10 Superfoods You Must Include In Your Daily Diet
- Superfoods are not drugs but powerful enough to lower your cholesterol
- Have no side effects and are available at a supermarket near you
- It will not only boost your immunity but will also help with muscle recover
As the name suggests, superfoods pack a punch with the maximum number of disease-fighting nutrients and antioxidants and very few calories. In fact, including superfoods in our daily diet is a surest way to great health. Superfoods are not drugs but powerful enough to lower your cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and even fight cancer. Superfoods have no side effects and are available at a supermarket near you. It doesn’t matter if you are a vegan or meat eater, everyone on any diet plan can eat superfoods.
Ekta Varmani Tandon, Nutrition Head at Fitness First recommends the following superfoods. Try incorporating them into your daily diet and it will not only boost your immunity and keep you healthy but will also help with muscle recovery from extensive workouts.
1). Apples: The famous saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” hold true for this nutrition-dense fruit that has more health benefits than we can count. Apples provide essential fluids to the body and are good for the treatment of anaemia, dysentery, heart disease, headache, eye disorders and kidney stones. The humble apple that we often take for granted, provides vigour and vitality, and is unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Apples also protect the brain from the effects of oxidative stress – an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.
Did you know that different coloured apples have different health benefits?
– Green apples are good for strong bones and teeth. They strengthen our eyes and also have anti-cancer properties.
– Yellow apples are good for the heart and eyes, immune system and reduce the risk of cancer.
– Red apples are good for heart and memory function. They also lower the risk of some cancers and maintain urinary tract health.
2). Berries: Berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, which lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, making them the top choices of nutritionists. Berries are high in potassium and vitamin C and also have anti-inflammatory properties.
3). Curd: This is a staple in every Indian household, but did you know that curd is full of good bacteria that helps maintain your gastrointestinal health. Nutritionist Ekta Varmani Tandon suggests that we should avoid frozen curd or curd with added sugar and fruits at the bottom because of its high sugar content; instead have plain curd with berries and flax seeds.
4). Flax seeds: Flax seeds are a good source of fibre, protein and omega-3. It is recommended that one should grind the flax seeds before consumption to get the most out of them. One easy way to include it in your daily diet is to take one tablespoon with yogurt and berries before going to bed. Also, keep in mind to stay away from flax oil because it’s unstable and contains no fiber.
5). Mixed Nuts: Nuts contain mono and polyunsaturated fats, protein, fiber, Vitamin E, zinc, potassium, magnesium and other minerals, and are highly recommended for someone trying to gain muscle or healthy weight. You can choose from any type of nuts – almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts or mix them all up together. You can also eat peanut butter as long as you buy natural without added salt and sugar.
6). Broccoli: Low in calories, broccoli is a good source of soluble fibre and helps in fat loss. It also valued for its high content of cancer-fighting phytochemicals .
7). Spinach: Known as one of the most alkaline foods, spinach not only prevents muscle and bone loss but also prevents cancer and heart diseases because of its high-nutrient profile. Squeeze some lime juice on to your spinach to fully absorb all its nutrients.
8). Quinoa: This gluten-free superfood is widely known as a source of complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids that the body needs. Ekta Varmani Tandon suggests buying white quinoa because of its superior quality and eating it post-workout with meat and spinach.
9). Oats: Oats reduce cholesterol and provide you with low glycemic index carbohydrates for energy. They are also high in soluble fiber keeping you feeling full for longer. Ekta Varmani Tandon recommends a smoothie of whey and oats post workout.
10). Tomatoes: Tomatoes form the base of most Indian cooking but did you know that they are extremely rich in lycopene, and help prevent cancer. The lycopene in tomato paste or puree is four-times more bioavailable than in fresh tomatoes. For this reason tomato sauce, paste, juice, soup or simply tomatoes cooked in oil are preferable to fresh tomatoes. Ekta Varmani recommends having pizza or pasta with tomato sauce and olive oil post strength training.
And here are some non-vegetarian options:
1). Turkey: If you believe that saturated fat is not good for you then try white turkey. The leanest beef has about 4.5 gm of saturated fat per 100 grams of meat, while white turkey has close to zero grams.
2). Eggs: Eggs are a good source of protein and they contain all the essential amino acids. The yolk of the egg contains most of the nutrients, half the protein, vitamin A, D and E and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – also known as the “good” cholesterol because it helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream. Before you get worried about the word cholesterol, here’s an important fact for you. Dietary cholesterol found in eggs has no effect on your blood cholesterol. And in case you have bad cholesterol then lower your body fat rather than throwing that yolk away.
3). Salmon: Salmon, especially wild salmon, is extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can do wonders for your heart.
So there you go. Just including these superfoods in your daily diet can go a long way in maintaining a healthy, disease-free life.