Whether you’re someone who enjoys marathons, pottering in the garden or playing online casino games like online poker, it’s important to have a healthy diet that keeps you mentally and physically in shape. There’s been much excitement around supposed “superfoods,” but do they live up to the hype, and if they do, which ones might you want to consider adding to your diet? We take a look to investigate the super (or not-so-super) nature of some of these hyped-up food items.
What is a superfood?
Many people may be wondering what superfoods actually are. LiveScience.com, in its article, “What Are Superfoods?,” describes them as follows:
Superfoods are foods – mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy – that are thought to be nutritionally dense and thus good for one’s health. Blueberries, salmon, kale and acai are just a few examples of foods that have garnered the “superfood” label. However, there are no set criteria for determining what is and what is not a superfood, according to the American Heart Association. “Superfoods don’t have their own food group,” said Despina Hyde, a registered dietician with the weight management program at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. “As a dietician, I think ‘superfood’ is more of a marketing term for foods that have health benefits.”
Knowing that superfood might just be a fancy way to say “food that’s healthy for you,” which are some of the most popular so-called superfoods, and are they actually super? Let’s find out about five of our favorite healthy options, so you can make a balanced choice, hopefully leaving you with more energy to spare when you play casino games online.
Many people think this green food item is actually a vegetable, but an avocado, which is recognizable by its dark, almost leathery outer appearance, and its light yellow fleshy interior with a large brown seed, is actually a fruit. This is the core ingredient that you’ll find in guacamole and is a popular pizza topping in some places. Avocados are originally from Mexico and Central America, but you can now find them across the world.
Is it super?
Yes! Avocado is definitely a highly nutritious food. In the article, “12 proven health benefits of avocado,” Healthline.com describes how you can find a huge range of nutrients in a 3.5-ounce serving of avocado. Expressed as a percentage of your recommended daily value (DV,) these nutrients are:
- Vitamin K: 26%
- Folate: 20%
- Vitamin C: 17%
- Potassium: 14%
- Vitamin B5: 14%
- Vitamin B6: 13%
- Vitamin E: 10%
- Small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).
They also describe many of the benefits this fruit offers, including that it can help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels (as part of a balanced diet,) and is packed with fiber and healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. So that’s a green light for guacamole dip with carrot or celery sticks, then!
Many people enjoy blueberries – small, dark blue (almost black) berries that originated in the US and Canada. This fruit is often eaten on its own, or added to baked goods and fruit salads.
Is it super?
Yes! Blueberries also offer a variety of benefits. Again, we turn to Healthline and another article, “10 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries,” to share some of the great benefits you’ll enjoy from eating blueberries. In regards to nutritional value, a single cup of blueberries contains the following nutrients:
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Vitamin C: 24% of DV
- Vitamin K: 36% of DV
- Manganese: 25% of DV
- Small amounts of various other nutrients.
Consuming blueberries regularly can help to reduce your risk of cancer, as this fruit is packed with antioxidants, which are thought to help combat free radicals. These antioxidants are also believed to help slow the aging process, protect healthy cholesterol, lower your blood pressure and might even reduce your risk of heart disease. These are just some of the benefits, as research points to even more possibilities with this great fruit. Do you need any more encouragement to use this great ingredient in your next smoothie? It could be the perfect accompaniment to your next online slots session!
Ginger is a type of root that’s not only a popular ingredient in various dishes, but has also been a popular herbal medicine, as has been mentioned in the writings of various ancient cultures from all across the world. It is believed to have originally grown in Southeast Asia, and is considered a close relative to turmeric.
Is it super?
Yes! Ginger may not be packed with the same amount of nutrients as many other foods on our list, but it undoubtedly has a huge range of benefits. From helping to control oral bacteria and combatting nausea, to reducing inflammation, there is absolutely no doubt that this root is good for you. The article, “Health benefits of ginger” from WebMD.com also lists some other advantages that this food offers, including helping to lower blood sugar and cholesterol. However you like to eat it, you can be sure of ginger adding a real zing to your next culinary creation.
4. Green tea
When it comes to drinks that give you a boost, coffee tends to rule the roost (or should that be roast?) Puns aside, those who are looking for an alternative to one of the most popular hot drinks in the world might want to consider green tea, a drink that’s made using the leaves of Camellia sinensis, the species of tea plant found in China and other places around the world. Unlike other teas, green tea leaves are not oxidized, and this lack of processing or treatment means they have a lot more to offer than oxidized teas such as oolong and Assam.
Is it super?
Yes! Green tea has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, while the catechins it contains could help to boost metabolism and improve weight loss. It has also been connected to lower cholesterol and decreased risk of stroke, according to the article “What are the health benefits of green tea?” on MedicalNewsToday.com. So the next time you get a chance, why not make a brew of green tea – it counts towards your daily hydration too!
5. Turmeric (curcumin)
The final food we’re going to look at in our list is turmeric, also known as curcumin. As we mentioned earlier, this is a close relative of ginger and also comes from the roots of a plant. It is believed to have originated in tropical South Asia, and is usually consumed in a powder form as a spice for many foods, and even some drinks, and also has long been used as a herbal medicine in the Indian practice of Ayurveda.
Is it super?
As you’d expect from a food that’s closely connected to ginger, the answer is yes! In the article, “12 scientific health benefits of turmeric and curcumin” from EveryDayHealth.com, this superfood is believed to offer the following benefits:
- Helps to reduce inflammation
- May help reduce risk of heart disease and cancer
- Might be effective in reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Might be effective in treating diabetes
- May help with Alzheimer’s disease
- Could have a positive impact on depression
- May improve your skin and slow the signs of aging.
This is good news for lovers of curries! But you know what? Turmeric is an incredibly versatile ingredient. It’s got a wonderful earthy taste, and because it’s bright yellow, it helps to give dishes good color. For example, it makes a fantastic addition to a warming winter soup made from root vegetables. Give it a go!
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