There are some foods that are so fantastic that they practically wear capes! Full of important nutrients, these “superfoods” have some very important health properties that can enhance a healthy eating lifestyle. They can also boost brain power, promote weight loss and better bone health, help with digestive issues, and regulate blood sugar! So, here are a few things you can expect and look out for when it comes to these spectacular superfoods!
The term superfood refers to foods that are nutritionally dense with plenty of fiber and antioxidants. Naturally, these foods have become very popular in the wellness community since people are becoming more health conscious. While the term “superfood” has not been officially recognized by health authorities or organizations, it is still an all-encompassing term to describe these incredible eats.
A few well-known examples of superfoods include berries, which are high in fiber and antioxidants, as well as onions, garlic, and ginger, which have nutrients to help your body fight diseases and are great for boosting your immune system. Other superfoods worth mentioning are legumes, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, and leafy vegetables, which provide an excellent source of vitamins and fiber and have even been proven to prevent some types of cancer. There are up to 25 foods that are considered superfoods, but we are focusing on ones that are so versatile they can be incorporated into any meal!
If you have ever eaten at a Japanese restaurant, you may have noticed this under the appetizer section or as a side dish. Fortunately, you can find these protein-packed snacks in the frozen vegetable section of your local grocery store! Aside from being a great protein snack, they have other major nutritional benefits. Just a half cup provides 9 grams of fiber, 10% of your daily value of vitamin C, 10% of your daily value of iron, and 8% of your daily dose of vitamin A in only 120 calories. With all these vitamins and minerals, you’re looking at a stronger immune system, improved lung function, and healthy skin.
You can eat edamame on its own as a snack or incorporate it into this delicious Spice World Shrimp Pad Thai recipe.
We just can’t say enough good things about garlic! Sure, garlic breath may not be fun, but garlic has been linked to helping lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. What some may not realize is that it also has some antifungal properties that could make it a perfect remedy for yeast infections. As far as cooking goes, it’s truly one of the best flavor enhancers for any savory dish. Just grab a jar or squeezable bottle of Ready-to-Use Minced Garlic and incorporate it into your favorite meals, or just leave it to us and try these savory recipes that make tasty use of Spice World garlic!
Nuts are certainly healthy to snack on, but walnuts might just reign supreme. As the most nutritionally beneficial of the nut family, walnuts are full of magnesium, phosphorus, antioxidants, protein, and fiber. They also boost cardiovascular health, help lower blood pressure, and help you maintain a healthy weight. On top of all that, they contain the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) among any nut.
Because these are so high in omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fat (aka good fats), you’ll want to eat them in moderation. You can either eat a handful of raw or oven-roasted walnuts, or you can substitute pine nuts for walnuts in this Spice World Italian Herb Pesto recipe.
Besides being oh-so-flavorful with a bit of a kick, ginger also has plenty of health benefits. It is considered a natural remedy for nausea and morning sickness, which is why ginger-infused tea or ginger ale are usually staples at home. It can also be used to lower blood sugar levels, which is great for those who have diabetes, and it is full of anti-inflammatory benefits just like garlic.
Considered the best protein source, eggs contain all eight amino acids and are loaded with nutrients. Egg yolks contain choline, which helps protect heart and brain function and prevents cholesterol and fat from accumulating in the liver. Eggs also raise HDL (aka good cholesterol) and convert small, dense LDL (or bad cholesterol) to the benign large LDL variety. Aside from iron, copper, selenium, zinc, and vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, D, E, and K, they are rich in antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help prevent eye diseases. One large egg is only 78 calories and provides 5 grams of fat and more than 6 grams of protein.
As one of the most versatile foods to cook, here’s one of our favorite ways to prepare them in this tasty and simple Italian Herb Egg White recipe.
You know that old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, it surely has some truth to it because apples are loaded with powerful antioxidants like quercetin and catechin. In fact, apples, skin and all, have been linked to lower instances of cell damage such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. They also have nearly twice the fiber of other fruits, which means they will aid digestion, lessen inflammation, and boost immunity. Best of all, an average-sized apple has just under 100 calories!
You can even bake an apple (minus the core) in the oven and add in other superfoods like walnuts or Spice World Squeezable Minced Ginger.
Often considered a flavoring rather than a food, onions have incredible health-boosting qualities. Onions enhance the production of glutathione, a tripeptide that serves as an antioxidant for the liver. By helping to eliminate toxins and carcinogens, onions are even on the list of anti-cancer superfoods!
Onions also contain calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and folate. In addition, onions have the flavonoid quercetin, which is associated with immune-boosting properties. It is interesting to note that onions even gain a larger variety of health-enhancing sulfur compounds when cooked.
Raw or cooked, onions can be added to salads, sandwiches, pizza, or sauces to add a unique flavor to any recipe. If cutting onions is something you’d rather avoid, try Spice World Ready-to-Use Chopped Easy Onion in a jar or squeezable bottle, which preserves its potent flavor and nutrients.
For a recipe that incorporates onions in a simple, yummy way, try this Spice World Easy Onion Souffle.
It is important to approach the idea of superfoods with a healthy and balanced perspective. While superfoods are nutritious, not any single superfood will give your body all the nutrients and vitamins it needs. Instead, try to incorporate a varied and well-balanced combination of all these delicious lifesavers. For ideas on how to use different kinds of superfoods, visit Spice World to view our catalog of health-conscious recipes.
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