We’ve all heard of Superman, but what about superfoods? The term refers to foods with particularly high levels of almost everything the body needs– basically, a high-octane fuel for the furnace that is your body.
Some foods are abundantly rich in minerals, proteins and fibre. This is what you’d call a super food. While many experts are skeptical about the term, many others swear by it. We see no harm in eating more nutritious foods, super or not. Check out our picks of the best for your body.
Blueberries- A delicious fruit that’s believed to have anti-ageing effects. They’re brain food, too, and boost your memory. Blueberries are anti-inflammatory, which improves neural and synaptic functions. And the great part about blueberries is that they aren’t fattening, so you can eat more of them than you could many other fruits.
Beans- Beans are available in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colours, but what’s common among many of them is that they’re supremely healthy.
- - Also referred to as garbanzo beans, are a great source of protein and fibre. The fats in this low-calorie legume are healthy, so you need not keep too drastic a limit on how much you consume.
- Baked beans- Who doesn’t love a big serving of baked beans on toast? Though it may seem unhealthy, it’s actually not. Baked beans are full of protein, iron, fibre, and calcium. It is low in carbohydrates thanks to its low glycemic index (GI). Tomatoes, another superfood, can be used to make a delicious sauce for baked beans, adding to the snack’s nutritious value. Just make sure the beans you buy aren’t loaded with animal fat or sugar.
- Black beans- Another member of the nutritious bean family is the black bean, a healthy choice, full of antioxidants and protein content. Black beans are good for your arteries, keeping them young. What’s great about these beans is that they contain no saturated fats, making them ideal for heart patients.
- White beans- While most beans are rich in resistant starch, white beans contain a high level of it. Resistant starch is one of the best carbohydrates for weight loss, and white beans are also full of fibre.
Oranges- Oranges are naturally packed with vitamin C. A single piece is enough to provide you with all your body needs for the day. The citrus fruit is a good source of calcium and fibre, too. For those of you counting calories, oranges not only have very low calorie counts, but they keep you feeling full so that you don’t binge on snacks.
Tea- Tea lovers don’t need an excuse to get a fix, but we thought we’d give them one anyway. The caffeine in tea keeps you feeling active and energetic, but did you know that you can use it instead of water to hydrate? Replace some of the recommended eight cups of water with tea, but stick to black or green. You & I has emphasised green tea’s health benefits time and again, but the black variety is not too shabby. Both contain high amounts of antioxidants that protect your body from damage and cell mutation, and green tea speeds up your metabolism.
Potatoes- Potatoes are everybody’s favourite (root) veggie. There’s something comforting about them, whether you choose chips, mash, or jacket potatoes. A good old spud fills you up thrice as much as a slice of white bread does, and is as filling as a large orange. Like beans, potatoes are also packed with resistant starch that enables the body to burn fat.
- Opt for baked potatoes whenever possible. That way, you avoid the sinful oil and reap all the benefits – it’s one of the best things for people with high blood pressure.
- Sweet potatoes are really great for the body. Loaded with vitamin A (over 450% percent of the recommended daily allowance), they help improve your eyesight and strengthen the immune system.
Apples- An apple a day really might keep the doctor away, thanks to the fruit’s considerable antioxidants. Perhaps the most common and versatile fruit, apples provide vitamin C necessary for healthy skin and gums. Just one apple can meet a quarter of your daily vitamin C requirement. The pectin reduces blood cholesterol levels and keeps the digestive system healthy, and the carbohydrates bear low GI ratings. Apples also reduce the risk of lung cancer and control your weight.
Bananas- Bananas are often considered an outcast among fruits because of their high calorie content. But that is just what makes them the perfect energy source for before, during or after workouts. Other ‘banana-fits’ include potassium to lower BP, fibre for weight control, resistant starch to help burn calories, and vitamin B6 for skin and hair.
While these are the more popular superfoods, several others consumed regularly will also do the trick of keeping you super healthy. Among these are eggs, oats, walnuts, spinach and salmon. Make sure you keep your diet balanced, and the benefits should show in abundance.