Whether you’re trying to be healthy because you need to lose weight or you’re battling a disease, getting healthy is a great way to live a long and happy life. Many people think that by taking vitamins and a variety of other unnatural products, it’ll help them to consume the nutrients they need to improve their overall health. What a lot of people fail to do is understand that there is plenty of food that surrounds you that has unbelievable health benefits and is typically less expensive than the vitamins and pills you buy at supplement stores. Here are five superfoods that you should be eating and why.
This vegetable is not a favorite among kids, and even some adults are reluctant to try it. Kale is, however, the king of the leafy greens, and is extremely nutritious. This vegetable is loaded with vitamins and minerals including A, C and E, calcium, iron and phosphorous. It also includes important amino acids, a hefty dose of your daily fiber and free-radical fighting antioxidants. If you’re eating your leafy greens every day, you can expect to ingest chlorophyll, which helps to purify your blood and eliminates toxins in your body.
How can you not love berries? They’re great for smoothies, desserts, snacks or even for breakfast. In addition to them tasting good, they contain antioxidants that have actually been shown to fight the signs of aging, boost immune function and can even help to prevent certain types of illness, including heart disease and cancer. You can buy seasonal berries fresh or get them frozen, preserved or even dried. Each variety provides you with endless possibilities to cook and bake with!
Olive oil is among the healthiest oils you can use, and provides you with a variety of health benefits. Healthy poly and monounsaturated fats that are found in olive oil can help you lose weight if eaten on a daily basis. Losing weight means a better body, lower risk of serious illness and most importantly, lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes. Olive oil also contains antioxidants and vitamins that can reduce your risk of heart disease and high levels of cholesterol. You can also see health benefits in your skin by consuming olive oil.
Seeds come in different forms and sizes, from the tiny sunflower seed to the enormous coconut, which believe it or not, is actually a seed! Seeds offer incredible health benefits because they’re loaded with healthy omega fatty acids. Quinoa, which is about the size of a grain, is an incredible source of protein. Do you love to carve pumpkins with your family for Halloween? Try scooping out some of those seeds and toasting them up to give you a better balance of hormones. Coconuts provide some of the most hydrating liquids one can drink as well as includes plenty of healthy fats.
Chocolate is a women’s best friend, so you shouldn’t be surprised that chocolate made it onto this list of superfoods. After all, chocolate comes from the seed of the cacao fruit. Chocolate contains more than 1,200 compounds including antioxidants, magnesium and unique chemicals phenethylamine and theobromine that trigger your brain to get that same feeling you get when you’re falling love. I guess there’s a reason why we are prone to eat chocolate when we’re feeling bad or after a breakup! Don’t be afraid to indulge, but just be careful, the milked down, high fructose corn syrup Halloween candy isn’t the way to go. Aim for the dark chocolate that contains a minimum of 70 percent cacao.
So whether you only like some of these superfoods or all five, it’s important to pay attention to the health benefits of consuming natural foods as opposed to falling into health crazes and buying supplements and pills for nutrition. Use this knowledge to your advantage and jump on to the superfoods band wagon. Not only will you feel better about yourself physically, but your overall health will improve dramatically as well.
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Annie Williams is a freelance writer focusing on health and fitness. In an effort to educate the public, Annie suggests you eat a diet snack after every workout to keep your metabolism going and get you the appropriate nutrients you need for recovery.