Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

Why Eat Superfoods?

Photo by Timo Volz

We know some foods are healthier than others such as a nice leafy salad in comparison to a burger. There are healthy foods that are know as “superfoods” which provide us with a bit of an edge when consumed regularly. A superfood is usually a natural food which is low in calories and nutrient-dense.

Benefits of superfoods

  • Promotes a strong immune system
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Prevents chronic disease and progression of chronic disease such as heart disease and high cholesterol
  • Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Some superfoods may also contain fiber, flavonoids(have anit-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties), and healthy fats

Examples of superfoods

  • Grapes-the skin of grapes contains phytonutrients, the skin of red grapes contains Resveratrol which is a polyphenol known to be “heart healthy”
  • Berries-you name it—raspberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, acai berries, etc, they are loaded with flavonoids, antioxidants, and vitamins
  • Avocado-rich in fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium, contains more potassium than a banana
  • Cinnamon-known to reduce blood sugar levels, cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and provide antioxidants
  • Dark, leafy greens-the darker leafy greens are better and rich in vitamins(iceberg lettuce does not pack the nutritional punch that the dark leafy greens do), try to go for arugula, kale, spinach, collard greens, etc
  • Beets-gets the color from betalains, a natural pigment that contains antioxidants, also associated with anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Lentils-low calorie, high protein, contains folate, iron, and potassium
  • Green tea-loaded with antioxidant, catechin
  • Chia seeds-has fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Garlic-helps immunity, anti-inflammatory
  • Ginger-contains magnesium, potassium, vitmain C, helps in blood sugar regulation, also provides nausea relier
  • Salmon-provides omega-3 fatty acids which body can’t make itself
  • Yogurt -has probiotics which are good bacteria that support gut health, also has protein and calcium
  • Brazil nuts-contains healthy fats, antiioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, in particularly is high in selenium which has antioxidant properites. It helps in supportiing brain function, improving thyroid and heart health, and reducing inflammation.

Remember, having nutrients from regular food is far better than taking superfoods as a supplement. Try to make a conscious attempt to incorporate superfoods in your every day meals.