Superfoods for your Health
This article focuses on functional foods or ‘Superfoods‘ often a misnomer as touted by the media. Firstly, the functional foods are effective and non-toxic. Secondly, provide clinically proven health benefits for prevention and management or treatment of chronic diseases.
Functional foods or superfoods are the foods in which specific nutrients and food components positively impact target functions or biological responses in the body. In addition, superfoods perform the following functions-
1. Growth and development
2. Defense against oxidative stress
3. Regulate basic metabolic processes etc.
With enhanced health and wellness consciousness among consumers, functional foods can turn the table for you.
For instance, gingerone from ginger, curcumin from turmeric is an arsenal of anti-oxidants. So consequently, protect against biological aging, environmental toxins, and free radicals inducing changes in DNA.
Ginger is the main ingredient in beverages consumed in all seasons but largely in winters. Therefore, prevents nausea, cold and flu due to its therapeutic properties.
Contain anti-coughing and anti-inflammatory properties. A common spice you can find in every kitchen to season your food.
How to include them in the meal– Try ginger in tea, add freshness of ground ginger in your food as a flavor enhancer. Moreover, powdered form is used in making ginger sweets and ginger cakes.
Tip- Use ginger in moderation as its excess may cause diarrhea or heartburn.
Curcumin, an active ingredient of turmeric makes it a potent source of anti-inflammatory properties. In short, it has been known since ancient times for its medicinal properties to cure winter blues.
How to include them in the meal- Turmeric is a great flavoring agent, gives vibrant color in your diet and one of the ingredients of natural preservatives.
Avocado is loaded with monosaturated fatty acid and fiber for heart health. Above all, avocado have more potassium content than a banana. Also, contain tartaric acid compound.
How to include them in the meal- Avocados forms the best party salad to start healthy, also in soup, shakes, and as toppings to your food.
Tip- Experts suggests leaves, seeds, flesh or peel of avocado fights metabolic syndrome.
Kiwi is a pack of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium and fiber. In addition, it contain actinidin enzyme that improves digestion of protein-rich foods.
How to include them in the meal- Can be eaten raw, can blend to refreshing squash drink, as topping in a salad, used in the dried form and as supplements.
Nuts are a great source of plant protein lauded for its health benefits for instance, walnut, almonds, pecans. Loaded with monosaturated fats, an effective way to reduce the risk of heart disease.
How to include them in the meal- They are calorie dense so add a handful of it in oatmeal or yogurt or as trail mix. Nuts are a super accompaniment to salad dressing or snacks.
6. Brussels Sprouts
Rich in antioxidants, vitamin K and fiber, a good source of ALA omega-3 fatty acid. Fights inflammation and cancer, and stabilize blood sugar levels.
How to include them in the meal- You can make brussels sprouts tasty and interesting to eat when roasted or glazed in honey
Gooseberry is a profuse source of vitamin C (Ascorbic acid), a powerhouse of antioxidants to get rid of free radicals, detoxify the liver and enhance nutrient absorption.
How to include them in the meal- Gooseberry can be used in a variety such as juice, jam, pickle, can add a dash of dried gooseberry in soups and curries.
People generally know that lemons contain citric acid or you can say a good source of vitamin C more than the limes. Improves immune health and helps to make collagen and healthy skin and tissues.
How to include them in the meal- Lemon are used in making sorbets, squashes, juices, as lime zest to add flavor to the dishes.
Yogurt is a good source of probiotics, contain calcium and promote healthy gut bacteria.
How to include them in the meal- A dollop of yogurt to your salad and dips recipes and star ingredient of parfait recipe. It is a flavor enhancer and promotes good bacteria for your gut health.
A citrus fruit maintains low blood pressure, high in fiber, low in calories and high in anti-oxdant properties.
How to include them in meal- Oranges can be used as juices, orange flavored ice-cream, orange biscuits, pies, candy, marmalades, sorbets, sauces and salads, orange zest to add flavors to food.