which is the loss of brain function when a damaged liver does not remove toxins from your blood.
• Foods containing oxalate such as nuts should be avoided if you have kidney stones. It can contribute to kidney stones, so don’t have any.
Including superfoods in your daily nutritional intake is a good thing, but only when you eat a healthy, balanced diet.
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