The human body is a complicated machine that requires many nutrients to properly function daily, which can be challenging to achieve on a busy, hectic schedule. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to proper nutrient intake—no single food or superfood can offer us all the nutrients our bodies need. But combining certain foods in our diets might help us turn this mountain back into a molehill!
What are Superfoods?
The name says it all—’superfoods‘ are those ingredients known to bring myriads of health benefits. The secret, experts say, lies in their beneficial compounds called phytochemicals or phytonutrients—the more of these compounds are found in a superfood, the more health benefits your body will reap! It’s enough to hear ‘super’ for us to immediately dash towards the produce stand and grab some of these ingredients. But not everyone knows which food is a superfood.
The senior population, who needs a leaner source of protein from fish or other foods, will reap the most benefits from building a diet around seafood. The smaller amount of protein in seafood can keep their muscles in a natural and healthy state. Fish such as tuna, trout and salmon have a small quantity of protein, making them the ideal choice for seniors wishing to maintain or regain muscle mass.
Besides protein, seafood is an excellent source of vitamin B12, found only in animal products. As we get older, the human body becomes weaker, making it harder to absorb different nutrients, such as vitamin B12. But by increasing the servings of seafood, your body will find it easier to absorb this precious nutrient.
Many people wonder why beans are a superfood, but the question should be, why wouldn’t beans be considered a superfood? This superfood is not only rich in iron, magnesium and potassium, but it is also full of fiber and protein. On top of that, beans are low in calories, making this superfood great for your diet. Next time you’re at the grocery store, try either dry or low-sodium beans!
#3: Nuts and Seeds
All foods are different, even if they are a part of the same family, but that does not mean they are not equally good for you. This is the case with nuts and seeds. We all know that nuts and seeds are rich in protein and fiber, making them the perfect superfood to include in your breakfast. But that is not all. Nuts and seeds are also important sources of natural and healthy fats such as omega-3s, known to protect the human brain as it ages.
Berries are another essential superfood that should be part of your diet! Their high concentration of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants makes berries irresistible, not to mention their scrumptious taste!
Also, berries are an abundant source of fiber, a nutrient known to help manage weight and protect the body from diseases such as diabetes, cancer and different heart diseases.
Furthermore, berries appear to be great for older people, specifically their memory. That is why berries are a part of the MIND diet, which focuses on superfoods that fight neurodegenerative delays.
#5: Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
Both superfoods are the perfect way to start your day. Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, proteins and ‘good bacteria’ called probiotics, which protect your body from harmful bacteria.
Cottage cheese is not only as rich in calcium and protein as yogurt but also contains high levels of vitamin D. The protein in cottage cheese, as well as any superfoods containing this nutrient, stimulates muscle protein synthesis. In addition, calcium and vitamin D are essential for maintaining the density of the bones. Therefore, after the age of 35, it is essential to introduce these nutrients into our diets for better bone health.
#6: Leafy Vegetables
If you don’t like the taste of cottage cheese, other superfoods can supplement calcium intake, such as dark-green leafy greens! Low-fat and high in fiber, dark-green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach improve your bone health and muscle function.
Also, this superfood maintains your heart health. Studies show that people eating dark-green leafy vegetables can lower their risk of heart disease even by 26%!
#7: Other Superfoods
When it comes to superfoods, the possibilities are endless, so there’s no need to worry about not finding something you enjoy. You may not enjoy the superfoods listed above, but there are other options for you, such as:
- Whole grains (rich in fiber, Vitamin B, minerals and phytonutrients);
- Olive oil (rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids);
- Tomatoes (rich in Vitamin C and lycopene);
- Cruciferous vegetables (rich in fiber, different vitamins and phytochemicals).
A Parting Reminder
Keeping yourself healthy has to be our number one priority, especially as the youthful years make way for the senior age. Try introducing as many superfoods into your weekly diet for more diverse and colorful daily meals. Shop for fresh products which, in return, will keep you happy and healthy!