Review your menu according to these superstar foods in the world of nutrition.
Super-Healthy Foods for Your Active Day
These foods claim conceitedly of their superpowers that include: prevention from chronic and common diseases of present times like cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and other heart problems; strengthening of your immune system; protection from skin problems by getting you a smoother skin; helping you in maintenance of weight-height balance; and helping you lose weight in case of obesity. They do seem to be great and unbelievable claims but remember that your food has got solution to all your problems. You are what you eat.
If these foods are already part of your daily routine, then, you must be benefiting from them a lot. Your health is important, so count on these 50 super foods to a smarter and healthier lifestyle.
A study in France experimented and observed all fruits and found lychee to be standing at second-highest point for possessing heart-healthy polyphenols. They are vital compounds against degenerative cancerous diseases. You can add lychee to fries on kebabs made of chicken to add a sour-sweet taste of grapes to them.
Red and juicy tomatoes are excellent health experts in themselves. Overlooking the personification, they really are magical in their effects as they protect you against heart problem and breast cancer with the help of an antioxidant, lycopene. They are rich in vitamin A, E and C and prevent you from pancreatic cancer. Instead of taking tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, eat them in raw form or coat them with garlic powder, pepper, salt and olive oil and bake them for 20 minutes. The baked tomatoes can be served along with chicken.
Pomegranates are connected to health of heart as well as mind. Polyphone of pomegranate, according to recent research, assists arterial wall in contraction and relaxation to maintain a continuous blood flow in body and prevents stiffness of walls. Another research says that their antioxidants are functional in terms of infection removal, specifically, in Alzheimer’s disease. Not just the seeds but the pith has fruitful and healthy compounds for you so enjoy a bit of pith too.
A good potassium source is bananas. Potassium is a macro-nutrient which maintains BP and nervous system functioning to the optimal level. Banana has 450 milligrams of potassium, which makes up only 10% of our daily need. It possesses fibers, too, for normal functioning of stomach.
Onions have double power of polyphenols,, unlike garlic, and have flavonoids. These powers work together to lower stress and risk for developing cancer. Onion has properties that act against diabetes and heart disease. Chromium in onions regulates sugar level in your body.
Beans are perfect foods for a diet, as they are sources of nutrients and fibers. A cup of cooked beans provide 17 g of fibers. They’re over-loaded with nutrients like calcium, magnesium, potassium and proteins.
They decrease your risk for heart problems, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, high BP and colon cancer. Latest recommended weekly dose is about three cups of beans. Keep shifting from black and white beans to kidney beans by adding them in salads; by using them in veggie chili sandwich spreads; and by stuffing them in baked potatoes.
You only have to take 1 ½ ounces of nuts each day according to USDA researchers. They, too, reduce the risk of diabetes and heart problems. Walnuts have omega-3, hazelnuts have arginine (lowers BP), and almonds have polyphenols (significant for heart’s health for lowering cholesterol). But, nuts have lots of calories so have them in moderate amount. Have mixed nuts chopped up in a jar to be sprinkled on deserts, salads, yogurt and cereals.
8. Edamame and tofu
Soy is no-more a panacea but endamame has maintained its vitality as a super ingredient in diet plans. Soy milk, endamame and tofu fight against heart ailments and problems when they become a replacement for unsaturated fatty meat, cheese and other saturated fats. Soy supplies polyunsaturated fats, fibers and vitamins to the body. Soy carries isoflavones and plant estrogens which act against cancerous cells in breasts. Andrew Weil, who is advisor of Prevention believes that soy’s plant estrogen bind up with estrogen receptors in human body and doesn’t allow normal human estrogen to function properly. But it’s suggested that whole soy foods should be taken instead of processed soy powder foods that include chips, patties etc. Beware of supplements of soy as it may contain dangerous levels of isoflavones.
Oats also possess the miraculous quality to fight heart diseases, according to FDA research 10 years ago. A recent research added about oat’s ability to lower your risk of getting type-2 diabetes. Finnish researchers conducted research on 4,316 people for about 10 years and understood that people having cereal fibers each day lowered their risk of getting type-2 diabetes by 61 percent. Required amount is consumption of half cup of unsweetened oatmeal cereal. You can have them as topping of fruit, yogurt and your breakfast cereal.
Flaxseeds are potent source of omega-3’s which prevent you from budding heart problems by 46% because it stops clustering of blood cells to form blood clots. A tablespoon of flaxseeds (10 g) per day provides protection against breast cancer by improving the ratio of protective chemicals to promoting chemicals in your blood. 1– 2 tbsp of flaxseed sprinkled on cereals, yogurt and salads can be a great option for healthy and safe life.
Avocadoes are smooth and buttered fruits which are good source of MUFAs. Avocadoes, when inculcated in salads and salsas, heighten the absorption rate of a type of carotenoids, which reduce and allay the threat of heart problems and macular degeneration of eyes, which can lead to blindness.
Elizabeth Somer, who is author of 10 Habits That Mess Up A Woman’s Diet, declares about the powers and potency of avocados by revealing that they are heavily loaded with vitamin E, folate, soluble fibers, potassium (protective-for-heart compounds). Like nuts, they possess a lot of calories so replace avocadoes with cheese or mayo to balance the calorie count of your day.
12. Olive Oil
Mono-unsaturated fats (MUFA’s) are healthy for heart. They are present in olive oil in abundance. They control bad “LDL” and improve good “HDL” of cholesterol. Moreover, the antioxidants are defensive against cancer and Alzheimer’s. You can use it for baking or roasting; for sauté or shallow frying; for marinating and adding flavor to bread in dinner etc.
Life-threatening diseases are a myth in front of broccoli and it’s disease-fighting cousins, according to a research by John Hopkins. A study was conducted on 6,100 people, where 26% risk of catching a deadly disease was reduced among people who consumed four broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage serving per week. Steaming broccoli is necessary as it gets rid of sulforaphane, which can be harmful.
Popeye loved spinach for his super powers probably for a reason! It builds macular muscles and prevents blindness; and its lutein, the yellow pigment, clears up arterial walls of cholesterol, which consequently prevents you from heart attacks. Spinach contains iron, which helps in transfer of oxygen to cells and provides them energy. It has folate and B vitamins which function against birth defects. Cooked spinach is better than raw one, so have a few cooked spinach servings every week.
15. Greek Yogurt (Organic)
Yogurt is beneficial in terms of being a great source of calcium and immune-strengthening bacteria. Why you should be choosing Greek Yogurt? Because it’s a bargain as Greek yogurt has got double the amount of protein (unfortunately 25 percent women above the age of 40 aren’t getting enough). Oikos Organic yogurt has about 90 calories, 15 g proteins for only 5.3 ounce of Greek yogurt serving.
Garlic is heroic in its actions along with onion for containing 70 active phyto-chemicals which include allicin (it decreases high BP by 30 points). Garlic protects against villainous ovarian, colorectal cancers, reveals a research of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Garlic has been shown to prevent against cold according to a research involving 146 people who had garlic extract for twelve weeks. Allicin, basically, fights against infections and bacteria. Another 2007 study reveals a secret to healthier garlic: you need to crush the garlic cloves and keep them for half-an-hour before heating them, so that all the protective compounds for health of heart are activated and preserved.
17. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are among the foods with abundant amount of beta-carotene which can help in maintenance of respiratory, urinary and intestinal tract lining along with maintenance of your vision and skin. Only a half cup of sweet potato supplies with 80% of vitamin A with just 130 calories. Replace your French fries with baked form of sweet potatoes and you will love them.
18. Red Peppers
Citric fruits are famous for possessing vitamin C but red peppers are most rich source of vitamin C. The vitamin is functionally beneficial for skin and immune system. UK researchers observed intake of vitamin C by 4,025 women and it led to lesser wrinkles and dryness. The vitamin can help you recover from cold and flu faster. Finnish researchers experimented with men having low consumption of vitamin C and found them to be 2.4 times more prone to strokes. Researcher in Australia established another fact that antioxidants in red peppers help in reduction of knee-pain and thus, they protect against arthritis.
Figs have double the amount of potassium found in a single banana; and surprisingly 6 figs, in total, have 891 mg of BP controlling mineral–which covers only 20% of your daily need. A study in Netherlands discovered that diets high-in-potassium mineral lead to decreased death rate from diseases in adults of age 56 and older. Figs are perfect sources of calcium as well. You can serve figs by adding chopped figs in yogurt, salads, and oatmeal cereals.
Blueberries are delicacies, which, in essence, defy aging process and are stuffed with antioxidants. Cornell University experimented with 25 fruits to check their potency based on their compounds and found wild blueberries to be having most absorbable antioxidants. Blue berries in diet plans help against urinary tract infections, eyestrains, and memory loss. Ronald Prior, who is professor of food science in Fayetteville at the University of Arkansas, suggests half a cup of blueberries is a recommended dose for daily diet.
21. Asian pears
Asian pears have 10 g of fibers that lower cholesterol level-the fibers make up 40% of daily recommended need. A study was conducted on Baltimore adults who consumed fibers a lot and it helped in lowering their LDL level of cholesterol. Surprisingly, these people also had low body-mass index. Dice them into your fruit and cheese salads or prepare some desserts using them.
One simple recipe we have is: add core of pears in saucepan with a cup of white wine, 1 tsp of honey, 1 tsp of grated ginger and water to dip the pears completely. Simmer for 40 minutes and your delicious dessert is ready to be enjoyed.
You will be surprised to know that yolks of eggs are storehouses of hundreds of nutrients that are essential yet are not readily available. They include choline, found in liver, leafy greens and sea-foods; and it functions by lowering the risk of breast cancer and by providing antioxidants which prevent cataract and macular degeneration. Scientific evidence for egg to be a cause behind heart diseases is very less and eggs are actually healthier than harmful in effect. So, there’s no need to leave out eggs from your diet plan. People who have some heart problem should reduce egg yolk intake to two per week as latest research has shown that egg yolk does not raises the risk of heart attack. Prepare an omelet with a whole egg and two whites, and check out your cholesterol level during other meals.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away isn’t a myth and it really is the healthiest fruit for your daily routines. Health Study conducted on 34,000 Iowa Women, who were having healthy habits for about 20 years, revealed apples to be part of their daily diet; and they were found to be instrumental in reduction of the risk of heart ailments in women passing through post-menopausal phase. Apples are influential against lung cancer and type-2-diabetes and they assist in weight loss too. Apple pies aren’t healthy as apples are mixed up with flour, sugar and butter. Make fruit salads as afternoon delight and enjoy a healthier you.
South Americans are blessed with the tropical fruit of guava that is an amazing source of vitamin C. A cup of guava has 5 times more vitamin C than oranges-which is 5 times greater than your standard daily need. It has 26 percent greater amount of lycopene which is instrumental in lowering risks of heart strokes. In Bangladesh, guava provides a protection against food-borne pathogenic compounds like staph and Listeria. Other than guava juice, you can have guava smoothie with a blend of bananas, strawberries, soy milk and ice cubes.
25. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate lovers can continue to enjoy it as its actually healthy because of its possession of flavonoid antioxidants (triple the amount present in 1 milk chocolate). They prevent clogging of arteries as they stop platelets from joining together. A Denmark research declared it as healthy and satiating food for weight-loss diet plans. Researcher, primarily, provided the 16 participants with starters as 100g of dark chocolate or milk chocolate. After about two hours, participants were offered a pizza and results concluded that those who had dark chocolate were less interested in consumption of salty and fatty foods and consumed 15 percent lesser calories than the other group. 2 tbsp of dark chocolate crushed or chopped can be eaten with berries as a dessert and it will not exceed your calorie limits.
26. Fat-free Milk (Organic)
Amazingly enough, studies have shown that Calcium is not just helping in your bone health but it fights against extra fats, too. University of Tennessee conducted a research with people who had low-calories intake with calcium-rich foods and those who ate less food than the required amount. The former category people succeeded in losing 70% more weight than the latter one.
Vitamin D intake along with milk (i.e. non-skimmed milk) proves to be a perfect combination as it helps in absorption of calcium by body and other superpowers it posses are relieve from back-bone pain, prevention from depression, lowered risk of certain types of cancer and of heart diseases. Not just in your coffee or tea but add it in your cereals and have it in your dinner to get your daily need of 1000+ IU of Vitamin D (recommended by Harvard Researchers) accomplished.
Salmon fish, whether baked or grilled, is exceptionally good for health as its rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids not only prevent you from heart diseases but also help you in maintenance of smoother skin. Moreover, it’s beneficial for weight loss and acts against effects of arthritis. Yet unfortunately, we are deficient in essential nutrients despite availability of such tasty and healthy sources. Omega-3’s slow down the rate of digestion which results in feeling of satisfaction for an extended time-period and thus it keeps you from consuming extra calories.
28. Peanut Butter
Your favorite peanut butter is included in the list of superstars of food world. It has magnesium to strengthen bones, B6 to improve immune functions and some other vitamins and minerals essential for our body. Fiber in high quantity and protein content help you stay satiated for hours, so it is instrumental in your weight-loss plan. It has monounsaturated fats that will get you rid of diabetes. Crunchy peanut butter has more fiber than creamy one.
Movie without popcorns is incomplete and popcorns aren’t just for those on diet. They have anti-inflammatory antioxidants which alleviate you from health problems like heart attacks, stress and depression. Pop corns can help you attain your daily need of whole grains. Microwaved popcorns are just unhealthy trash filled with chemicals, salt, extra-butter and definitely calories. Have raw kernels and pop them on stove in a popper for healthy, non-processed grain foods.
They are nature’s miracles carrying minerals like zinc and iron. Zinc is necessary for health of DNA and development of fetus while iron is part of hemoglobin in blood. Iron deficiency can cause headaches, exhaustion and other problems. 1 raw oyster has 3 milligram of iron.
Mushrooms are vital for lowering cholesterol level and slowing down growth of tumors and cancerous cells, reveals American Cancer Society.
They increase interferon proteins which fight viruses of hepatitis. They have less calorie count for those on diet. Just cook well their cell walls as they can be indigestible for your stomach.
32. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are good sources of proteins and other fibers. They have omega-3’s and various antioxidants along with minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc which are important for health. They control hunger, so they are definitely vital ingredients in diet plans. Add them a little into smoothies, yogurt, cereals, salads or baking stuff.
33. Chicken breast
In roasted form, it’s preferred a lot and in terms of their nutritious abilities, they are low in calories and high in proteins. They provide phosphorus, which is essential for strength of your bones and teeth. High BP levels can be controlled as it possesses vitamin B3, which stops arteries from getting stiff and rigid. Only a single serving of chicken breast will leave you with normal and maximized brain and immune functions.
Kale is one dark, leafy green vegetable that comes in the list of healthy foods prepared by experts. It has vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin C and other minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. You can consume them with soups, salads and smoothies.
Other than vitamin C, flavonoids with anti-cancerous qualities are also present in lemons. They are found instrumental in maintaining weight and helping in digestion process. You can squeeze a lemon in your tea or daily drinking water. They can help your skin look clearer and healthier.
Oranges are loaded with folate and vitamin C. They possess vitamin B1 and A along with potassium, which help in maintenance of vision and immunity.
Oranges have special ingredient i.e. pectin, which absorbs and sucks in unhealthy cholesterol from whichever foods you are consuming. It is significant in neutralization of galectin-3, which does damage to heart by scarring the tissues, according to a research done in United Kingdom.
37. Russet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are famous but russet potatoes have a unique quality of providing more benefit to your body. They give you more beta carotene, folate, potassium, phosphorus and niacin. They have low sugar and sodium components. These qualities are self-explanatory of their extra-beneficial properties.
It’s always part of super-foods list because it introduces you with complete protein package i.e. provision of all 9 essential amino-acids. It helps in digestion process and is a natural multivitamin tablet with all the minerals from iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium to folate. Replace meat with it for greater benefits.
The antioxidants of wine assuage high cholesterol level, and work towards healthy blood vessels for improved heart functions. Resveratrol blocks out growth and development of fatty cell layers and it also regulates sugar level of blood. But drinking wine in moderate amount is necessary so recommended need makes its consumption to be around 1-2 glasses a week.
Pumpkins have beta carotene, which is converted to retinol by your body. Now, what does retinol do? It regulates health of your skin and is vital for immunal functions and vision. Seeds of pumpkin possess phytosterols, which fight against increased prostrate size. Seeds can be roasted and then salted for consumption while the flesh of pumpkin can be enjoyed in smoothies and pancake forms.
Women consuming lentils two times every week have 24 percent lesser or reduced risk of developing breast cancer. They steady the sugar level of blood and provide 13 g of protein, 5 mg of iron and 11 g of fiber for only a quarter cup of their legumes.
They protect against hypertension and depression. Add them in salads or soups.
42. Brussels sprouts
Oregon State University’s research has shown Brussels to be containing sulphur compounds like glucosinolates which assist in lowering risk of various cancer types. 1 cup of Brussels has 54 mcg of folate and other minerals like iron and potassium. Cut them into half slices and sauté properly with pepper, garlic and salt for amazing flavor.
It’s found in Middle Eastern countries and is containing a unique metabolite identified as betaine, which fights inflammation. Cup of bulger has 8.2 grams of fiber (about 33 % of daily body need). It provides with half of your daily need of manganese, which is extremely important for your brain and neuron functions. Have it with beans for making a veggie burger.
They are among the best possessors of omega-3 fats. A Danish study reveals that women consuming sardines regularly have 38% decreased chance of getting ischemic heart disease. The long-chain of omega-3’s drop the level of inflammation and tumor growth. Sardines are rich in B12 as well, which assist the body to make up DNA chains for normal and healthier blood cells and neurons.
Kefir is magical milk that helps in proper functioning of digestive and immune system. Its probiotics stop harmful candida like microbes from causing cramps in stomach and break outs or rashes in skin. Go for unflavored kefirs and enjoy them with your smoothies.
46. Lean Beef
Iron, which is essential component of blood and is functional in process of respiration, is present in lean beef in good amount. 1 ounce beef each day is a recommended amount for improving body’s ability to absorb iron, according to Mary J. Kretsch-a researcher in Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, CA. Beef contains zinc (which is important for memory retention) and B vitamins (which are vital for turning of food ingested into energy).
Grass-fed beef is preferable than grain-fed breed of beef as the former has double the amount of vitamin E, which is an amazing antioxidant that boosts brain functions. It has omega-3s and lesser fat as an extra treat. As the grass-fed beef is difficult to be cooked, use meat thermometer to prevent yourself from overcooking it.
Green tea has antioxidants which slow down the growth of cancer and improve the flow of blood. It also plays vital role in losing weight, improved functioning of liver and lowered levels of brain ailments like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Black tea is not far behind in health department as it lessens the chance of strokes and damage of lungs from smoking. Keep enjoying your tea but to a moderate extent.
How much coffee healthy for you? Whether its caffeine is beneficial or the antioxidants? National Cancer Institute studies show that women who take 2-3 cups of coffee a day have lowered their death rate by 13 percent. Coffee also decreases chances of developing skin cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
A cup of raspberries fulfill your 50 % daily need of manganese. Manganese is pivotal in triggering brain and neuron actions; and it plays significant role for health of bone and joints. Raspberries have fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C along with phytonutrients (which reduce cancerous cell growth). Organic raspberries are most beneficial and reliable in their good health effects.
50. Brown Rice
Brown rice have special component called selenium which is important for thyroid metabolic functions, health of DNA and immune functions of your body. A cup of brown rice fulfills 27% of your daily need for selenium. Brown rice is great sources of manganese and niacin, which are fundamental in maintenance of health of brain and heart. Replace your white rice with brown rice and you’ll enjoy a great favor.