Everyone promotes a balanced diet, but having meals with all the nutrients is not possible. One food might be a rich source of fibre or protein, but might be lacking in certain vitamins. Another one could be full of antioxidants, but again might not be a good source of certain minerals needed by our body. That’s why there are superfoods, which are beneficial for your body.
HealthShots connected with Dr Shahid Shafi Bhat, Consultant Internal Medicine, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, Moradabad, to know all about superfoods.
What are superfoods?
According to Dr Bhat, superfoods are foods that have a very high nutritional density. This means that they have the power to give you a substantial amount of nutrients with less calories. They contain a high volume of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants — everything that your body needs. Antioxidants, which are natural molecules found in specific foods, help to neutralise free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are natural byproducts of energy production that can harm our bodies. Antioxidant molecules decrease or reverse the effects of free radicals that have close links with health problems such as:
• Heart disease
• Respiratory diseases
• Immune deficiency
Superfoods to eat daily
You can add colour to oatmeal with berries or sack on nuts. Here are some of the superfoods you can eat every day!
Be it fiber, manganese, vitamin K or antioxidants, it’s all there is blueberries. They may lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
2. Goji berries
These are a small red berries high in vitamins C and E, along with different types of flavonoids. Want to have healthy liver, eyes, and kidneys? Have this superfood and enjoy its health benefits.
3. Leafy greens
If you want to dig into leafy green superfoods, go for kale, spinach and collard greens. These foods are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, and also contain an abundance of carotenoids, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, says the expert.
The high omega-3 fatty acid content in salmon and other fatty fish like trout and herring, can reduce cholesterol and decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats (benefits of eating fish).
Nuts like walnuts and almonds are a good source of plant protein. They also contain monounsaturated fats, which might help in reducing the risk of heart disease.
6. Cruciferous vegetables
These include vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale and turnips. Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of fiber and contain phytochemicals like indoles, nitriles and thiocyanates.
Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds or flaxseeds are some healthy options that you can have as snacks. Eating seeds has been linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure as well as cholesterol.
Who should avoid eating superfoods daily?
The expert says that extra care should be taken while eating superfoods if people have a chronic disease.
• People with kidney disease should take leafy vegetables with caution, as it can dangerously increase potassium in them and even lead to cardiac arrest.
• Got liver disease? Then don’t take animal protein, including fish in excess amount. It can cause hepatic encephalopathy, which is the loss of brain function when a liver that’s damaged doesn’t remove toxins from your blood.
• Oxalate containing foods like nuts should be avoided if you have kidney stones. It can contribute to kidney stones, so don’t have them.
Including superfoods as part of your daily nutritional intake is great, but only when you consume a healthy and balanced diet.