You Are What You Eat: Five Superfoods That Are Here To Stay!
Here at Nutrish Mish, we take the phrase “you are what you eat” very literally. While some food trends come and go, here are five superfoods that are here to stay:
Kale- Kale is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are extremely beneficial to your health because they combat the damaging free radicals that are likely wreaking havoc on your body. Kale targets oxidative free-radicals, so eating it on a regular basis can reduce your risk of cancers, arthritis, and aging. On top of that, Kale is one of the top vegetables containing vitamin A. Increasing your intake of vitamin A supports skin and eye health, as well as strengthens the immune system. Oranges get most of the credit for vitamin C levels, but did you know a 1 1/2 cup serving of kale has just as much vitamin C as an orange? Although not found in such high quantities, vitamin K and many minerals are also found in kale. This nutrient dense superfood is a great addition to salads and smoothies and needs to be added to your diet ASAP.
Oatmeal- A great addition for both weight loss and overall health. A simple bowl of oatmeal does more good for your body than you can imagine. Since it’s packed with fiber, oatmeal helps the body lower LDL cholesterol (see our article: How Fiber Helps Lower Cholesterol) as well as total cholesterol. Steel cut oatmeal is packed with an antioxidant called avenanthramide, which works to prevent the body’s arteries from hardening. In other words, it helps reduce risk of heart disease and can help lower blood pressure. But be careful! Not all oatmeal is good. Try to avoid instant oatmeal as it has been highly processed, stripped of nutrients, and is high in added sugar and sodium.
Flaxseeds- Flaxseeds work wonders for your health. When ground, these seeds are an easy addition to almost any meal. Seriously though, any meal: smoothies, meatloaf, casseroles, yogurt, soup, oatmeal, chicken parmesan, muffins, bagels…anything. By stirring in 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed into your current diet, you help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. With this addition, you’ll be adding substantial amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber, lignans, and omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. The fibers are important to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels, as well as move things through the digestive tract quickly. Lignan, a class of phytoestrogen, aids in the destruction of free radicals- much like antioxidants. And for those postmenopausal women out there, flaxseeds are known to prevent and alleviate hot flashes!
Quinoa- We’ve all heard of the importance of fiber in our diet. Not only are these little whole grain seeds packed with fiber, but they’re also a good source of protein. Recent studies have shown that fiber and protein consumed together can help you feel full for much longer than when either is consumed alone. Like many of the other foods found on this list, quinoa is also packed with antioxidants and a mouthful of minerals that are good for the body. Not to mention, it only takes about 20 minutes to cook!
Walnuts- Walnuts are known for their cardiovascular benefits. They contain an amino acid called l-arginine, which aids in things such as improving blood quality by decreasing LDLs, decreasing risk for blood clotting, and decreasing cardiovascular inflammation. They’ve also been known to benefit the body through bone health, memory improvement, and sleep regulation. Cancers such as prostate, breast, and pancreatic are more likely to be prevented and alleviated by as little as 1 ounce of walnuts a day. And believe it or not, studies have shown that walnuts greatly improve male reproductive health by increasing sperm quality.