The term superfood has become fairly popular in health and diet articles, but what is a “superfood” exactly?
It is a word used to describe foods that have beneficial properties such as being high in nutrients, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. These are foods that if eaten regularly, can positively affect your health in many ways and enhance your overall quality of health.
Here are a few popular superfoods to keep in mind next time you’re perusing the grocery store or even better, your local farmers’ market:
This ever-so-common, yet popular fruit is often one of the first foods listed as a superfood to eat. Apples are high in antioxidants, which protect cells from damage and are in high in fiber as well. Most of an apple’s fiber is found in its skin, so if you’re someone who prefers to peel their apples prior to eating, think twice!
Blueberries (and then some)
Although blueberries are often listed as containing the most antioxidant power, blackberries contain even more antioxidants than the beloved blueberries. This doesn’t mean to count out blueberries, but to keep in mind another powerful contender.
Yes, they may be high in fat, but they’re high in the healthy fats we’re told to eat up! This tasty fruit that is great on salads, sandwiches, and many other dishes is high in monounsaturated fats, which are known to be great for cardiovascular health and can improve blood cholesterol levels.
Cabbage is never given much thought to unless you’re about to make some is the reason, but it packs many pleasant surprises in its hearty leaves. Some of these pleasant surprises is that it helps stimulate the immune system and can improve colon health if it is eaten a few times a week. It is also high in anthocyanins (the pigment molecule in produce), which contain high in cancer-fighting antioxidants.
This odiferous, yet tasty food is known to have cholesterol lowering properties and to help prevent clogged arteries. It is also known to boost your immune system, by promoting an increase in white blood cells, which are known to help fight colds and infections. If you’re someone who doesn’t care for the taste of garlic, you can try taking garlic supplements. However, keep in mind eating the actual food itself is usually best.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to man, which has been rumored to be worth more than gold in one point in time. Most of us associate cinnamon in being an ingredient in some of our favorite sweets like oatmeal raisin cookies, sticky buns, or warm cider during the winter months, however, this spice has lots more to offer other than making baked goods taste delicious. Cinnamon can lower cholesterol, help with type II diabetes by increasing insulin production in the body and lower blood sugar levels, can have an anti-clotting effect on blood, and has even been known to boost cognitive function and memory. So next time you’re eating oatmeal or making a hot beverage, try adding an extra sprinkling of cinnamon!
Just remember when shopping around for superfoods, fresher is better! Also, keep in mind foods that are in season, because you get the best nutritional value, flavor, and they tend to be the best price at the time.