If you think that having a big bowl of superfoods is going to instantly boost your health, you are thoroughly mistaken. Superfoods can work wonders only if you club them with healthy eating habits and a healthy lifestyle. Relying on a superfood to magically improve your health is a short-term approach to boost your overall health and provide nutrition to your body.
It has been found that certain superfoods are really high in specific nutrients. However, we need to be aware of consuming them in the right quantities and combining them with the right foods. Also, there is no need to splurge on the latest food trends to get your hands on exotic superfoods. There are several superfoods which are hidden in your everyday diet. Here’s a list of the top five everyday superfoods.
Avocados are fruits that we enjoy having in our fruit bowl or in the form of a smoothie. This fruit is packed with nutrients like lutein, omega-3 fats, glutathione, beta-sitosterol, and beta-carotene.1 Avocado is great for improving our eyesight as the carotenoid lutein protects the eyes from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress damage can eventually lead to cataract and macular degeneration of the eyes. One cup of avocado serving meets 38 percent of our daily requirement of vitamin K, 24 percent of vitamin C, and 20 percent of potassium. An interesting fact is that while a cup of avocado fills 20 percent of the daily allowance of potassium, a medium-sized banana fills only 12 percent of it.
Daily recommended intake: Half an avocado per person
Walnuts are are filled with powerful anti-cancer biochemicals. Walnuts are known to be high in omega-3 fatty acids, but they are much more than that. Researchers from Marshall University School of Medicine have found that walnuts can inhibit breast tumors and slow down the growth of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and renal cancer. Animal studies have even proved how consumption of walnuts can prevent cancer.2 These nuts can also decrease insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), a hormone that is found in prostate cancer and breast cancer patients. So, start eating a handful of walnuts to reduce your risk of cancer and be healthy.
Daily recommended intake: One ounce, i.e. 7 shelled walnuts or 14 walnut halves per person
3. Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are the second most cultivated mushrooms. In traditional Chinese medicine, it has been known as a medicinal mushroom since many centuries. The fascinating fact about Shiitake mushrooms is that they are bursting with vitamin B. In fact, they are almost a B-complex supplement on their own. Having Shiitake mushrooms can even cool down chronic inflammation and boost a person’s overall immunity. Studies have proved that heat treatment enhances the antioxidant properties of Shiitake mushrooms.3 So, make sure to add them to your next stir fry.
Daily recommended intake: 15 grams or roughly 4 Shiitake mushrooms per person
4. Bone Broth
Everything in our body needs collagen for its formation. From bones and nails to skin and hair, all of them need a protein called collagen. To keep our bones strong and keep fine lines and wrinkles away, we need collagen, especially after we reach 30 years of age. After 30, the collagen production in our body starts decreasing by 1 percent every year. So, the best way to keep getting enough collagen is to keep having homemade bone broth. Bone broth has been found to balance the gut flora, help in the reduction of wrinkles, reverse inflammation, and even remineralize our teeth.4
Daily recommended intake: 8 to 12 ounces of bone broth per person
5. High-Sulfur Foods
Certain sulfur-rich foods like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, grapefruit, kale, and grass-fed beef are rich sources of glutathione. Glutathione is often known as the mother of antioxidants as it facilitates the functioning of all other antioxidants. Glutathione also acts like a detox agent for the body and helps in the prevention of chronic diseases. In fact, it has been found that most serious chronic diseases are associated with low levels of glutathione in the body.5 6 Fortunately, you can get all the glutathione you need by making sure your diet is rich in foods that have sulfur.
Daily recommended intake: 800 to 900 milligrams of sulfur per day
|↑1||DUESTER, KAREN C. “Avocado fruit is a rich source of beta-sitosterol.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 101, no. 4 (2001): 404-405.|
|↑2||Hardman, W. Elaine. “Walnuts have potential for cancer prevention and treatment in mice.” The Journal of nutrition 144, no. 4 (2014): 555S-560S.|
|↑3||Choi, Y., S. M. Lee, J. Chun, H. B. Lee, and J. Lee. “Influence of heat treatment on the antioxidant activities and polyphenolic compounds of Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) mushroom.” Food Chemistry 99, no. 2 (2006): 381-387.|
|↑4||Morell, S.F., and Daniel, K.T. Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World. Hachette UK., 1976.|
|↑5||Ballatori, Nazzareno, Suzanne M. Krance, Sylvia Notenboom, Shujie Shi, Kim Tieu, and Christine L. Hammond. “Glutathione dysregulation and the etiology and progression of human diseases.” Biological chemistry 390, no. 3 (2009): 191-214.|
|↑6||Franco, R., O. J. Schoneveld, A. Pappa, and M. I. Panayiotidis. “The central role of glutathione in the pathophysiology of human diseases.” Archives of physiology and biochemistry 113, no. 4-5 (2007): 234-258.|