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15 Superfoods That Leads You to Holistic Health and Vitality

Elevate your commitment to health with vibrant food ingredients designed by nature packed with disease combatting properties. Explore simple and enticing recipes that marry nutrition and flavor, embracing a holistic approach to well-being through mindful food choices.
March 19, 2024    |    31 Views
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While it’s not the sole determinant of our well-being, what we eat holds profound implications for our health. In a world where processed foods and quick bites often take precedence, there’s a growing consciousness about the impact of our diets on our bodies, especially concerning chronic diseases like cancer. People nowadays have become increasingly conscious of their food choices, investing thoughtful consideration to create menus that can add nutritional value to their food intake. This heightened awareness reflects a dedication to cultivating a balanced and nourishing diet.

As awareness grows about the profound impact of our diets on overall health, individuals and researchers alike are redirecting their attention towards crafting well-balanced meals rich in essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and carbohydrates. This intentional focus takes on added significance, particularly for those mindful of chronic diseases such as cancer, where a nutritious diet plays a crucial role in both prevention and treatment. Join us as we delve into nutritious and enticing recipes, designed to seamlessly align with our dietary needs, and simple to adapt.

Nutrient Rich Superfoods

To lower the risk of developing various forms of cancer and other chronic illnesses, it is advisable to incorporate vegetables and fruits that are abundant in antioxidants, nuts, beans, whole grains, and healthy fats into your diet. Alongside this, it is important to restrict the consumption of processed and fried foods, unhealthy fats, sugars, and refined carbohydrates. The list could go a long way, but listed below are 15 of the commonly recognized superfood:

  • Berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)

     

  • Leafy greens (such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard)

     

  • Nuts and seeds (such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds)

     

  • Whole grains (such as quinoa, brown rice, and oats)

     

  • Fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines)

     

  • Avocado

     

  • Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts)

     

  • Legumes (such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas)

     

  • Greek yogurt

     

  • Turmeric

     

  • Garlic

     

  • Green tea

     

  • Dark chocolate (in moderation)

     

  • Sweet potatoes

     

  • Tomatoes

This is not an exhaustive list, but these foods are generally considered nutrient-dense and offer a variety of health benefits when incorporated into a balanced diet. Notably, highlighted below are some with brief descriptions of benefits from the superfood listed above.

  • Berries are a rich source of anthocyanins – a group of antioxidants found in red, purple, and blue fruits and vegetables; belong to the flavonoid family — which are blue-purple plant pigments that contain important nutrients such as vitamin C, K, fiber, and antioxidants. These properties help to reduce inflammation and protect the brain from oxidation. Berries also contain ellagic acid, which neutralizes carcinogens and has anti-tumor benefits. Some examples of berries are blueberry, acai berries, strawberry, cranberry, raspberry, etc. It is worth noting that frozen berries have the same nutritional value as fresh ones.

 

  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, and cauliflower are known for their cancer-fighting properties. These vegetables are rich in important nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. Additionally, they contain sulforaphane, a plant compound with potential anticancer properties. Consuming these vegetables can protect your cells’ DNA from free radicals, prevent damage from cancer-causing chemicals, slow the growth of tumors, and even encourage cancer cells to die.

     

 

  • Garlic, onions, ginger & Turmeric may help reduce the risk of stomach, colon, esophageal, and breast cancer. Garlic, for example, has measurable anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as cancer-fighting properties. Onions offer similar benefits, containing quercetin and sulfur-containing molecules that can block some carcinogens and induce apoptosis, a process that kills abnormal cells.  For best results, chop, slice, mince or press garlic before cooking to enhance its health-promoting properties.
  • Include legumes like dry beans, peas, and lentils in your diet, as they contain folate, a B vitamin that can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. Legumes are also rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage and thus lower the risk of cancer. Additionally, the high fiber content in legumes can offer protection against colon cancer. Studies have shown that people who consume diets high in bean fiber are 20% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who fail to meet their daily fiber intake. To add legumes to your diet, consider using them in casseroles, stews, soups, salads, and dips.

     

  • Leafy green vegetables are an excellent source of many essential nutrients, including fiber, folate, vitamin C, and several antioxidants. Carotenoids found in leafy vegetables like spinach and kale act as antioxidants and boost the body’s defenses. Other leafy greens that you can try include romaine, arugula, Swiss chard, and collards. These vegetables are also rich in beta-carotene and lutein, which have been shown to limit the growth of certain types of cancer. If you want to add more spinach to your diet, try adding a handful to your morning smoothie. It’s a quick and easy way to incorporate this nutritious vegetable into your daily routine.

Conclusion

Food is the primary source of energy for humans, but its effects on health can be good or bad depending on our choices. Many people believe that by selecting healthy foods, they can prevent diseases like cancer. While it’s not a foolproof guarantee, it’s still a worthwhile effort to try and do what’s best for our health. Therefore, it’s a good idea to diversify our diet with nutritious ingredients that can help prevent diseases and reduce the risk of developing health problems.

References

Koenig, D. (2023, June 5). Cancer-Fighting Foods and Recipes to Enjoy Every Day. Yummly. Retrieved November 12, 2023, from https://www.yummly.com/dish/080869/cancer-fighting-foods

Metcalf, E. (n.d.). The Anti-Cancer Diet: Foods That Prevent Cancer. Everyday Health. Retrieved November 12, 2023, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/cancer-photos/top-foods-to-fight-cancer.aspx

Palmer, S. (n.d.). Four Way Hummus. American Institute for Cancer Research. Retrieved November 12, 2023, from https://www.aicr.org/cancer-prevention/recipes/four-way-hummus/

Underferth, D. (n.d.). 36 Foods That May Help Lower Your Cancer RMisk. MD Anderson Cancer Centre. Retrieved November 13, 2023, from https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/36-foods-that-can-help-lower-your-cancer-risk.h12-1592991.html

(n.d.). Fuel a Healthy Diet With Our Delicious and Healthy Recipes. American Institute for Cancer Research. Retrieved November 12, 2023, from https://www.aicr.org/cancer-prevention/recipes/

Micronutrient Information Centre. Linus Pauling Institute. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin