Perhaps you’ve heard about superfoods. But is it all a clever marketing scheme? The fact is, these foods can indeed lower your risk for various diseases. While there’s no official definition of a superfood, it generally refers to a food that’s packed with the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants the body needs to stay healthy. Some of the most well-known superfoods are tomatoes, dark and leafy greens, salmon, berries, chia seeds, and oatmeal.
Whether in a salad or simmered for sauce, tomatoes are one of the few foods to contain lycopene, a key antioxidant that prevents some types of cancer, lowers cholesterol, and even protects the skin from sun damage. Beyond lycopene, tomatoes are full of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Kale might be the trendiest example, and for good reason; it contains more vitamins and minerals than other fruits and veggies. If you’re not a kale fan, Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, and spinach all qualify as superfoods. Dark and leafy greens are packed with vitamins A, C and K, fiber, calcium, and other important nutrients.
Salmon and other fatty fish (tuna, mackerel) can lower your risk for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. This type of fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce cholesterol and slow plaque growth in the arteries.
Regardless of your favorite kind of berry, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and other fruits in this family are all considered superfoods. That’s because they are rich in flavonoids: antioxidant compounds that help to lower the risk for heart disease, especially in women. They also contain phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals, compounds responsible for aging and cell damage, and ward off some types of cancer. Berries are also easy to snack on and a favorite of kids, making them a great choice for those with little ones.
So, what if you’re not a fish fan? Reach for chia seeds, which contain more fatty acids than any other plant. In addition, these seeds (which are great sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, or in smoothies) contain magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium.
Ideal for the Winter months, oatmeal is a healthy breakfast that serves up lots of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. This whole grain meal is known to lower cholesterol, help with digestion, and even give your metabolism a boost. As a bonus, it’s a great meal to add other superfoods to for a truly outstanding diet.
Learn About Our Superfood Program
At the Sajune Institute for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine, we proudly offer a superfood program that is customized for each patient. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our office in Orlando to get all the facts.