Healthy food has been gaining a lot of momentum in the last few years. Dubbed as “superfoods,” people are trying to incorporate these into their daily diets. Green superfoods especially are slowly on the rise. Presently, there are about 100 kinds of superfoods
available in the market.
What Are Superfoods?
Superfoods are mostly plant-based foods that are nutritionally dense. This makes them good for your overall health and well-being. Superfoods may also have properties that can cure some medical conditions.
History of Superfoods
In ancient times, they were already using specific plants to treat different types of sickness. For example, garlic boasts of many benefits. Egyptian laborers believed garlic could increase their physical strength and stamina. Likewise, ancient Greek members of the military and athletes consumed garlic for the same reason. In ancient China, garlic was used for digestive and respiratory complaints and to fight depression.
An example of green superfoods used way back is kale. Apparently, they have been around for about two thousand years. Ancient Greeks used kale daily and was a staple in their diets. Aside from being used as food, the Greeks also used kale for medicinal purposes.
Popular Green Superfoods
Kale is probably the most popular green superfoods there is. And that’s no surprise. Kale is filled with all sorts of helpful compounds, making it the healthiest and most nutritious plant food in existence.
Kale contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, and K. It also houses calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Not only that, kale is also high in antioxidants.
You will experience a lot of benefits once you incorporate kale into your daily diet. Here are some of its benefits: can help in reducing the risk of heart disease, has properties that can fight against cancer, helps protect the eyes, and helps you lose weight. Kale also has anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties.
2. Brussels Sprouts
A lot of little kids associate Brussels sprouts with an icky taste. True, there might be a bitter taste to these little cabbage-like heads, but their benefits far outweigh the bitterness.
These cruciferous vegetables have a high amount of both vitamins C and K, as well as protein. Aside from that, they also contain vitamins A and B6, folate, manganese, potassium, thiamine, and iron.
Brussels sprouts have been linked to protect against cancer, boost the immune system, fight heart disease, promote good digestion, provide smooth and healthy skin, and balance blood sugar levels.
They’ve also been known to detoxify your body, manage diabetes, and help maintain good vision.
Arugula is a common ingredient in most green salads. Though it looks like fancy lettuce, it is actually very beneficial for you. It has high levels of folic acid and vitamins A, C, and K. These make the arugula a natural fighter against harmful free radicals. Aside from that, arugula also contains calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese.
Eating arugula regularly has been known to improve the condition of the bones, teeth, and eyes. For expectant mothers, eating arugula can be very helpful. The folate it contains can decrease the occurrence of certain mental defects in newborns. Also, unlike other leafy vegetables, arugula has a very low level of oxalates. Oxalates inhibit the absorption of minerals into the body.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that can grow in both fresh and salt water. It comes in either powder form, flake form, or in tablet form.
This superfood has a high protein, calcium, and iron content. It also boasts a host of other nutrients, including copper, chromium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium, and zinc. Also, it has vitamins A, C, D, E, and the B vitamins, along with essential amino acids and powerful antioxidants. And lastly, it holds gamma linolenic acid and omega-3, 6, and 9s.
One major benefit that you get from spirulina is that it detoxes heavy metals. Chronic arsenic toxicity is a worldwide problem. Inorganic arsenic is plaguing many countries through drinking water. Spirulina helps fight against arsenic if mixed with zinc. Newer studies also suggest that it joins with radioactive isotopes and may help in radioactive exposure or radiation therapy.
A lot of people tend to avoid eating asparagus. Why? Well, they actually have the tendency to make your pee smell. However, you learn to get past that and recognize the benefits instead.
Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food that’s high in folic acid. It is also a good source of fiber, potassium, thiamine, and vitamins A, B6, and C.
The antioxidants found in asparagus can slow down the aging process. They can also protect your skin from sun damage and pollution. It also acts as a natural diuretic, which means it helps get rid of excess salt and fluid.
Eating asparagus may also lower the risk of depression. The folate in this vegetable prevents an excess of homocysteine from forming in the body. Too much of homocysteine interferes with the production of the feel-good hormones dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable native to Italy. It’s available year-round, but is best between January and March.
This is another on the green superfoods list that is a good source of fiber, beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins C and K. Along with that, broccoli also has minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
It also contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, and phytochemicals. These fight against cancer, specifically of the prostate, breast, pancreas, urinary bladder, and colon.
Broccoli also helps keep your body less acidic, helps repair skin damage, significantly improves blood pressure, draws out bad cholesterol from the body, and lowers the risk of coronary artery disease.
This superfood is once again chock-full of needed vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. It has a significant amount of calcium, protein, and potassium. It also contains vitamins A, C, and E.
The regular intake of moringa powder has a number of benefits. One, it is effective in reducing lipid and glucose levels, and it also regulates oxidative stress in diabetics. This means moringa can lower blood sugar and cholesterol and can also protect against cell damage.
Another benefit is that it may cure Alzheimer’s disease. It has components that fight oxidation, thus improving the brain function.
It also treats anemia, allergies and asthma, chronic headaches, kidney stones, fluid retention, and low sex drive.
I’m pretty sure you’re surprised to see this on the list. That’s right, pistachios are considered one of the healthy green superfoods!
Compared to the other nuts that we usually snack on, pistachios contain a lower calorie count. They have quite a high amount of protein, as well as oleic acid, antioxidants, phosphorus, and potassium. Other helpful minerals include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc.
One of the biggest benefits we get from pistachios is that they promote a healthy heart. Eating them regularly can decrease the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. They can also reduce the risk of age-related macular disease, give relief from constipation, eliminate dry skin, treat diarrhea, and promote healthy weight loss.
Many people actually enjoy eating artichokes and its slightly nutty flavor. So aside from tasting quite pleasant, they are considered as a nutrient powerhouse.
Artichokes are loaded with antioxidants and dietary fiber. They also contain vitamins A, B6, B12, C, E, D, and K. Aside from that, they also offer minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.
The artichoke is ranked #7 in antioxidant content by the USDA. This means that it strongly combats cancer, specifically of the breast and the prostate. These antioxidants also promote the regrowth and repair of damaged liver cells. Artichokes can also soothe inflamed gallbladders and can help with a blocked duct in the organ. Through this, they also stimulate the production and secretion of gastric juices, thus promoting a smooth digestive system.
Rounding off this top 10 list ts another example of the popular green superfoods.
Wheatgrass is one of the healthiest and most complete superfoods. It contains a high level of chlorophyll. This is an important blood builder. In addition, it contains iron, amino acids, selenium, antioxidants, and electrolytes. It also has vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K.
Wheatgrass is used in many ways and is beneficial to practically every single part of your body. How? For starters, it aids in eliminating acne, treats sunburn, slows down the signs of aging, gets rid of body odor, improves the appearance of nails, gets rid of dandruff, and prevents tooth decay.
Wheatgrass can also soothe a terrible hangover, treat the common cold, and help relieve menstrual cramps.
And there you go. Armed with this list of green superfoods, it’s time to head on to greener pastures. Load up on these healthy choices and pave the way to a better and healthier you!