Many people begin the year thinking about ways to better their health by trying to plan ways to improve their diets and boost their nutrition. So the question is often asked; how can you take that next step to not only achieve a healthy body weight, but also prevent disease, increase your natural energy levels, and be happier overall?
Eating the right foods and getting some natural supplements to address nutritional deficiencies is extremely important, and the most powerful way to see some real health benefits.
Let’s take a closer look at five superfoods that you’ll want to keep in your fridge this coming year and learn how they’re going to help you achieve optimum health.
Topping the list of superfoods to get on your menu is cacao. Chocolate lovers rejoice! You can get your chocolate fix without feeling guilty.
Cacao is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can help combat free radical damage and disease. In addition to that, it actually packs a powerful dose of dietary fibre, which is associated with lowering cholesterol levels, stabilising blood glucose levels, and helping prevent diabetes.
Cacao also provides some healthy saturated fats to your diet, which is necessary to make certain hormones. You don’t need to cut out all saturated fat in your diet – you just need to get the saturated fats you do eat from healthy sources. Cocoa is definitely one of those.
Green Tea (& Matcha)
Moving along, the next superfood isn’t a food per say but a beverage: green tea. Not enough good things can be about this amazing tea. It's very high in antioxidants and polyphenols, both of which will also help counteract diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Green tea also helps to elevate the metabolic rate slightly, so it may just give you an edge on fat loss. Those who consume a few cups of each and every day may lose a few grams a month because of it. Your metabolism is responsible for how quickly your body burns through energy on a day to day basis so the faster it’s running, the better off you’ll be as far as sustaining your optimal body weight is concerned.
In addition to this, Green tea also contains a small dose of caffeine, which is great for providing energising benefits without the crash. Many people often find that after drinking a cup or two of coffee a day, they have fleeting energy levels. It’s sky-high for a short period of time and then quickly drops off and they feel worse than before. Because Green tea doesn’t contain such large doses of caffeine, this does not tend to happen.
Flaxseed or Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseeds are another great superfood to start eating more regularly. Flaxseeds are a unique food because they contain a nice mix of all three macronutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fats.
Much of the carbohydrates found in flaxseed is dietary fibre, meaning it will help to stabilise blood glucose levels while decreasing hunger. Dietary fibre is also important to promote healthy cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in flaxseeds are also very healthy, an essential fat that most of us aren’t getting enough of in our diets. These omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce the risk of depression, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and stroke, and also help foster a leaner body composition.
Finally, the little bit of protein in flaxseeds can work towards helping you build and maintain lean muscle mass tissue, which brings more strength to the body and helps keep your metabolism as high as possible at all times.
One food that most people simply don’t eat enough of is seaweed. Seaweed is actually far more nutrient dense than any land vegetables, and we all know just how healthy those are.
One unique fact about seaweed is that it contains naturally occurring iodine, which is an important mineral that helps to promote an optimal metabolism and thyroid function. Those who are deficient in iodine may eventually start showing signs of a 'hypothyroid' when in fact their thyroid is functioning fine.
Seaweed is also a great source of folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, as well as selenium. These are all the main important minerals that the body needs to function optimally.
Finally, seaweed also contains prebiotics to help grow the healthy probiotics that you need in your gut to maintain good health. Unfortunately, most people simply don’t have enough healthy bacteria residing in the gut, in part due to the lack of prebiotics we’re taking in.
Finally, let’s not forget the acai berry. Most people have heard of these because this berry has been so popular in recent years. Pack full of antioxidants, this one is a true disease fighter. Acai berries contain more antioxidants than most other foods available, so they’ll do a great job at stopping free radical damage.
They’re also great for enhancing cognition, improving your memory and focus as well as promoting clearer looking skin. Those who consume acai berry on a daily basis show fewer signs of acne, psoriasis, and other skin disorders.
So keep these superfoods on your radar this year. You would do yourself and your health a favour if you make sure that these amazing superfoods are found in your fridge.
...and remember, qualified nutritionists at Healthy Being are available to offer further general advice to help guide you in selecting the right products. So please, feel free to contact us at any time!
Dr Peter Succar heads up the Product Research Team at Healthy Being and is an enthusiastic Health & Fitness Lifestyle Coach. He's passionate about helping others obtain optimum health, advocating realistic and achievable changes in diets and lifestyles that promote the body’s natural immunity, its ability to self-heal and achieve overall mental and physical well-being.