With so much focus on diet and nutrition these days, we want to make sure that what we’re eating packs a punch and provides us with maximum vitamins and nutrients. Meet the superfoods.
Superfood is a term used widely by nutritionists to describe a food that has a significantly high nutritional benefit. It has become increasingly important to consume natural antioxidants, which are thought to help prevent cancer, as well as provide our bodies with maximum fuel for our busy schedules and lives.
But what is a superfood, and what foods are a superfood? We look at advice from nutritional experts to find out.
What Are Superfoods and Are They Really Super?
While the term superfood is often seen as a media buzzword, there is some hard evidence to support the health benefits of certain foods. Certain nutrients, in a high density, are what generally gives something a superfood status, these include:
Studies have shown that antioxidants can help to protect the body by reducing the presence of harmful free radicals. Free radicals are produced naturally by the body during metabolism and also come from harmful sources such as cigarettes and alcohol. Too many free radicals can cause cell damage that can lead to heart disease and cancer. Many foods in the superfood category are high in antioxidants.
It is thought that consuming higher levels of nitrate will boost levels of nitric oxide as the body converts it. Nitric oxide is known to be one of the most important molecules for blood vessel health, which can have a variety of health benefits, including reduced blood pressure and risk of heart disease.
Omega 3 fatty acids, most commonly found in oily fish, have been shown to reduce the risk of developing illness in patients with a high cardiovascular risk. There is also evidence that Omega 3 can reduce joint pain and can alleviate symptoms caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
In short, the scientific evidence is there to suggest that superfoods really are beneficial to human health.
It is also important to note that the effectiveness of these foods is mostly enjoyed in conjunction with a balanced diet, nutrition and lifestyle.
What Are the Best Superfoods?
At Esquires Coffee, we have some fantastic options when it comes to healthy choices for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Why not try our unique blend of granola with berries, our porridge or the fresh soup of the day?
If you want to add some superfoods into your diet, try adding some of these nutrient-rich foods.
Multiple studies show that garlic has numerous health benefits. These benefits include improved levels of cholesterol and immune system boosting. Garlic is highly nutritious, but very low in calories making it the ideal addition to recipes. One clove of raw garlic contains manganese, fibre, vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium as well as iron, copper, calcium and potassium.
Fun Fact: In ancient Greece, garlic was given to Olympic athletes to help improve their performance.
Berries are rich in fibre and high in antioxidants as well as a wealth of vitamins. Blueberries, raspberries and gooseberries are among the highest ranking in terms of nutritional value.
Unsurprisingly, green vegetables are a fantastic source of many nutrients, including iron and vitamins including A, C and B12. They are also high in phytochemicals, which are biologically active compounds found in plants that are known to be beneficial to health.
Olive oil has long been considered one of the healthiest oils and for a good reason. Olive oil is a source of vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols, all of which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
If you enjoyed this read, make sure to take a look at Energy Foods for Breakfast.
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