A healthy diet is important because it provides the necessary energy for our bodies, as well as the essential nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Anyone can learn new ways to eat by gradually adding healthy food to their daily meals. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains satisfy the caloric requirements and can help you get the right balance of vitamins and minerals. Superfoods are a type of aliments that are rich in nutrients and anti-oxidants. The term was used for the first time in the 90s for certain superior foods packed with nutrients. If you were thinking about adding healthy food to your diet, take a look at these super-ingredients:
The sweet potato is plant with large, sweet-tasting roots that belongs to the Convolvulaceae family. It is rich in dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates, iron, Vitamin C, B6, potassium, calcium and manganese. The pink, green and yellow varieties contain beta-carotene, a pigment known to prevent certain cancers, heart disease and cataracts. In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest ranked the sweet potato as the healthiest vegetable. Studies from 2012 revealed that only 10% of children from Uganda that consumed high beta carotene varieties of sweet potatoes suffered from vitamin A deficiency.
Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family with large green flower heads used as vegetables. The Romans valued this unique food that derived from the cultivation of leafy cole crops in the 6th century BCE. It was brought in the Unites States by Italian immigrants and became popular in the 20s. This healthy food provides nutrients like diindolylmethane and selenium that have anti-cancer properties. High in dietary fiber and vitamins, a single serving of broccoli contains more than 30 milligrams of vitamin C. The flower heads have the highest level of caretenoids in the brassica family. Indole-3-carbinol is a chemical found in broccoli that contributes to DNA repair.
The year 2013 was declared the “International Year of Quinoa” by the United Nations General Assembly with the purpose of drawing attention on role the plant could have in eradicating world hunger. This healthy food is a source of complete protein , 14 percent by mass and also dietary fiber. Because of the high calcium content, quinoa is recommended for those who are lactose intolerant or on a vegan diet. Quinoa seeds are rich in magnesium, 197 mg per 100 gr that contributes to the health and elasticity of the blood vessels.
Blueberries contain natural anti-oxidants and are associated to the longevity of Northern indigenous tribes. 100 grams of the fruit provides a low content of 57 calories, but the high levels of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals compensate. As a source of B-complex group of vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E carotene-β, manganese, potassium, zinc, iron and copper, blueberries are considered a superfood.