Superfoods: The ultimate diets for a healthy living

Updated: Apr 19, 2013, 17:23 PM IST

What is a Superfood?

Superfood is a word used to describe food with high phytonutrients (special chemicals that fight against diseases). Phytochemicals can cut the risk of certain forms of cancer, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the immune system. They`re also foods which have health benefits beyond their nutritional content.

Superfoods are also known as anti-aging foods because it has high antioxidants as well as high concentrations of crucial nutrients that have been proven to help prevent and in some cases, reverse the effects of aging.

Why we should eat Superfoods?

Beans: They’re rich in fiber and iron. Darker-colored beans, such as black and kidney, have an even higher concentration of healthy substance.

Apricots: Apricot is great source of Vitamin A and other nutrients. Dried apricots are even more nutritious and portable than fresh ones.

Berries: Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries are highly recommended for healthy aging. Blueberries also contain high levels of antioxidants.

Broccoli: Deep-green vegetables like collard greens, kale and asparagus have ample amount of nutrients. Bok choy (Chinese cabbage) is also packed with nutrients, which is also believed to guard against certain cancers.

Peanut Butter: Nuts are healthy food, filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which can help fight heart disease. Almonds, in particular are known for lowering cholesterol.

Turkey: This protein-rich food can be prepared at any time of the year other than Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is considered to be one of the healthiest foods in the world. Studies suggest this spice can lower cholesterol and help control blood sugar.

Pomegranate juice: Rich in antioxidant, this juice has been recommended for fighting against heart disease and lowering cholesterol.

Red Wine: Red wine is made with the skins of the grapes on (the skins of the grapes contain all the `super` parts), whereas white wine is made after the grapes have had their skins removed. Hence, red wine is naturally more `super` than white wine. Studies suggest red wine may protect the heart and help control cholesterol levels, among other benefits.

Dark Chocolate: Dark Chocolate is another mysterious superfood, courtesy - cocoa. Dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or higher is recommended.

Yoghurt: Nutritionally rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, yoghurt has dietary benefits beyond those of milk. People who are moderately lactose-intolerant can consume it without ill effects, because much of the lactose in the milk precursor is converted to lactic acid by the bacterial culture.

Oats: Whole-grain goodies, such as oat bran breakfast cereal, oatmeal and whole grain breads help lower your cholesterol.

Avocado: Avocados are high-calorie, improve blood flow, which enhances brain activity.

Green Tea: Green tea is made solely with the leaves of Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Studies show that green tea has many health benefits. Some evidence suggests that regular green tea drinkers have lower chances of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer. Green tea has also been used traditionally to control blood sugar in the body.

Compiled by: Salome Phelamei