Eating a balanced diet requires immense control and will power. Every day is an uphill battle where you don’t give in to temptation. What if I tell you that you don’t have to compromise on your taste buds anymore? Superfoods are some of the healthiest, most holistic options when it comes to optimum nutrition. Incorporate these 10 superfood options in your daily diet and boost your daily productivity!
Not to be confused with vegetables—they’re not—sea cucumbers are actually marine animals often found in Asian cuisine, highly prized as an excellent source of nutrients, amino acids, and antioxidants. Low in calories and fat but high in protein, sea cucumbers keep your body feeling full although you are eating less and they also stabilise your blood sugar levels. Research also shows that sea cucumbers have anti-inflammatory properties as well as antimicrobial properties, while others have found substances in sea cucumbers that can help fight cancer cells and improve your overall heart and liver health.
You can easily find sea cucumbers in their dried form, which can be rehydrated and added to soups, stews, and stir-fries. Their slippery and gooey texture is best partnered with strong flavours from other ingredients, such as meats, seafood, or spices. Treat yourself to a health boost by either braising them with fish maw and winter melon or stir-frying them with Chinese cabbage and shiitake mushrooms.
We can’t say this enough: Cranberries, blueberries, and strawberries are all loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. They work wonders for your skin, improve immunity, and effectively help flush out toxins from the body. Replete with potassium, Vitamin C, and other anti-inflammatory properties, they are also a great source of fibre and work wonders for your digestive system.
There are many easy ways you can add berries to your breakfast and other meals. Blueberry tarts, pies, cakes, and smoothies are delicious and nutritious. You can even have the seeds raw as an in-between snack! Making yourself a blueberry protein shake in the morning is as simple as washing the berries and tossing them in with your protein powder of choice.
Fish is another source of protein that you can try out for that extra kick of energy. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can help prevent heart ailments. Salmon, tuna, trout, and anchovies are just a few delicious options you can explore. Salmon, in particular, is one of the healthiest superfood options to add to your daily diet.
Add a slice of salmon or trout to your salad, or cook them with rice for a tasty lunch. Searing or steaming are just two easy preparation methods. When you’re buying packaged fish, be sure to check the expiry date and other details on the package before purchasing it. Do your research; some healthy food labels might not be as useful as you think.
Eggs are a great source of protein and energy. It is one of the most preferred breakfast options worldwide. It takes but a few minutes to scramble an egg or prepare an omelette and you can even add eggs to your protein shake or include it on other ways in your meals.
The egg white is usually considered to the healthier part, and rich in protein. But most people don’t know is that the yellow yolk contains lutein and zeaxanthin-two antioxidants. This is good for your eyesight and heart health and it also protects your skin from the harmful UV rays.
The yolk is the most nutritious part of the egg. It contains the highest protein, Vitamins A, C and D, and even high quantities of lipoprotein (HDL). The “good” cholesterol helps clean out your bloodstream and lower your body fat.
Mixed nuts contain almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, pecans, and more. A packet of nuts is a healthy, fulfilling snack for in-between meals. Nuts contain high levels of protein and saturated fat that is great for your skin and bones. You can even add almonds and walnuts in your breakfast cereal. Nuts also go great with vegetables and other cuisines.
You can get a packet of mixed nuts at any supermarket. I would also recommend that you buy the nuts from local shops and countryside markets. Nut butter like peanut butter and hazelnut spread are also popular breakfast options you can check out.
Flax seeds are compact energy-packed superfoods that hold in them a host of benefits for the body. Some people prefer to have them with water; others roast the seeds and add them to their meals. You can have it either of the two ways. When eaten with water, the flax seeds help improve digestion and motions. It is rich in fibre and antioxidants, cleansing out the toxins from within.
Ensure that you have the flax seeds on an empty stomach, preferably early in the morning. It would keep you rejuvenated for the day ahead. You can even try whole-wheat grains and legumes as part of your diet.
If you are looking for a vegan, healthy, and gluten-free breakfast option, then superfood quinoa is the way to go. It contains all the protein sources and the nine essential amino acids that the body needs.
Quinoa, when cooked with meat (or spinach, if you’re vegetarian) is a great post-workout meal as well. High on fibre and carbs, it complements your diet and makes weight loss an easy process. I would suggest you get white quinoa because of its superior quality.
I believe that broccoli is a very underrated vegetable that people hate on without any reason. When cooked right with the right ingredients, broccoli complements the dish like nothing else. It’s good for your body, it purifies your blood, replenishes the nutritional deficiency, and improves digestion. What is not to love about this amazing vegetable!
Broccoli goes well with other vegetables, curries, noodles, rice, soup, and even salads. Ensure that you get broccoli from organically grown local markets for the best quality. Countryside markets don’t use adulterants to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the vegetables. Hence, they are a safer, more authentic space for your grocery shopping.
A bowl of oats in the morning is an excellent start to the day. It is a fulfilling, delicious meal that is easy to prepare. Seriously, it takes a minute or two to make some oats and milk. Add fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds for that extra punch. Oats are a great source of fibre, improving your digestion and metabolism rate. It is also suitable for your gut and hence recommended by dieticians to people who want to lose weight. Ensure that you don’t add any extra sugar or artificial preservatives to the bowl though.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”—we’ve all grown up listening to this phrase and guess what, it’s true! Apples are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And if you have a sweet tooth like me, then apples are the perfect addition to your diet. You can have them for breakfast, bake pies, have apple tarts, cakes and so much more. Add apples to practically anything, and you have a beautiful dessert ready. Research has proved that apples make you smarter; they boost your energy levels and detoxify the body.
Curd or yoghurt contains probiotics that are necessary for building your body’s immunity system. You get flavoured yoghurt as well these days that can be a fantastic snacking option. You can eat it with fruits, nuts, oats, smoothies, and more.
What’s more, yoghurt is packed with nutrients! Potassium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B12, and proteins constitute a significant chunk of this superfood treat. A reminder though, check the sugar content when you’re getting store-bought yoghurt. Brands tend to add preservatives and artificial sweeteners to enhance its taste and texture.