Superfoods are precisely what their name suggests. Super-packed with nutrition, they are guaranteed to energise you. Foreverfit introduces you to 7 of its favourites.
Superfoods have taken the fitness world by storm. Rich in antioxidants, fibre, micronutrients, and fatty acids, these foods have reputed super-powers. Aside from boosting energy, they also reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Though these nutrition-dense foods can’t undo the damage done by a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, they can surely kick start your body.
#1 Chia seeds
Chia seeds are high in protein, calcium, potassium, and fibre. They are very versatile, and can be used in both savoury and sweet preparations. When soaked overnight in milk, or even non-dairy milk, Chia seeds acquire a delightful, jelly-like texture.
Almonds are nutritional powerhouses, since they have the highest concentration of overall nutrients per calorie and per ounce. Rich in potassium, calcium, Vitamin E and magnesium, almonds also contain the amino acid L-arginine, which helps to burn fat.
These nuts reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, and their high Vitamin B and zinc content curbs sugar cravings too. So go ahead and munch a small handful. Or sprinkle some on top of muesli or salad and enjoy the crunchy texture.
Beetroot, or ‘chukandar’, is rich in iron, folate, and antioxidants, though it doesn’t receive the attention that other superfoods do. Studies have shown the powerful impact of beets on various body functions. For instance, a study published by the NHS showed that a daily glass of beetroot juice could combat the onset of dementia in adults. Another proved that drinking beet juice can reduce high blood pressure.
So go ahead and shop for beets. You can cook them in different ways. Roast some thinly sliced beets at high temperatures for crunchy beet chips. Another way to enjoy beets is to add a dash of lemon juice, a bit of fresh garlic, and a sprinkle of salt to boiled beetroot.
But go slow on beets, if you are on a low-carb diet. Beets have a high glycemic index of 64, and 10 g of carbohydrates per 100 g.
#4 Green tea
Over 3,000 varieties of green tea are available globally. Most are rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids, which boost your immunity by preventing free-radical damage. In addition, components of green tea supposedly boost metabolism, and even increase your resistance to UV radiations.
This zero calorie beverage is an extremely popular superfood among nutritionists and health-conscious individuals. Green tea can be consumed hot or iced. But don’t have it close to your bedtime, since the caffeine in this drink can make you alert.
Flaxseeds, or ‘alsi’, contain healthy fat and fibre, which help you feel satiated for a longer time. These seeds contain large omega-3 fatty acids that aid in weight loss by lowering triglyceride levels, and delay cognitive dysfunction.
So, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your oatmeal or salad to gain the benefits. Just make sure you drink enough water, for maximum absorption.
Oatmeal contains beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre, which helps in reduce the level of bad cholesterol in your body. Eating oatmeal increases feelings of satiety, and reduces hunger pangs. So go ahead and cook some with skimmed milk, to make a delicious breakfast. Top the porridge with nuts and fresh berries, and enjoy it!
#7 Dark, leafy green vegetables
Dark, green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale contain healthy compounds such as phenols, flavonoids, vitamin A, C, K and antioxidants. They are also rich in fibre, thus increasing satiety, and curbing your tendency to overeat.
If you are addicted to smoothies and find leafy greens unpalatable, try making a mixed smoothie. Take a banana, strawberries, yogurt, some spinach or kale, and ice, and blast in a blender. Lo and Behold! You now have a healthier version of a fruit smoothie.