Superfoods: A Healthier Way To Live
They say that one’s health is 70% dependent on what one eats every day. Over the decades, studies have indicated that healthy dietary patterns can lower the chances of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and some cancers. Dietary forms like the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, usually plant-based, have proven considerable health advantages and decreased chronic disease.
Certain foods can be selected for specific appreciation. Odds are you’ve heard about “superfoods” is not more than one or two times. But what does the term refer to? The term is believed to have been used first in the early 1900s. But the period has achieved maximum traction in the past few decades, being a common topic in the wellness and health community. These “superfoods” are known to provide vital nutrients that can power-pack your snacks and meals and further improve a healthy eating pattern.
What Exactly Is A Superfood?
Surprisingly, there is no regulated, medical, or official definition of a superfood. Still, by a researcher’s definition, superfoods refer to food items rich in compounds believed to be advantageous to a person’s health. The superfoods are not only nutritious, but they also offer little something extra. Superfoods are a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and fiber and provide antioxidant or anti-inflammatory nutrients, phytonutrients, or other compounds that might have health benefits.
Top Superfoods In The Market
Although superfoods can include fancy-sounding ingredients like maca, goji berries, or açai, there are enough in the local supermarket and perhaps in your fridge at home, too. Here are some of the best everyday superfoods you can consider adding to your cart while shopping for groceries.
Fish possess high omega-3 fatty acids and protein contents that can help prevent heart disease. They are available in canned, frozen, and fresh forms in the market. The ones with the highest omega-3 content include sardines, anchovies, herring, tuna steaks, trout, mackerel, and salmon.
Berries are a rich source of fiber and are naturally sweet. Their rich colors refer to them being rich in antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients. During the off-season, one can buy them in frozen form. Adding to smoothies, cereals, and yogurt, or eating it plain for a snack is also a good option.
Dark-colored leafy greens are abundant in calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and several phytochemicals. They can be used to add fiber to the diet. One can choose from a range including mustard greens, collard greens, swiss chard, spinach, or kale to make salads using olive oil.
Nuts such as pecans, almonds, or walnuts are rich in plant protein and monounsaturated fats to help lower the threat of heart disease. However, they are healthy but dense on calories, restricted to a few.
Olive oil is a valuable source of monounsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols, and vitamin E that help lower the chances of heart disease. Use it to replace margarine or butter in pasta or rice dishes.
Whole grains are rich in insoluble and soluble fiber. They also contain several phytonutrients, minerals, and B vitamins. They are known to reduce cholesterol and protect against diabetes and heart disease.
Yogurt is rich in protein and calcium and contains live cultures known as probiotics. Having more yogurt is a healthy choice but try to avoid fruits or flavors as they are high in sugar content. Look for yogurts containing “live active cultures” like L. acidophilus, Lactobacillus, L. bulgaricus, and S. thermophilus.
these comprise turnips, mustard greens, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radishes, kohlrabi, collard greens, cabbage, and broccoli. They are rich in vitamins, fiber, and phytochemicals, including nitriles, thiocyanates, and indoles that may inhibit some types of cancer—Stir-fry or Steam, adding seasonings and herbs healthy oils for flavor.
This broad category includes garbanzo, red, black, and kidney beans and also peas and soybeans. They are rich in plant-based protein, folate, and fiber. One can add them to casseroles, soups, and salads.
The superfoods have excellent nutritional value, as they have high contents of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and polyphenols. The superfoods market grows exponentially, shifting consumer preference towards health-based, functional, naturally derived products. The recognition of ‘super’ products is used by food and drink producers across the globe, boosting the demand for these nutritional products. Additionally, the COVID-19 outbreak has lucrative superfood market players, given the massive demand for FMCG goods involving packaged and processed functional food products. With the growing awareness regarding nutritious and healthy food across the globe during the pandemic. Food items that match with the current trend of healthy snacking and immune-boosting food and beverage products such as chia seeds, quinoa seeds, superfruits, and others soared, thus generating extra demand for superfood on an industrial level. Amidst the continuing pandemic, FMCG companies such as ITC, Emami, Marico, and Dabur, even new-age brands gradually concentrate more on selling immunity-boosting and Ayurveda-based products. These brands are consistently expanding their portfolio of immunity-boosting products following the enhanced consumer shift to healthy foods and beverages choices.
Furthermore, the growing investments in R&D activities to launch innovative products to meet the increasing demand for these superfoods worldwide. For instance, Scientists from Aberdeen University’s Rowett Institute have developed a process to transform a terrible-tasting health product into a far beyond palatable superfood. An investment of over £730,000 has been made to develop the product during the past five years. Moreover, in September 2021, a producer-exporter of premium and sustainable fresh fruit, Green SuperFood, has introduced Farmers Home Europe, its new European marketing and distribution arm at Fruit Attraction 2021.
The food one takes in has played a vital part in overall health and how one feels every day. One must remember that no single food, not even the superfood, will offer you everything you need– the keynote to a nutritious diet is assortment. Focus on filling your plate with various vegetables and colorful fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains, and add superfoods to the meal as a bonus.