There are some foods on the planet that pack a nutritional punch than others. These foods are called superfoods, that help in optimizing your body's ability to function by supplying a mega dose of nutrients.
But, what exactly are superfoods? Superfoods are foods that are jam-packed with nutrients and can aid in providing your body with the vitamins and minerals you need to thrive, survive and feel great.
Some of these superfoods are great for women. These superfoods contain large doses of antioxidants, which are substances that prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation and neutralize free radicals in the body.
Free radicals lead to degenerative conditions like arthritis, damage to the nerve cells in the brain, deterioration of eyesight, certain cancers and ageing.
Antioxidants include essential minerals and vitamins like selenium, copper, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. The common sources of antioxidants are anthocyanins found in berries, grapes and brinjal; beta-carotene found in pumpkin, mangoes, carrots, apricots, and spinach; catechins found in red wine and tea; flavonoids found in green tea, citrus fruits, red wine, onion and apples; lycopene found in tomatoes, and watermelon.
Women who are looking forward to shake up your diet with some fun, exotic and nutritious foods, here are some of the exotic superfoods for women.
1. Beetroot Juice
After you come from a workout, drink beetroot juice and avoid the sugary sports drink. Beetroot juice has become the go-to refreshment after the post-workout recovery and for athletes too. A study found that, people who drank 280 millilitres of beetroot juice and did moderate exercise lasted longer and used less energy than those who drank water or lesser amounts of beetroot juice. Beetroots also have been shown to reduce blood pressure.
Tip: Make beetroot juice by adding grated beetroots, apples and carrots. Add extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar to get your dose of healthy fats.
2. Goji Berries
Goji berries contain rich amounts of carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants that clear the body off toxins and help prevent cancer and heart disease. Goji berries have up to 12 times the antioxidant levels of blueberries. They are also loaded with nutrients that help prevent eye disease, protect against skin damage and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Goji berries are one of the exotic superfoods for women.
Tip: Have a tablespoon of goji berries for breakfast by adding it in your morning smoothie or in a bowl of oatmeal.
Sardines are small oily fish with a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. They aid in lowering blood pressure and prevent the onset of depression. Yes, you read that right! Sardines contain the lowest amount of mercury of all seafood. The health benefits of sardines are it reduces inflammation and risk of disease, protects bone health with high levels of calcium and vitamin D, controls blood sugar levels, helps with feeling full and promotes weight loss.
Tip: Bake sardines by sprinkling it with lemon, olive oil and a pinch of pepper.
Spirulina is an exotic superfood for women. It is a blue-green algae which is considered one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Spirulina is higher in protein than red meat and contains all the essential fatty acids that your body needs. It also provides tons of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The health benefits of spirulina include preventing plaque build-up in the arteries, lowering blood pressure and protecting against cancer.
Tip: Add 2 tablespoons of spirulina, 2 bananas, 1 cup of fresh mango or pineapple, and 4 cups of water in a blender.
Cinnamon is a delicious spice that does more than just adding flavour to your sweet treats and meals. It is high in antioxidants and has been associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improves nausea and PMS symptoms and decreases inflammation.
Tip: Try sprinkling cinnamon over yogurt, smoothies or oatmeal to boost up the nutritional value of your healthy breakfast.
Blueberries are jam-packed with nutrients and are termed as one of the exotic superfoods. These berries are brimming with disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals as well as plenty of vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese. The fibre, potassium, folate vitamin C, vitamin B6 in blueberries support heart health.
To top it all, blueberries are delicious and easy to add in your diet.
Tip: Add them in your salads, in baked goods or have them as a healthy snack.
Avocados are another exotic superfood for women. This super nutritious fruit is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin C, folate and vitamin K. Avocados also contain higher amounts of potassium than bananas, packed with fibre and also eating avocados twice or thrice a week can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Tip: There are many ways to enjoy this creamy fruit. You can either spread the avocado slices over the toast, add it in your salads or just add them in your smoothies.
Broccoli is a cruciferous green vegetable that makes it to the list of 10 superfoods. They are loaded with bone-building vitamin K and antioxidant-rich vitamin A and vitamin C as well as folate, manganese and calcium. The compounds present in broccoli may be able to help reduce inflammation, keep your skeletal structure strong, protect against eye diseases, improves your heart health and even prevents the growth of cancer cells.
Tip: Sauté a bunch of broccoli and add it to pasta dishes, soups or sandwiches.
Almonds are one of the nutrient-dense nuts. They are the best non-dairy sources of calcium, and are also high in vitamin E and protein. Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, magnesium, and fibre. The health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, and reduced blood pressure. Almonds can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss.
Tip: You can enjoy almonds raw as a tasty snack or try roasting them up for a warm treat.
Coconuts and coconut oil are both high in medium-chain triglycerides, a type of beneficial fatty acid that can help support the health of your gut because of its bacteria-fighting antioxidant properties. The essential fatty acids are easy to digest, can be burned up as fuel for the body rather than storing it as fat.
Tip: Use organic coconut oil and not the refined one. Add the oil in your cooking and baking foods.
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