5 Superfoods you Need in your Life

SuperfoodsThere’s nothing to stop hype-mongerers labelling anything a superfood. That’s because ‘Superfoods’ as a technical designation is not really a thing. I’m not saying there aren’t super…foods out there, but the buzzword is just that, and nothing else.

The problem this creates is quite profound. If some product or other receives pseudo-superfood status, then health junkies – and health junky wannabies – will rush out and load up on the stuff without a second thought as to what it is doing for them or how much they should consume.

Take avocados for example. They are a really good source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil. They also contain a bunch of vitamins; E, C, K, B5 and B6, not to mention folate and potassium. The fats help you absorb lots of other important fat-soluble vitamins as well as the ones in the avocado itself. They can even improve your immune system and reduce your risk of some deadly diseases. That’s all great! Eat an avocado a day as part of a salad, or throw it in a blender with your other smoothie stuff.

But don’t eat 5 a day, because that’s (a) expensive as hell, and (b) nearly 1000 calories.

So consume in moderation. Nothing is a fix-all panacea solution to health.

That said, here are some foods that should be considered for ‘Super’ status if ever there were any:

Turmeric (Curcumin)

Okay so I’m starting with a spice. And really, you could spend a day on the spice rack alone, extolling the health benefits of 50 different powders, barks and flakes.

But Turmeric, man-alive! Turmeric is good.

It’s anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-Alzheimer’s and it fights arthritis. Super, right!?

Scientists don’t know how much is ideal but you can start frying up some cabbage and adding turmeric, it makes it delicious. Adding black pepper will increase your absorption of this awesome ingredient.

Garlic

Garlic improves blood circulation, reduces blood pressure and maintains healthy cholesterol levels (i.e. lipoprotein levels…i.e. higher HDL and lower LDL). Garlic is also a powerful anti-oxidant by way of enhancing the activity of antioxidant enzymes like glutathione. It might even help keep away those nasty chest infections, not to mention the neighbourhood vampires.

Put 2 cloves of garlic a day in your meals and your immune system will thank you for it. If you are worried about garlic breath, remove the green core – that’s the smelly bit.

Berries

blueberriesBlueberries are probably the most well-known for their antioxidant anthocyanins but most dark berries are good sources as well. Anthocyanins may reduce damage to DNA caused by oxidation, free-radicals and stress.

The morning smoothie is a good place to cram a few dark berries in. If you can’t get hold of fresh ones every day then use the frozen ones. Blend them up with some spinach, kale, banana, avocado, nut butter, chia seeds, flax seeds and lemon juice. Yum!

Leafy Greens

You’ve heard it a million times in your life, that you should get a good portion of dark leafy greens every day. What many people don’t know is that they contain high levels of nitrates, which can serve as an excellent pre-workout snack.

Why? Vasodilation, that’s why. Leafy greens get you pumped in the gym.

About 45 minutes before you go to the gym, have a beetroot salad and enjoy the natural nitric-oxide boost.

Spirulina

This blue-green algae, rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, is also about 60% pure protein. The only downside is that it tastes pretty rough.

Again, whack it in the morning smoothies and mask its flavour with those dark berries and some lemon juice.

Conclusion

It doesn’t take much time to add these ‘Superfoods’ to your daily nutritional intake and they may just prove to have more than a health kick to them. You have to think ahead, these days. Some of the ingredients above might help future-proof you from some of life’s proverbial kicks in the teeth.

I’ll finish with a word of caution. After training is NOT the best time to load up on anti-oxidants. They interrupt the natural adaptations we need to make for improvement, muscle recovery and growth. Stick to your protein and carbs post-workout. Save the superfoods for first thing in the morning or in your other meals.

Other Articles of Interest

  1. Dietary Cholesterol New Status
  2. Importance of Sleep for Muscle Growth and more
  3. Sleep Supplements for Boosting GH
  4. Melatonin and Growth Hormone

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