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Last Updated on January 12, 2018

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 September 20, 2018

                                                      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                                                      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                                                      Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                                                      If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                                                      1. Breathe

                                                      The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                                                      • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                                                      • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                                                      • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                                                      Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                                                      2. Loosen up

                                                      After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                                                      Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                                                      3. Chew slowly

                                                      Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                                                      Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                                                      Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                                                      4. Let go

                                                      Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                                                      The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                                                      It’s not. Promise.

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                                                      Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                                                      Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                                                      21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                                                      5. Enjoy the journey

                                                      Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                                                      Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                                                      6. Look at the big picture

                                                      The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                                                      Will this matter to me…

                                                      • Next week?
                                                      • Next month?
                                                      • Next year?
                                                      • In 10 years?

                                                      Hint: No, it won’t.

                                                      I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                                                      Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                                                      7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                                                      You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                                                      Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                                                      8. Practice patience every day

                                                      Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                                                      • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                                                      • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                                                      • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                                                      Final thoughts

                                                      Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                                                      Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                                                      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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