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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

                                                      Having experienced her own extreme transformation process, Jolie strongly believes that staying healthy takes determined and consistent action.

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                                                      Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                                                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                                      Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                                                      To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                                                      Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                                                      1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                                                      Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                                                      Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                                                      To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                                                      2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                                                      Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                                                      If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                                                      Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                                                      3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                                                      Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                                                      Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                                                      4. Feed Your Brain

                                                      Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                                                      This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                                                      Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                                                      Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                                                      5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                                                      According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                                                      Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                                                      Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                                                      6. Write it Down

                                                      If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                                                      It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                                                      You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                                                      7. Listen to Music

                                                      Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                                                      8. Visual Concepts

                                                      In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                                                      Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                                                      Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                                                      9. Teach Someone Else

                                                      Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                                                      Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                                                      10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                                                      Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                                                      So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                                                      Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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                                                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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