Balanced, nutritious and healthy food is the fundamental pillar of good health: diseases are avoided, organs and systems are protected, functions are catalysed and a sense of generalized well-being is fostered that impacts on different aspects of the organism amazing grass.
Fortunately, eating well was transformed in the last time practically into a “fashion”. In this sense, the interest in knowing the properties and effects of different foods on health was enhanced. So it was that the foods that, due to their nutritional density, are able to accumulate an army of proteins, vitamins, amino acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals and antioxidants even in a few centimeters of surface, took relevance. They are the “superfoods”.
They are ingredients with “super-powerful” capabilities, indispensable in a healthy diet. Some venerated centuries ago in different cultures and others, protagonists in the last decades. Always taking into account that a balanced diet is essential this is a compilation of ten superfoods that can enhance any preparation and provide maximum benefit to the body.
Flax: seeds full of nutrients
Seeds are a great ally in a diet because of their ability to concentrate countless nutrients in countless sizes and their ability to texture many recipes. Seeds such as linen or chia, for example. Rich in proteins, omega-3 and fiber (the brown variety more than gold), flax shares with chia the ability to form a mucilaginous gel when it comes in contact with a liquid. In addition, they have lignans (antioxidants), which benefit the health of the heart.
But whole flax seeds can pass through the intestines without being digested, which means that their benefits would be lost. The expert advice is to buy ground flax seeds instead, or pass them through a coffee grinder or spices before adding them to meals.
Spirulina, an essential alga
Spirulina or spirulina is a spiral-shaped microalga (hence the name) and an intense greenish-blue color that grows in salty lakes. It is a food rich in iron and proteins, in addition to vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Therefore, it is a superfood of the most formal, recognized by the United Nations itself.
Spirulina is also rich in antioxidants, that is, it hinders the oxidation of cells caused by free radicals. It is usually sold in dietetics in the form of pills or powder and can be an ingredient in both a salad and a cosmetic mask.
Açaí: the food treasure of the Amazon Rainforest
Of aesthetic similar to that of a blueberry, but bigger and infinitely more powerful from the point of view of its antioxidant properties, açaí is a fruit that grows in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. It is rich in vitamin A and E, omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, contains a good amount of fiber and is low in sugars.
Turmeric: color and health
Turmeric is the main ingredient in the mixture of spices that we call curry and it is also a natural coloring. However, for some, the merits of curcumin, its main pigment, escapes its coloring ability and has to do with its anti-inflammatory properties.
On the other hand, the root of turmeric is rich in vitamin C, B3, iron, zinc, selenium and manganese. You can buy ground to add to soups and smoothies, but experts recommend buying it whole. Similar to ginger, it is a thick root with short fingers that is where the best quality powder is extracted.
Manuka: the most expensive and sought after honey
Rich in various vitamins (B2, B6, C, H, K), mineral salts (potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine, copper), proteins and organic acids, Manuka honey is a super powerful food. It is highly energetic, boasts an infinite list of medicinal properties and is also very tasty.
The manuka is the tea tree originally from New Zealand that stands out for its great antibacterial and antioxidant power. The bees collect the nectar from these flowers and use that antimicrobial ingredient to produce the honey. The chemical, physical and organoleptic characteristics of honey however vary depending on the flowers and plants tasted by bees, by the bees themselves, by the weather, the time of year and geography. With so many benefits, it is not surprising that it is the most sought after honey in the world, nor its price: 30 euros per 100 grams approximately.
Coconut, natural energy pump
Although it is related to the beach, summer and cosmetics, in the islands of the Pacific Ocean the coconut is a sacred symbol of fertility. It happens that they are an energy pump. Young coconuts are very rich in electrolytes and iodized salts, responsible for transporting energy within our body.
A glass of coconut milk, which is found inside the coconut when it is not yet ripe, generates a stimulating sensation, even better than an isotonic drink. Coconut sugar or palm sugar, which comes from the sap of the trunk of the coconut tree, is one of the main ingredients in recent times, since it is a natural sweetener with a low glycemic index.
Palta, the superfood of the 21st century
Creams, juices, salads, sandwiches, pancakes and even desserts. The avocado – or avocado – is undoubtedly one of the most versatile fruits that exist. Originally from Tropical America, its cultivation soon expanded to Australia and India and other tropical areas, because the popularity it gained thanks to its benefits and its taste was a boom. Consequently, its price has skyrocketed to the point of being called “green gold”.
Incorporated in hundreds of recipes and also used as an ally of beauty, it was proven long ago that it is a fruit with high contents of vitamin D and E, potassium, lutein, folic acid, among other benefits such as its ability to prevent metabolic syndrome, its lipid-lowering properties (which can lower blood lipid levels), antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic and cardioprotective.
Kombucha: the thousand and one virtues of tea
Kombucha is a millenarian elixir to which traditional Chinese medicine attributes purifying, energizing and antioxidant properties. It is a green tea drink sweetened and fermented by the effect of a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast called SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). It is this fermentation process; the drink receives vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and organic acids beneficial to health. In recent years, this is another superfood that gained relevance.
In addition, it is apparently beneficial for the hair and scalp. It can be done at home by adding a kombucha fungus to tea and sugar, or buying it already made.
Mangosteen: exotic, tasty and nutritious
The mangosteen, an exotic fruit native to Southeast Asia, also boasts an antioxidant super-power. It is grown in Asia and South America and is only found in a certain season of the year, from April to October. His virtue? It is rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and potassium.
For these reasons and because of its highly perishable nature, the mangosteen is a luxury that cannot be enjoyed every day, taking into account that its price exceeds $ 30 per kilo. The white and fleshy segments are the ones that are usually consumed, but it is above all their purple rind that is rich in properties. The solution: take it in juices or smoothies.
Cocoa seeds, pleasure and nutrients
The Mayas and Aztecs, the first to taste the cocoa seeds, used them as currency and filled their coffers with them, guarding them as if they were a treasure. The European conquerors did the same and today it is understandable, considering that chocolate is a delight enjoyed all over the world. But cocoa is also a treasure from another point of view.
It is a large group of minerals, especially iron (28 grams of cocoa provide 315 percent of the recommended dose), phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium. On the other hand, barely contains sodium and is an optimal source of antioxidants. However, it is important to understand that their properties are lost or decreased when combined with sugars, fats and dairy products.