Nowadays, we often use the term of superfood. Do you know what it actually means? According to scientific studies, it has been discovered that few foods from both a plant source or an animal source possess some properties which are not generally categorised in their properties. They help to increase immunity and protect our body from severe damages. Let's know more about some plant-based superfoods that can be incorporated in our regular diet to improve our health quality.
Kale: Kale is a widely known vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family. There are many varieties of kale available in the market. Among them, green leaf with a curvy edge is more common. It is rich in vitamin A, K, C and B6. It is also a good source of manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium. As a leafy vegetable, it contains very little fat, but a large portion of the fat in it is omega-3 fatty acid. It also has high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Kale can be consumed in the form of baked kale chips or incorporated in a salad.
Brussels Sprouts: This is another vegetable which belongs to the cabbage family. They resemble mini cabbage. Brussels sprouts are mainly rich in vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting. It also has a high amount of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from damages. A chemical component by the name kaempferol is found in it, which is proved to be an antioxidant and through various scientific studies, it has been found to reduce cancer cell growth.
This vegetable can be taken as a salad or sauté or even grilled.
Spirulina: This type of superfood falls under the algae family. Its general type is cyanobacteria. They can produce energy from sunlight through photosynthesis. These tiny algae are packed with the goodness of nutrients. It is generally consumed in form of powder and a single dose i.e.1 tsp (5 gm) contains approx. 2 gm protein along with a good amount of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, copper and iron. It has an antioxidant - phycocyanin, which reduces oxidative stress and damage.
Avocado: Avocado is a unique fruit. There are different types of avocados that vary in shape and colour, the most popular variety is the Hass avocado. It is a good source of healthy fats along with vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium and zinc.
It can be used in salads as a dip or spread.
Broccoli: This vegetable also belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family. There are three main varieties of broccoli among them green one is the most popular. It contains a high amount of fibre along with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Few studies have found a positive co-relation between broccoli consumption and reduction the incidence of cancer.
It can be added in salads, fried rice, etc., to enhance the flavour it also can be added in pasta and macaroni.
Quinoa: This food is currently popular. It is gluten-free, rich in protein and has sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is also high in fibre, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and various beneficial antioxidants like flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol.
If looking for weight loss you can include it in a meal instead of rice or wheat product.
Wheatgrass: This superfood wheatgrass is prepared from the freshly sprouted leaves of the common wheat plant. It can be grown and prepared at home or purchased from the market in the form of juice, powder or supplement form. It helps to detoxify the liver and improve gut health. Wheatgrass is high in vitamins A, C and E, as well as iron, magnesium, calcium and amino acids. It helps to increase glutathione and vitamin C level in the body.
Chlorella: This also belongs to the algae family. Chlorella is proven to improve cholesterol level in the body along with reducing harmful toxins. It is advisable to take the product in the form of capsule, tablet, powder or extract form as the hard cell wall cannot be digested by human digestive enzymes.
Berries: Berries are the most popular family of fruits. They are available in the market in different types, colours and flavours. Different types of berries possess special nutrients but in general, they are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps cells to protect against oxidative damage.
Depending upon the need choose a superfood to improve your overall health.