Written By Finnegan Pierson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Everyone knows that fruits, vegetables and whole grains are good for you. That alone gives you plenty of food to choose from. However, even among the healthiest of foods, there are certain "superfoods" that stand out from the rest. These foods are special because they contain antioxidants and have disease-fighting properties. Here are six superfoods that should always be in your kitchen.
One of nature's best gifts is leafy greens, better known as spinach, kale, Swiss chard and collards. These versatile greens are delicious in salads, steamed or sauteed in olive oil and garlic. Not only are they full of fiber, but they're also one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium.
Leafy greens are known to contain carotenoids which may protect against certain cancers. If you don't have access to fresh leafy greens every day, an immune-boosting green superfoods powder will have a similar effect.
If you enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, you're in luck. Oatmeal is also known as a superfood because it's packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants called avenanthramides which lead to better blood circulation and have anti-itching properties.
Oatmeal also contains beta-glucan which promotes a feeling of fullness and reduces your levels of bad - or LDL - cholesterol. Oatmeal is inexpensive and easy to store in any kitchen cupboard.
Have you noticed that almost every diet, no matter how strict, permits berries? Berries that qualify as superfoods include blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. This colorful trio of nutrition contains very high levels of fiber and powerful antioxidants that battle cancer-causing free radicals. Berries are also low-calorie and may lower your risk of heart disease, so add a few packages to your refrigerator today.
Avocados have grown in popularity over the past few years because of the healthy levels of monounsaturated fat they contain. Avocados, which are a fruit and not a vegetable, are smooth, rich and buttery tasting. They contain more potassium than bananas and are loaded with fiber.
Avocados have also been proven to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. They're incredibly versatile and are used in salads, sandwiches, guacamole and as a tasty spread on toast.
Broccoli is predictable as a superfood as it continuously makes the list for one of the healthiest foods on Earth. In fact, if there were ever a perfect food, it would most likely be broccoli. Broccoli only has about 30 calories per cup, which means you can eat as much as you want.
It's a powerhouse when it comes to vitamin K1 which is needed for blood clotting. It's also high in fiber, antioxidants, prevents inflammation and is linked to healthy brain function. It really seems like broccoli can do no wrong!
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are indeed high in fat, but luckily it's healthy monounsaturated fat. Almonds, cashews, macadamias, pistachios and especially walnuts may aid in weight loss and reduce your risk of a heart attack. Flaxseeds, with their nutty flavor, are high in omega-3 fats and are best eaten when ground up. Chia seeds offer many of the same benefits in addition to lowering blood sugar.
Saving the best for last, dark chocolate is widely known as a superfood because of the bounty of antioxidants it contains. The cocoa in dark chocolate contains compounds called flavonoids that may lower blood pressure, maintain healthy arteries and improve brain function in people with cognitive disorders.
The higher the percentage of cocoa, the more antioxidants. Of course the higher the cocoa content, the more bitter the taste, so a happy medium is about 70 percent cocoa. Try to buy organic dark chocolate which means it's free from pesticides and chemicals.
Eating whole foods every day is a great way to stay healthy, but superfoods are even more powerful. By keeping berries, broccoli, oatmeal, nuts and seeds in your kitchen, you'll decrease your risk of cancer, fight free radicals and lower dangerous cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
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Finnegan Pierson loves business and has a passion for Health and technology. Even more interesting is the combination of the two. As a freelance writer, Finn hopes to influence others so they can have positive life experiences.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.