Superman may have got his energy from the sun but we cannot rely on solar energy for our needs.

Enter superfoods, nutrient powerhouses that pack big doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Including them in your diet can reduce your risk of chronic disease and prolong life.

We give you 12 superfoods you should add to your shopping list every week:

dark chocolate:

The food of the gods should be good for you. Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients and is a powerful source of antioxidants. It improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure and heart disease risk, and increases HDL. It can also improve brain function. Break that bar already!

Broccoli:

Known worldwide as a superfood, this cruciferous vegetable contains cancer-preventing chemicals such as sulforaphane. Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins A and K, and a flavonoid that reduces the effects of allergies. Steam the flowers to enjoy the cholesterol-lowering and detoxifying benefits.

Olive Oil:

The star performer of the Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest oils in the world. It is rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin E, long thought to reduce the risk of cancer. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and has been linked to a longer life expectancy and a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

Beetroot:

Not everyone may like them but beets are high in vitamin C, fiber and essential minerals like potassium and manganese. They contain the B vitamins folate and betaine, and may help lower blood pressure, fight cancer and inflammation, boost stamina, and support detoxification.

Nuts:

Several studies have shown that eating a handful of nuts every day can help increase a person’s lifespan. They pack a punch of filling protein, fiber, unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids and important vitamins and minerals. People who eat nuts may have a lower risk of diabetes and cancer.

tomato:

The original superfood, tomatoes are rich in alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, choline, folic acid, beta-carotene and lutein. A rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid, they are good for the heart, kidneys, eyes and skin.

Jamun:

These tiny fruits contain high levels of phytochemicals, nutrients that help protect cells from damage. Be it strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, all contain antioxidants that protect against aging and support brain function and muscle retention.

Spicy Food:

Studies have shown that adding spicy foods to your plate can add years to your life. Research has also linked spicy food consumption to a lower risk of cancer and ischemic heart disease. Spice up things can also help you lose weight.

Green Tea:

Add a cup of green tea to your morning beverage round. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, which may improve brain function, lead to fat loss and reduce the risk of cancer. A Japanese study found that heavy drinkers of green tea had a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

spinach:

Green is good. A recent study showed that eating a daily serving of spinach or any other leafy green can reduce age-related cognitive decline. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this powerful antioxidant is packed with phytonutrients like carotenoids and flavonoids for protection.

garlic:

A small clove of garlic packs a super-healthy punch. It is very rich in vitamins C and B6 and manganese. It has many benefits – from the common cold to blood pressure, cholesterol levels, heart disease and bone density. Its antioxidants may help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Apple:

Apples are rich in antioxidants and a fiber called pectin. Doctors can stay away from eating one every day! This fruit may help ward off Alzheimer’s, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. It can also avoid piles, detoxify the liver and help control weight.

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