Superfoods: what they are and what benefits they have

The word superfood is used to indicate some foods that are particularly rich in nutrients. However, not everyone knows about them. Let’s find something more about them!

Superfoods are rich in macro and micro nutrients that are fundamental for our body. They are vegetal foods that are considered to be more nutritional than normal foods. The beneficial properties of these superfoods have been scientifically proved, but not everyone is aware of this. Let’s find out together which characteristics these super foods have.

What are superfoods?

According to the definition, superfoods are foods that have specific nutritional characteristics. For this reason, they are considered a great panacea for our health. These super foods are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, proteins and fiber, all of which can really benefit our body.

Superfood
Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/prima-colazione-muesli-sano-grano-1209260/

Some studies shown that these foods can prevent many diseases and can slow down the cellular ageing process. They also have beneficial effects on the immune system and, in some cases, protect against cancer.

Superfoods are used by many sportsmen, because they are an excellent source of energy, but also by those who follow special diets, such as the vegetarian or vegan one. People who need extra nutrients can count on superfoods – that, being vegetal foods, can be eaten even by vegetarians and vegans.

A list of the best superfoods

What are the superfoods we unknowingly eat every day? Let’s look at some of them and the most successful ones among consumers.

Goji berries strengthen the immune system, increase libido and contain a particular carotene, which, according to several scientific studies, slows down the degeneration of eye tissue.

Chia seeds and flax seeds contain omega-3, essential fatty acids fundamental for the health of your heart and your cardiovascular system. They are also rich in fibers and therefore excellent for regulating bowel function. You have to be careful not to abuse it, because they are very caloric.

Quinoa is an important source of vegetal proteins, perfect for people following a vegan diet. Also, its levels of magnesium, phosphorus and iron make it a high nutritional food.

Superfood
Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/avocado-guacamole-cibo-verde-sano-1712583/

Edible seaweeds are one of the most wanted superfood of the moment. But it is not only a fashion: these foods, which have a wide range of flavours and nutrients, share a high content of vitamin B12, iodine, calcium, and iron. Seaweeds are one of the rare vegetal foods which contain vitamin B12, usually found only in animal products.

Kale, as well as other vegetables of the cruciferous family, contains a good amount of glucosinates. They stimulate the production of specific anti-cancer enzymes.

Beetroot is rich in nitrate, which has benefits for blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension. It improves blood circulation and can reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Spinach has high levels of iron and antioxidants, which protect against cancer. In addition, its lutein content  secures our eyes from the sunlight.

Avocado has beneficial properties for the skin, thanks to its vitamin E content. it It also contains many antioxidants and linoleic acid, which reduces levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

Recipes with superfoods

Most of the superfood contain nutrients that fade if cooked. Therefore, it is better to eat them raw to enjoy their benefits. For example, you can make tasty salads with kale, quinoa and avocado to increase your energy.

If you want to try a delicious snack, good also for children, you need to try beetroot chips. Cut it into thin slices, then put them in the oven for 25 minutes at 180°C. Add some salt and serve them with delicious homemade sauces.

You can use seaweeds to season your pasta: add them to your fish sauces to enjoy their particular flavor.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/prima-colazione-muesli-sano-grano-1209260/, https://pixabay.com/it/avocado-guacamole-cibo-verde-sano-1712583/

ultimo aggiornamento: 19-12-2018