Increased awareness about a healthier life style, in recent times, has shifted the focus of a large number of people towards healthy foods or superfoods. Many people are already relishing the benefits of superfoods -- foods that have superior nutritious value. Are you wondering what superfoods are? Or what makes a food “super”? Let’s dig deeper into superfoods, their benefits, and how to include them in your diet.

What are superfoods?

Superfoods are foods that provide a high amount of nutrients with very few calories. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, fibres, and phytochemicals (chemicals naturally produced by plants). They help in improving your overall well-being. These nutrient-rich foods help you to lead a long and healthy life.

Why should we eat superfoods?

Modern lifestyle and unhealthy dietary habits are not good for our skin, hair, immune system, and even for our emotional well-being. There are a lot of unhealthy snacks or foods available in the market. These foods are easy to cook and eat but badly impact our health. However, a daily healthy diet, enriched with superfoods, provides an abundance of nutrition that helps you to stay fit and healthy.

What are the benefits of eating superfoods?

Superfoods are plant-based foods and each nutrient present in superfoods has a unique superpower to prevent chronic illnesses. One of the most vital nutrients present in superfoods is antioxidants. Antioxidants are the chemicals that protect our body from the harmful effects of free radicals (chemicals produced in the body which cause damage to the cells).

Additionally, the phytochemicals present in superfoods have numerous health benefits viz. reducing inflammation, reducing blood cholesterol levels, regulating blood pressure, protective effects against heart diseases, and anticancer activity. The natural nutrients in some superfoods may help in weight loss, boost immunity, improve metabolism, help in clearer skin, a sharper mind, and diminish signs of ageing. They also provide energy and help you feel good.

There are many categories of superfoods, such as green leafy vegetables, herbs, seaweed, fruit, and nuts that you can easily incorporate into your healthy diet. Let’s read about the top 6 superfoods that need to be a part of your diet and find out why they are called superfoods.

Top 6 superfoods and their benefits

Tulsi, Turmeric Green Tea - Green tea is a good source of antioxidants and is low in calories. This green tea is a combination of three superfoods along with exotic spices.

  • Tulsi is a rich source of vitamin C and zinc. Tulsi helps in boosting your immunity and it has strong antibacterial, antipyretic, and antiviral properties. It is also helpful against cough and cold.
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. The powerful antioxidants present in turmeric help stop the premature ageing of cells by fighting the dangerous free radicals in the body.
  • Natural sweetener stevia provides zero calories and also has therapeutic properties.

So, the healing power of tulsi, the antioxidant power of turmeric, and the subtle sweetness with zero calories of natural sweetener stevia offer you a delicious and super healthy drink to relish.

Organic White Quinoa - Quinoa is considered a superfood as it is rich in proteins and fibres. One and a half cups of Quinoa contains 14 grams of protein and 6 grams of fibre. White quinoa is gluten-free; it is also one of the few plants that contain a whole protein (which means it contains all nine amino acids). The low glycaemic index of quinoa helps in controlling blood sugar levels. So, it may be a superfood for diabetics, too.

Additionally, quinoa contains iron, magnesium, lysine, and vitamin B12 which give many health benefits as under:

  • Improves digestion
  • Improves circulation
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Maintains healthy teeth and bones
  • Has heart protective properties
  • Reduces the risk of colon cancer
  • Helps in weight loss

Moreover, it is easy to add these superfoods to your daily diet and can be enjoyed as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Some amazing recipes that can be tried: quinoa dal dosa, missi roti, quinoa uttapam, quinoa cheela stuffed with paneer, etc. It can also be used as a substitute for rice.

Organic Flax Seeds - Flax seeds have many proven health benefits. They are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and proteins. 

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), present in flax seeds, has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • A plant chemical, lignan, possesses antioxidant properties and protects you from breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
  • It is a rich source of fibre; so, it helps in chronic constipation and is very helpful in reducing weight.
  • It lowers bad cholesterol in your body.
  • Manganese helps in the normal functioning of the brain and nerves.

Flax seeds can be enjoyed whole or grounded. They can be added to yoghurt, cakes, muffins, etc.

Handmade 3 Dried Fruit (Triphala) Digestive Tonic - Triphala is a Sanskrit word meaning 3 fruits. This superfood is a mixture of 3 dried fruits (Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki) known for their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

  • It is a detoxifier, digestive tonic, and powerful rejuvenator.
  • It improves digestive function by removing toxins from the body.
  • It reduces bad cholesterol and triglycerides and helps in weight loss.
  • It has skin-healing properties and is good for oral health.
  • It may also help with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

It is good to consume 1 tablespoon with warm water at night to improve bowel movements.

Gluten-free Everyday Nutri Atta - This atta is a mixture of 2 superfoods i.e. jowar and amaranth along with added goodness of gond—a natural resin that has regenerative and restorative properties. It is rich in minerals and vitamins, fibres, calcium, vitamin B, and other nutrients. It is useful:

  •  In constipation due to its fibre content and is easy to digest
  •  For bones as it is calcium-rich
  •  In controlling cholesterol levels
  •  In strengthening the immune system

Do your chapatis give you the above-mentioned benefits? You can try this gluten-free flour to make soft and nutritious chapatis at home.

Natural Spirulina Powder - Spirulina is edible algae and one of the most nutritious superfoods due to its nutrient-dense properties. It is rich in protein, vitamin B, potassium, copper, and iron.

  • It contains 60% plant-based protein that is essential for regulating the functioning of the heart and is good for hair health.
  • It boosts immunity.
  • Amino acids and digestive enzymes help improve digestion.
  • Spirulina is a great source of carotenoid: an antioxidant that fights free radicals in your body and protects you against cancer and heart diseases.
  • Spirulina helps build concentration and improve eyesight in growing children.
  • It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties because of a pigment called phycocyanin.

Spirulina is a powerhouse of nutrients that have amazing health benefits. This powder can be taken with water or can be added to smoothies.

To conclude, it is important to note that no single food contains all the essential nutrients that can protect you from diseases. So, you need to include a variety of superfoods to make your daily diet well-balanced and healthy. When these superfoods are consumed in the right amounts along with other nutritious foods, they provide magnificent health benefits.