Superfoods are foods that have very high nutritional density. That means they are rich in minerals, nutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants help lower your risk of serious health problems like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke respiratory diseases, immune deficiency, emphysema and Parkinson’s disease. They also help protect your organs from toxins, lower cholesterol, prevent digestive problems, regulate metabolism and reduce inflammation.
Antioxidants are important for maintaining your overall health and longevity because they help neutralize free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are naturally occurring substances in our bodies, but they attack fat, protein and DNA in our cells, which can lead to several diseases and accelerate the signs of aging.
When superfoods are incorporated into a well-balanced diet, they can promote many health benefits, chiefly heart health, weight loss, increase energy levels and reduce the signs of aging.
Eat these superfoods to improve your health
So, what are superfoods exactly? Here is a list of the most powerful superfoods you should incorporate into a well-balanced diet:
These green fruits help regulate blood pressure, blood sugar and magnesium deficiency (which increases your risk of type 2 diabetes). They also help your body absorb carotenoids (plant pigments), which are high in vitamin A. This vitamin is linked to reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and eye degeneration.
Pomegranates are an impressive anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation is one of the leading drivers of many serious diseases. That means these tiny, tangy berries help bolster heart health and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and even obesity.
- Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and fresh cranberries
While blueberries top the list for the highest antioxidants, each of these berries helps ward off cancer-causing free radicals. They may also help lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease and other degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Dark green leafy vegetables
Spinach, kale and broccoli are chock-full of fiber, which helps you feel full longer. They also help lower your risk of cancer, heart attacks, stroke and even certain birth defects because they are an excellent source of fiber, folate, vitamins C and K and the minerals iron and calcium.
- Garlic and onions
These vegetables offer potent health benefits thanks to their high levels of vitamin C and B6, folate, and potassium. They can help lower your risk of cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Pairing these superfoods (and more) with a healthy, well-balanced diet will help improve your overall health, boost your immune system and help lower your risk of heart disease and cancer—the two leading causes of death in the United States.
How to sneak more superfoods into your diet
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when beginning any new diet. The doctors at State Urgent Care recommend making small dietary changes until they become a daily habit. You can try choosing whole grains over refined grains or snacking on a selection of fruits instead of chips or chocolates. Smoothies are another tasty snack or breakfast alternative that allow you to sneak in extra fruits, yogurt, kale or spinach.
You can also try these delicious and easy-to-make superfood recipes:
- Walnut and spinach salad
- Crunchy broccoli salad with cranberries and
- Rosemary chicken with spinach, stewed tomatoes and white kidney beans
If you’d like to reset your lifestyle and make healthier food choices, get an appointment with a doctor, registered dietitian or nutritionist. State Urgent Care is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. for walk-in appointments.