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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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                                                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                                                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                                                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                                                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                                      1. The Inner Critic

                                                      This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                                                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                                      He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                                      Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                                      2. The Worrier

                                                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                                      He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                                                      Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                                                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                                      He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                                                      He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                                      He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                                                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                                      His motivation can be:

                                                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                                      How can you control these squatters?

                                                      How to Master Your Mind

                                                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                                      For the Inner Critic

                                                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                                                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                                                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                                      • He riles up the Worrier.
                                                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                                      • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                                      • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                                      • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                                                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                                      Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                                      For the Worrier

                                                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                      • Muscles tense

                                                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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                                                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                                                      For example:

                                                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                      • Muscles tension

                                                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                                      Breathe in through your nose:

                                                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                                                      Breathe out through your nose:

                                                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                                                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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                                                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                                                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                                      For the Sleep Depriver

                                                      (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                                      • Shut down your thinking.
                                                      • Calm your feelings.
                                                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                                      Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                                                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                                                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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