“Humans have many options when it comes to fueling their bodies, but the benefits of some options are so nutritious that they might be labeled as superfoods.“ That’s the statement in which Aaron Moss for the first time used the word “superfood” in the journal Nature Nutrition.
1) Kale – The Queen of Greens
In only 2 oz the raw kale is packed with 460 mcg of vitamin K (thats 572% of the daily value), 112% of vitamin C, 172% of vitamin A, 23% of manganese, about 8-10% of calcium, potassium, iron and copper and traces of almost all the other minerals necessary for the human body. And guess what?! Only 30 calories per serving!
Kale is known to be the best source of vitamin K. Even the spinach bows down to kale when it comes to this vitamin. Vitamin K is needed for a wide variety of normal body functions such as bone health, normal blood clotting, and antioxidant activity. It prevents osteoporosis, hardening of the arteries (common factor in coronary artery disease), slows down the growth of cancer cells and provides substantial protection against prostate cancer.
Also it may prevent Alzheimer’s disease, can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce bruising and acts as antioxidant.
But be careful ! Too much of anything can cause problems no matter how healthy it is. That’s the case with kale too. Kale naturally contains oxalates, substances which can mess with the calcium absorption.
2) The Delicious Salmon
All fish are good source of quality protein, fats, vitamins and minerals but the salmon is exceptionally good because of the high levels of omega 3 fats. Salmon is packed with vitamins such as D, B12, B3, B5, B6, B7, the minerals selenium, potassium and phosphorus.
Being rich in omega-3 fats, consuming salmon drastically decreases the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, high triglycerides, and stroke. Also Omega-3 fats in a way improve the mood, makes you happier and smarter. That’s because 60% of the brain is fat most of that is the omega-3 fatty acid DHA.
Salmon also contains bioactive peptides such as calcitonin, which has been proven to increase, stabilize and regulate collagen synthesis in human osteoarthritic cartilage. This protein improves strength and the density of the bone and also helps in treatment of osteoarthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions.
And that’s just some of the benefits from eating salmon! Eyes protection, boosting immune system, aid in building children’s brains, speeding up of the metabolism and helps building shiny hair and healthy skin! Isn’t that something?
3) Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away !
And the saying it’s not a coincidence. In 2004 USDA scientist ranked the Red Delicious and the Granny Smith apples as number 12 and 13 in the list of foods high at antioxidant concentration per serving size.
The apple is filled with polyphenols that have amazing impact on human body. Firstly, they act as antioxidants which have strong ability to decrease oxidation of cell membrane fats, preventing cardiovascular diseases. They also can lower the risk of asthma and lung cancer. Polyphenols in apples are in many ways capable of supporting digestion and absorption of carbs, and that result in improved regulation of the blood sugar. That means that consuming apples regularly can dramatically lower the risk of diabetes.
Even though the lung cancer is the cancer that apples can prevent the best, some other types as colon and breast cancer may as well be prevented by including apples in the diet.
Apple is known also as great food to include in detox diets, perfect for regaining normal stool, cataracts preventer, protects against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and a lot of other minor health benefits.
4) The Nature’s Multivitamin a.k.a. Egg
Eggs are absolutely unreplicable when it comes to optimal health. With all the necessary nutrients that the human body needs and some unique components they are often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin”.
The egg is on of the few foods like whey and soy protein isolate with complete protein profile, which means they are packed with all the essential amino acids in the right ratios required for proper biological functions and good health. Protein is found in every cell of the body. They build muscles, bones, cartilage, skin, some enzymes, hormones, the proteins even build hair, nails, blood and the DNA.
Because of their high concentrations of cholesterol, eggs for a long time have been considered as a bad food. But the fact is diferent types of cholesterol act differently in the human body, thus yolk’s cholesterol taken in right amounts (no more than 2 per day) can actually lower the bad cholesterol by changing it from small dense LDL to large benign LDL.
Eggs contain choline which prevents neurological disorder and memory loss by improving mental abilities and enables proper brain function. Choline is also used by pregnant women to avoid neural tube effects and by athletes and bodybuilders to delay fatigue.
5) Blueberries – The Healthiest Pill to Swallow
Anthocyanin, the pigment that is responsible for the color of the berries is the thing that makes them special. Most of the antioxidant effects from the berries comes from that pigment, neutralizing free radicals and keeping the human body at top health! Their flavor, smell and high levels of fiber and vitamin C won’t hurt either!
Berries such as strawberries and blueberries are exceptionally good for women with cardiovascular problems. The Harvard Health Letter has announced that after study over women who ate more than two servings of berries mix per week and women who rarely or didn’t ate at all, the results were unbelievable. The first group had 34% less chances of experiencing heart attack, than the second group of women.
As long there are tons of antioxidants, that food will always be good for preventing cancer. Such is the case with blueberries. Remember anthocyanin? Not only it can fight cancer-causing radicals, in some cases it can even stop cancer cells from formating! Also studies published by the Annals of Neurology, USDA research center, the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine confirm that blueberries reverse age-related memory loss, thanks to the high concentration of flavonoids.
And last but not least, one serving of blueberries contains 4 gr. fiber (about 15% of the daily needs) and only 84 calories! Perfect for those who want tolose some weight and wish to live healthy life.
6) Almonds are the Super Snack
Instead of wasting money on chips – the worst snack ever, enjoy the sports you like and watch with some almonds. Packed with vitamin E, vitamin B7, manganese, copper, magnesium, dietary fibers, monounsaturated fats and quality proteins, cooked or raw, they can be the perfect snack for you if your goal is maintaining general health.
The monounsaturated fats in synergy with the vitamin E in the almond play tremendous role in lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol and reducing the risk of any cardiovascular disease. According to the Loma Linda School of Public Health, the heavy consumers (4-5 time a week) of almonds are 50% less likely to experience heart problems.
The almond’s healthy fats are also linked with lowering the risk of weight gain and possibilities for losing extra weight if used right. The International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders published a study in which 65 overweight adults switched to almond-enriched diet and the results came clear. Low calorie diet where most of the calories are coming from the healthy fats of the almond is more effective in losing weight than diet high in complex carbohydrates.
And those are the health benefits coming only from the fatty acids in the almond! The phosphorus found in this magnificent nut aids in building strong bones and teeth. The L-carnitine (often used as supplement for weight loss) and the riboflavin provide better brain function. Almonds have the ability to lower blood sugar and insulin after meals and the manganese and the copper help in more energy production.