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Eat These 25 Superfoods and be Strong Like Popeye the Sailor Man

Eat These 25 Superfoods and be Strong Like Popeye the Sailor Man

Remember Popeye and his love of canned spinach? Every time he’d guzzle a can down he’d almost magically became stronger.

    While it seemed far fetched, he was advocating the goodness contained in the leafy greens and although it may not have such a quick effect on our health, there are plenty of superfoods that can boost our health, strength and well-being.

    Some Foods Do Have “Superpower”

    While eating superfoods won’t give you instant muscles like Popeye, incorporating them into your diet can help you create a healthier lifestyle.

    So what exactly are superfoods?

    Superfoods aren’t a special acknowledged food group, but rather a label to identify the foods that are extra-rich in nutrients. Mainly plant-based, they contain large doses of vitamins and minerals that go towards helping us live a longer, healthier life. While the jury is still out on whether packing our diets full of superfoods is truly beneficial, many studies have found certain foods do help reverse ageing and reduce risk of cancers, heart disease and diabetes due to eliminating cell damage in the body.

    Incorporating superfoods into your diet isn’t hard, you can always start by getting more raw foods

    Health and diet go hand in hand. A balanced diet is crucial if we’re to live an optimum healthy life. Therefore, incorporating superfoods into our snacks and meals is a positive step and doesn’t require much effort to do.

    When creating a healthier diet, eliminating processed foods is essential and replacing packaged, sugar, salt and fat-laden items with a focus on more raw food choices will get your health boosted.

    Unprocessed food habits such as fresh fruit and vegetables, making food from scratch rather than buying ready-made meals and using wholegrains where possible will make it easier to switch to a more positive diet. Being mindful of where your food comes from and asking yourself if what you’re eating has had as little change from being plucked from its original source, is a good habit and mindset to adopt.

    Superfoods are everywhere, easy to find and not expensive

    With this in mind, here are 25 superfoods that you can easily incorporate into your diet.

    1. Blueberries

      Blueberries are a great, naturally sweet addition to your diet. Packed full of antioxidants, they help eliminate the free radicals that damage the cells in our body. This means they can help prevent cancer as well as premature ageing. They also help regulate blood sugar levels and even do a lot for the brain – they help with cognitive ability and protects the brain from damage caused by stress.

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      2. Green Tea

        It’s widely known by now that drinking green tea will boost your health in a plethora of ways. It contains a huge amount of antioxidants in just one cup which goes towards reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s, while increasing brain cognitive ability and brain function.

        3. Spinach

          While it won’t give you muscles like Popeye, spinach does contain other nutrients that are great for your health. In fact, its nutrition reaches around most of the body from bone strength and eye health, to the immune system and brain function. This is because it surprisingly contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as a concentrated amount of essential vitamins.

          4. Strawberries

          strawberries

            These sweet treats are nature’s best and healthiest desserts. They are an excellent source of vitamin C which goes towards optimal immune function. It’s also been found that the antioxidants found in strawberries are particularly good at lowering high cholesterol.

            5. Eggs

            how to tell if an egg is good

              There are many vitamins and minerals found in eggs but what makes them special is the high-quality of these nutrients. Since it’s designed to provide the optimum environment to a growing chick, this is no surprise. But it’s the protein content that makes eggs a superfood as it contains 9 essential amino acids along with iron, selenium, vitamin A and all the B vitamins.

              6. Almonds

                Almonds are incredibly nutritionally-dense containing good amounts of potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron. They are thought to help lower bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure in combination with a low-calorie diet. Just make sure to eat them in moderation as just a handful will provide you with what you need.

                7. Cranberries

                  This sour berry shouldn’t be left just for the Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner table. Cranberry juice is a great way to get the antioxidants that this fruit provides. Probably most known for clearing up yeast infections, they also reduce heart disease and can also help stop cancer cells from growing.

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                  8. Lentils

                    This is a great source of soluble fibre that your digestion will thank you for. But it has other powers that will boost your body functions including regulating blood sugar levels, lowering bad cholesterol and reducing risk of heart disease.

                    9. Avocados

                      While avocados are extremely high in fat and should be eaten in reasonable quantities, the average serving will add a lot to your health. Phytochemicals provide protection against cancers while the good fats help reduce bad cholesterol in the body. They’re also good for the blood as they promote good blood flow as well as lowering blood pressure and therefore reducing risks of heart disease. When eaten with other healthy foods, avocados help speed up nutrient-absorption in the body.

                      10. Walnuts

                      Low glycemic index foods

                        While many nuts are good for us, walnuts are particularly beneficial. In moderation they can boost energy levels due to high amounts of iron, manganese and zinc, they’re high in vitamin E making them great for the skin, and lowers blood pressure. Their high antioxidant content mean they help prevent cancers and help eliminate free radicals in the body.

                        11. Salmon

                          This is one of many non plant-based superfoods that will benefit your diet. High in omega-3 fatty acids, regular portions of salmon is amazing for your brain. It also contain peptides which contain high anti-inflammatory properties and even improves your mood. Reduction in blood pressure, risk of heart disease and stroke are further benefits of eating this fish.

                          12. Carrots

                            We all remember being told that our eyesight will become much better if we chomp down on our carrots, but it also provides many other benefits. These include improving skin conditions due to high amounts of vitamin A, regulate blood sugar and improve the immune system. But carotenoids are the best thing about carrots because they can help prevent many forms of cancer. Eating them raw will allow you to get the most benefits.

                            13. Goji Berries

                              Goji berries have exploded into the health-conscious world as the new superfood in town. This is because it contain 18 amino acids making them high in protein meaning increased muscle function, improvement in cognitive ability and boosting the nervous system.

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                              14. Pomegranates

                                Pomegranates provide a wide variety of health benefits. Not only are they high in fibre for good digestion, they slow down growth in prostate cancer, improves blood circulation and reduces bad cholesterol.

                                15. Kiwi Fruit

                                  Kiwifruits tend to stay under the radar when it comes to their power. They’re extremely high in antioxidants and vitamin C which means it will boost your immune system no end. It also removes toxins from the body and actually create protection for long term oxidative damage to DNA.

                                  16. Sweet Potatoes

                                    Sweet potatoes have a multitude of benefits. They are high in vitamin C and A giving a boost to tissue and the immune health. But they also contain cancer-fighting antioxidants, regulate blood sugar and contain anti-inflammatory properties.

                                    17. Turmeric

                                    turmeric

                                      This spice has got a lot of good press lately. This is because it contains a high concentration of curcumin, an antioxidant. This means if you add this to your dishes you will be helping to prevent inflammation, viruses within the body, and osteoarthritic pain.

                                      18. Seaweed

                                        This probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when picking out superfoods to add to your meals, but seaweed packs a punch when it comes to essential nutrients. It’s main advantage is its amount of iodine which is hard to find in many other foods and prevents thyroid problems. It’s also extremely antioxidant-saturated and helps prevent depression, breast cancer, and help with hormone imbalance in women.

                                        19. Chia Seeds

                                          Chia seeds are another superfood to become fashionable but they are for a reason. They contain many different antioxidants that prevent cancers, they’re a great source of omega-3 and protein as well as fibre. All these help with heart health, blood sugar levels, digestion health and optimum functioning of cells.

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                                          20. Cauliflower

                                            Not only are they packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants, cauliflower contains glucosinolates which are amazing cancer-fighting compounds. They’ve even been found to interact with estrogen in women that helps prevent hormone-related cancers such common ones like cervical and breast cancer.

                                            21. Beetroot

                                              That purple colour contained in beetroot is the secret to its power. They contain betalains that are powerful antioxidants and are thought to ward off cancers and degenerative diseases. It also contains high amounts of iron and folate as well as nitrates and magnesium that help strengthen our vital organs.

                                              22. Broccoli

                                                Like carrots, broccoli is high in carotenoids. But what makes this green vegetable so special is its sulforaphane content. Sulforaphane basically takes cancer prevention to a whole other level by eliminating toxic chemicals from the body. It’s also high in fibre for improved digestion and are super great for the heart.

                                                23. Sunflower Seeds

                                                  Sunflower seeds are versatile to add to our diets. They are high in good fats which help with regulating hormones. But they also contain vitamin E, phosphorus, selenium, copper and vitamin B. All these help reduce heart disease, reduce high blood pressure, reduce the effects of osteoporosis and bone loss, and balances blood sugar levels reducing risk of developing diabetes.

                                                  24. Flaxseed

                                                    Flaxseed contains plant omega-3 which is good news if you don’t like oily fish. It also contains compounds called lignans that are thought to prevent certain cancers such as endometrial and ovarian. They are extremely versatile so you can sprinkle them on salads or desserts such as yoghurt.

                                                    25. Quinoa

                                                      This small seed is a good alternative to rice or couscous but the advantage of switching to this superfood is that it contains all of the nine essential amino acids that our bodies can’t naturally produce. It also packs a punch when it comes to protein so it’s a bonus for keeping our muscles strong.

                                                      Eliminating bad habits in our diets and switching to the concept of superfoods isn’t as hard as you think. Most of these foods can be easily added to meals and you don’t need to eat all of them to get overall nutritional benefits. Just pick a few to begin with and make them a staple part of your diet.

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                                                      Jolie Choi

                                                      Gone through a few heartbreaks and lost hundreds of friends but I am still happy with my life.

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                                                      Last Updated on May 15, 2019

                                                      How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

                                                      How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

                                                      As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

                                                      “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

                                                      When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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                                                      Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

                                                      We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

                                                      But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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                                                      So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

                                                      It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

                                                      1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

                                                      Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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                                                      2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

                                                      This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

                                                      You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

                                                      3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

                                                      This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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                                                      4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

                                                      How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

                                                      So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

                                                      If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

                                                      And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

                                                      Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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