Health & Fitness
Curing What Kales You: Superfoods for a Healthier Lifestyle
Superfoods is a term that keeps popping up these days in relation to being healthier and promoting a better diet. But what is a superfood? It's a term that has caused some controversy in recent years, as there is no real criteria to categorize a food as 'super'. But, to put it simply, a superfood is one that is packed full of beneficial nutrients, and therefore will be better for you than a diet full of processed foods.
Include more superfoods in your diet, throw in some exercise and cut out some of the junk food to feel healthier, inside and out. This is because the superfoods contain many vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and healthy fats.
Check out these popular superfoods, readily available at supermarkets and health food stores.
Blueberries are one of the most popular superfoods as they are absolutely packed full of antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which have been linked to improving brain function and memory. They also have a high concentration of flavonoids, a type of phytochemical that may reduce the risk of heart disease. They also contain a vast amount of vitamins and soluble fibre, which make them a super addition to your diet.
If blueberries are a little tart for you, sweeter berries like strawberries and cranberries are also rich in the same nutrients. Just be aware that fruits are high in natural sugars, so ten blueberry smoothies a day is probably not going to be that beneficial to your diet in the long run.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are among the best superfoods if you are planning of losing a few pounds. Since they are so packed full of soluble fibre, the body has to work much harder to break them down, meaning that you expend more energy in digesting them. This will make you feel fuller quicker. The insoluble fibre within beans and legumes has been shown to lower cholesterol.
In addition, beans and legumes are a great source of low-fat protein, so maybe swap a handful of mince for an extra handful of kidney beans next time you make chilli.
If you haven't yet heard about the beneficial properties of kale, where on earth have you been? Kale is a popular ingredient in super healthy smoothies, as it is absolutely packed full of fibre, calcium and zinc, as well as vitamins A, C and K. Blend a few handfuls up with a few ice cubes, a squeeze of lime juice and a few blueberries, and you have a superfood smoothie that will serve as a great start to your day.
If kale is not to your liking, most other dark leafy greens are rich in beneficial nutrients, including spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, cabbages and mustard greens.
Oily and fatty fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon have a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which are strongly linked to reducing the risk of a range of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, Omega-3 fatty acids help to regulate oil production in the skin, as well as boosting hydration to keep the skin glowing and spot free. Pass the salmon!