Superfoods don’t have a medical definition. It’s generally agreed that a food is a superfood if it has an unusually high nutrient content. The nutrients in superfoods can have health-promoting properties and may reduce risks for certain diseases.
Kale is the original superfood and will always be our favorite. Boasting various health benefits from its many nutrients, we don’t know if we can ever get enough of it. Just one cup of chopped kale is enough to meet the daily recommended intake of Vitamins A, C, and K. It’s only 33 calories.
Kale is an excellent vegetable that can care for our eyes’ health. We love the vitamin A in kale for helping keep our corneas clear and vision sharp. It also has lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect against macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision loss in older adults. Cataracts in our eyes can also be guarded against with kale.
Our hearts’ health can also benefit when we eat kale. Kale contains large amounts of vitamin C, which assists in lowering blood pressure and absorbing iron.
Kale also contains flavonoids, vitamin K and omega-3s which are effective at reducing inflammation and keeping the heart healthy. Plus, it includes vitamin K to alleviate blood clotting. Kale is truly super.
Generalized Health Benefits
We love teamwork. The teamwork between vitamins A and K in kale works to keep our bones strong and healthy. When combined with vitamin C and the immune-boosting carotenoids in kale, Vitamin A boosts our immune system. We can’t go wrong when eating kale.
Ginger’s unique on our list of superfoods because it’s ingested in small quantities and has hardly any vitamins in it. Ginger contains unique compounds called gingerol, shogaol, zingiberene, and zingerone. These compounds aren’t well understood yet, but scientists suspect they’re behind the benefits seen in ginger.
The most well-known benefit to ginger is helping with nausea and an upset stomach. It can be helpful for nausea that’s caused by vertigo. More research will continue to shed light on all the possible digestive health benefits of ginger.
Possible Benefits With More Research
As with digestive benefits, several other benefits haven’t been fully explored yet. Scientists suspect these benefits based on animal studies and clinical observations. Additional scientific research is needed to confirm if these benefits take place in humans and how they function.
There’s preliminary research to support ginger having potential pain-management properties. This could include pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It could also include headaches and joint and muscle pain. We’re all for finding natural alternatives to taking painkillers.
Evidence-based clinical observations and animal studies indicate that ginger can help to lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Its anti-inflammatory properties promote blood clotting as well as lessening swelling and inflammation.
Spinach is packed full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. We love that one cup of raw spinach has only nine calories; this means we’re getting all those nutrients in a small portion of our diet.
It’s best to eat spinach when it’s fresh and still crisp to get the most nutritional value from it. Up to half of the nutritional value will be gone a week after harvesting it, and it will go limp. To preserve spinach, we freeze it while it’s still fresh and defrost as needed.
Spinach is a food we love to help keep us heart-healthy. It’s high in folate, which is great for helping our bodies make healthy red blood cells. It’s also got potassium in to help to lower blood pressure. Plus, it’s got omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber; it’s no surprise spinach is our go-to food.
Spinach is an excellent vegetable that we always turn to maintain our eye health. It contains vitamin A and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which we know protect against macular degeneration. Lutein is also known to help prevent the development of harmful cataracts.
Generalized Health Benefits
As well as helping us avoid vision problems, the lutein in spinach has the potential to improve cognition, protect our skin, and strengthen our cardiovascular system. Spinach is also fantastic for promoting healthy bones (vitamin A) and skin (Vitamin K). We can’t go wrong with spinach!
Sweet potatoes are different from the other potatoes we come across because they’re roots, not tubers. Loaded with nutrients, one cup of cubed sweet potato only has 114 calories. They’re also fat and cholesterol-free and can be eaten in any way.
We love how easy it is to prepare sweet potatoes to please everyone. With the added health benefits, it’s a no-brainer to put it on the table for more than just Thanksgiving.
Sweet potatoes are another vegetable that’s excellent for our heart’s health. They’re known to decrease the risk of heart disease because they’re high in potassium. Sweet potatoes are also diabetes-friendly, gradually releasing sugars, compared to other starchy foods. This makes blood sugar easier to control. Sweet potatoes (with the skin) are high in fiber, shown to lower blood sugar levels.
Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, which our body converts into vitamin A. As we know by now, vitamin A is excellent for eye health. It can help with dry eyes and night blindness.
Generalized Health Benefits
Sweet potatoes have high magnesium levels, which is an essential mineral for physical health and mental health. Magnesium can lower the stress and anxiety levels in the body and help ease depression, which we definitely need after 2020. Additionally, the vitamin A, C, and E in sweet potatoes promotes healthy skin and hair, and who doesn’t love that?
Superfoods are a great way to protect ourselves from multiple potential health concerns. When used as a preventative method, with the help of a doctor, superfoods can be revolutionary. Always speak to your doctor before making dietary changes. Superfoods can be harmful if not consumed in moderation; it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.