If you desire to live a healthy, youthful and vibrant life, you must eat very generous amount of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables contain the richest sources of vital nutrients that the body cannot get anywhere else. They help ward off common colds and viruses, fight premature aging; balance hormones naturally, fight inflammation, autoimmune disease, and long term chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancers, and other life debilitating lifestyle disease.
The ideal amount should be at least 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A serving is equivalent to 1 medium piece of fruit, 1 cup of leafy vegetables, ½ cup of cooked or raw vegetables, ¼ cup of dried fruits, and ½ cup (4 ounces of 100% fruit or vegetable juice) But do you know that just a small percentage of people get the required servings every day? A lot of people are not giving their bodies the amount of nutrient their bodies desperately need for
defense, vitality, strength and protection. Nutrition is what builds every cell, every organ, and it is what we are made of. While each and every vegetable offers variety of important nutrients
for our bodies, there are some special ones that are powerhouses of nutrients – the super foods. They contain the highest level of nutrients. So apart from eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, going the extra mile to incorporate these specific plant foods into your daily diet is highly rewarding.
Super foods are natural nutritionally dense compounds that contain high concentrations of essential nutrients with proven health benefits.
Let me stress that eating super foods regularly cannot make up for nutritional or lifestyle mistakes and deficiencies like if you are not getting enough hours of sleep and making rest a priority, or you are not exercising and hoping that super foods will fix the damage. There are other factors that will work hand in hand with eating these foods to lead to a healthy vibrant you. Super foods work better as a team so don’t forget your unique nutritional needs and remember to always listen to your body.
There are so many super foods that are recognized all over the world and some are readily available locally. I will be sharing 10 of them that can easily be a staple in every home:
Leafy Greens: They are recognized by nutritionists as one of the most inexpensive sources of so many important nutrients because they are brimming with loads of fiber, vitamins, minerals and plant based substances. Greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. They are loaded with folic acid, chlorophyll, and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, and cabbage are a rich source of nutrients that suppress the growth of cancer cells. So try and get in a generous amount of these daily.
Almonds: have tremendous health benefits. They have the richest source of calcium of all the nuts; they are high in vitamin E, and a valuable source of protein and good healthy fat. Aim for a handful of nuts per day.
Blueberries: Are considered one of the healthiest fruits as they contain 4 powerful antioxidant – anthocyanins, flavonols, tannins, and resveratrol. They help to fight cancer cell growth, reduce
inflammation, and improve memory. They are also packed with vitamin C and collagen.
Wheatgrass: this has been known to be a very effective healing food. A potent detoxifier and antibacterial agent, wheatgrass clears poison from the body, and enhances immune and liver functions. It boasts of iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E.
Although not available in most grocery stores, it is worth going the extra mile to get it from health food stores.
Avocado: loaded with the healthy fat essential for life and one of the best anti-aging foods known to mankind. It boasts of 20 essential nutrients and is known as a nutrient booster as they help the body absorb other fat-soluble nutrients. Avocados can help naturally balance hormones, and also help hydrate the cells, keeping the skin soft and young. It’s good to know that it has 35% more potassium than banana.
Green tea: one of the best anti-tumour foods. Low in caffeine and high in catechins, green tea is one of the best anti –tumour foods. Studies have shown that drinking green tea daily for at least six months reduces the chances of contracting cancer.
Garlic: garlic has the power to kill dangerous viruses, bacteria, parasites, and cancer cells. It has also been shown to prevent an enlarged prostate and killing of yeast infection for both men and women. It is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulant, antiseptic, and anti-fungal. Also, it helps support a strong immune system to word off colds, and flu. Next time you have a cold, get 2 cloves, bite once and swallow, 3X a day. To kill the garlic breath, follow by chewing parsley, peppermint gum, or a slice of dark chocolate. Few foods will do your health more good than this incredibly versatile bulb.
Flaxseeds: beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acid essential for brain and cell functions and also building blocks for the hormones that regulate the body’s inflammation system. They are high in fiber and low in carbs making them great for dieters who want to feel fuller longer.
Moringa: the leaves of the moringa tree are a super food because it is one of the world’s most nutritious plant species with more than 92 types of nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants. It also contains protein and it is a great source of iron, containing more iron than liver. Brew it into tea or add it to a smoothie or porridge.
Cinnamon: this super food is very high in calcium (and it is not a diary product), high in fiber, iron, and manganese. It regulates blood sugar, and is a powerful anti-oxidant. It is inexpensive, has no side effect, and is very versatile. Add it to porridge, smoothies, and a great spice for cooking and baking, add it to teas, and sprinkle on yogurt.
Eat these powerful foods often for incredible health and fitness benefits and to keep you looking and feeling as young as possible. Aim for about 3 super foods daily.
By Adebimbola Omonbude (certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach)