By now we’re probably all aware of which foods are “super” and what makes them so powerful, but there are still some things we often forget or didn’t realize about them that make our bodies feel so great afterwards. These 5 superfoods play a huge role in improving your body's function and health.
Blueberries or the mighty little blues of the berries is one of the top foods to protect your body from stress because they contain high amounts of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, with wild blueberries being the richest in antioxidants. These mighty little blues are powerful enough to help lower cholesterol, improve your heart health and help your body push through and recover from exercise.
Blueberries can even help improve your heart health by lowering your blood pressure preventing artery hardening because they contain anthocyanins. From an Oxford study, 1 month of daily wild blueberry consumption helped to lower systolic blood pressure. Adding blueberries to your pre workout and post workout snacks can potentially help with muscle recovery. They can help to prevent muscle soreness and stiffness, helping to improve your overall athletic performance.
And as an added bonus, they are filled with vitamin C and vitamin K, both important for protecting body cells and keeping your bones healthy.
Dark Chocolate, yes this savoury sweet has some nutrients your body can benefit from and boosts your overall mood. It is made with Cacao, a top contender to fight against several diseases.
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can help to prevent oxidative stress. Otherwise known as the type of stress that can cause damage to the cells and tissues within the body. Over time, high amounts of oxidative stress can possibly contribute to heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and various forms of cancer. Those with chronic inflammation may benefit from dark chocolate since it contains anti-inflammatory properties that can lower body inflammation. Need another reason to have some chocolate? Dark chocolate contains nutrients that may help to improve your skin because it is mineral-rich with iron, copper and magnesium. So yes, you can have healthier skin just by eating dark chocolate.
With all the antioxidants and minerals found in dark chocolate, it is a healthier alternative to traditional milk chocolate. So if you're looking for some excuses to treat yourself after a stressful day, just remember stressed spelt backwards is desserts.
Kale, it contains lots of nutrients important for the body like antioxidants, calcium, fiber and potassium. With all these nutrients packed into this leafy green, they can help to lower different types of diseases and improve your body's function.
Kale can improve your overall heart health because it contains two nutrients that combat heart diseases like potassium and fibre. Both can help to lower your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels. If you're looking for foods that can improve your body's digestive system or your gut health, Kale is for you. This leafy green contains prebiotics that help to maintain the healthy bacteria found in your body keeping it happy. Prebiotic's technically don't get digested but they can help the function of the digestive tract by helping to grow more healthy bacteria.
Increasing your bone density and overall bone health can be achieved through Kale consumption. Kale contains calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin K, all are nutrients that can help to increase bone density. A cup of cooked kale maintains about “15-18% of calcium” for an adult.
Kiwi, maybe you didn't know it yet but the tasty kiwifruit is actually a superfood because it is jam-packed with nutrients that can help to manage asthma, improve your digestive health and can even help you sleep better at night.
Yes, it's delicious, but eating kiwi can help your digestive system as well. This fruit contains fiber that helps with bowel movements and it contains a probiotic enzyme that helps to break down proteins. Those who have asthma can find some relief by adding kiwis to their diet. The fruit contains high amounts of vitamins and antioxidants that can help improve lung function. The vitamin C in Kiwi can reduce some of the symptoms found in asthma patients, such as wheezing.
Kiwifruit contains a high amount of serotonin, a chemical found in your brain that helps improve your sleep cycle. Sounds made up right? But based on scientific studies, adding kiwi to your daily diet actually had a direct link to an improvement in sleep quality and duration.
Hemp, a very versatile ingredient you can add to so many different kinds of recipes like yoghurts, smoothies and salads. Hemp comes from the cannabis plant family, only containing amounts of THC. It is rich in healthy fats important to your body's function while being rich in other nutrients that are beneficial to your body.
You can find high amounts of healthy fats in hemp or hemp hearts, like omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid). These fatty acids help to improve your heart health by lowering your cholesterol and can improve your digestive system. Since the body cannot produce omega-3, it is vital to increase your intake on foods that are rich in it. If you're already using seeds like chia seeds and flaxseeds in your recipes, try adding some hemp hearts for an additional boost of nutrients. Plus, if you're needing to find a form of plant based protein, hemp is for you. Based on research, a few tablespoons of hemp seeds contains approximately 11 grams of protein.