WHAT ARE SUPERFOODS?
SUPERFOODS are nutrient-rich foods, considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. Some superfoods are rich in antioxidants that are cancer-fighting. Others have healthy fats – good to prevent heart diseases, or fibers – thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems. Superfoods also contain phytochemicals (in plants) which can have various health benefits. There are also superfoods that improve weight control and boost energy.
This superfoods definition helps us understand superfoods’ utmost importance regarding health, mental and physical balance, disease prevention, cure, diet, etc.
MED DIET SUPERFOODS
The traditional Mediterranean (Med) diet is rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish, etc. that are extremely healthy. Different studies have shown that the Med Diet reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
There’s nothing complicated about this diet. It’s simple and delicious! You probably wonder what makes Mediterranean foods such nutritional powerhouses? Continue reading and find out about 10 basic Med Superfoods. The whole Superfoods List is much bigger – have a look at Top 20 Superfoods and my 50 Best Superfoods List!
MY BASIC MED SUPERFOOD LIST:
1/ OLIVE OIL – Olive oil is an essential part of the healthy Mediterranean diet and tastes delicious. This key ingredient in the Med Diet helps prevent high blood pressure, keeps your heart healthy due to its maintaining the level of “good” cholesterol, and is renowned for its role in promoting longevity. The most important olive oil benefits: extra virgin olive oil contains good fats (Omega-3) – great for heart health, helps prevent high blood pressure, protects from depression, and may prevent osteoporosis.
2/ WALNUTS – Walnuts are an excellent source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fats, vitamin B, antioxidants, manganese, copper, molybdenum. Walnuts have excellent health benefits: cardiovascular, anti-cancer, in the treatment of type 2 Diabetes, reducing a problem in metabolic syndrome, etc.
3/ SALMON – Another exceptional source of the Omega-3 fatty acids is salmon. Important for heart health, you can get enough of the fatty acids by eating salmon or other fatty fish two times a week. Salmon is also high in protein and iron. If you do not like salmon, you can substitute tuna.
4/ BROCCOLI – Broccoli is one of the best sources of vitamins A, C, and K. It also contains fiber which is important for digestive health. Main reasons to eat broccoli: broccoli is known as a cancer-fighting superfood and has as much Calcium as a glass of milk and more vitamin C than an Orange.
5/ SPINACH – Low in fat and even lower in cholesterol, spinach is rich in zinc, protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and copper, etc. The health benefits of consuming spinach include: improving blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lowering the risk of cancer, reducing blood pressure, improving bone health, lowering the risk of developing asthma, and more.
6/ CHICKPEAS – Chickpeas are superfoods for a variety of reasons, including that they’re low in fat, high in protein and fiber, and contain nutrients like iron, zinc, and potassium.
7/ LENTILS – Lentils are low in fat, high in protein and fiber, and contain nutrients like iron, zinc, and potassium. Lentils benefits: they’re a good alternative protein source, can lower cholesterol levels, and may prevent cancer.
8/ BLUEBERRIES – Most of the berries are extremely high in cancer-fighting antioxidants, water, and fiber. Instead of eating candies, eat a handful of berries. Blueberries and cranberries are among the highest in nutrients in the berry family.
9/ KIDNEY BEANS – Any vegetarian can tell you that beans are an excellent source of high-quality protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and potassium. Many beans also contain the important Omega-3 fatty acids. As with lentils, kidney beans can lower cholesterol levels and may prevent cancer.
10/ OATS – Oats scientific name is Avena sativa. They are one of the popular cereal species that has been grown to harvest its seeds. Oats have twice the amount of protein than whole wheat or whole corn. Whole oat products include whole grain oat groats, steel cut oats, and thick oats.
WHAT FAMOUS NUTRITIONISTS SAY FOR SUPERFOODS?
Famous nutritionists agree that superfoods are the most powerful foods on the planet, with the highest content of beneficial ingredients. Furthermore, superfoods contain few calories, don’t contain unhealthy fats, and other damaging substances. They are also sources of high energy, helping in having a healthy and slim body.
There are 6 basic Superfood groups:
- Traditional Med superfoods (olive oil, broccoli, salmon, lentils, etc.)
- Green superfoods (alfalfa, spirulina, chlorella, etc.)
- Bees Super products (Royal jelly, propolis, etc.)
- Super herbs (nettle, aloe, Siberian ginseng, etc.)
- Sea plants (red algae, nori, etc.)
- Leafy superfoods (parsley, lettuce, chicory, arugula, etc.)
WHAT IS UNHEALTHY FOOD?
As we just saw Med Superfoods’ health benefits, let’s see the opposite – what food could we consider as unhealthy? Unhealthy food is that which causes different health issues, such as:
- putting on weight
- speeding the aging process
- frequent mood changes
- problems with the digestive system
- arterial narrowing
- giving an unhealthy look to skin, hair & nails, etc.
SOME UNHEALTHY FOOD:
- overcooked vegetables
- unhealthy proteins
- refined food, etc.