Adding superfoods to diet leads to better health, energy

Superfoods are a special category of foods found in nature. By definition, they are calorie sparse and nutrient dense. They are superior sources of antioxidants and essential nutrients – nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves.

Fruit and nut superfoods are high in antioxidants that fight free radicals in the human body. They are a natural occurrence through metabolism; however, unnecessary free radical load can be put on our bodies by external factors including: pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, burnt foods, deep fried foods and cooked foods.

Just about every brightly colored fruit and vegetable fits into the category of a superfood, as do nuts, beans, seeds and brightly colored herbs and spices. Although many superfoods have reported medical benefits, they are also proven to lower or help regulate blood sugar levels – an extremely important health factor that can slow down aging and help you live longer.
Other reasons to include these foods in the everyday diet include: to prevent or reduce inflammation, help regulate metabolism and burn body fat, lower total cholesterol, lower blood pressure, protect against heart disease, protect against cancer, protect organs from toxins and promote digestive health.

“I never knew that foods we eat every day have so many health benefits,” said senior Danny Fryer.

Incorporating these superfoods into a diet sounds difficult, but can be very easy if slowly incorporated into a diet.

“Even people who are healthy can make a few tweaks, and the impact will be amazing,” said Elizabeth Somer, a nutritionist and author of The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. “I’d say that 50% to 70% of suffering could be eliminated by what people eat and how they move; heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension can all be impacted.”

These foods can be very easy to incorporate into your diet. For example, blueberries are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavnoids. There are also high in potassium and vitamin C, the top choice of doctors and nutritionists, and they are an inexpensive fruit, easy to mix into a fruit salad or smoothie.

“It seems really hard to try and fit all these foods into your diet, but starting small will go a long way,” said senior Maddy Wagner-Lund.

Apples are an easy go-to snack that are packed with fiber and also very filling. People who ate an apple 15 minutes before lunching on a unhealthy meal like cheese tortellini, consumed 187 fewer calories that in total than those who ate nothing before, according to a study from Penn University called How About Them Apples?

Olive oil is another superfood that is easy to incorporate into your diet. Adding olive oil to your spaghetti after you boil instead of butter can add up to three times the antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids that butter and has half the calories.

Simply adding these superfoods into a diet can help longevity in the long run and energy almost instantly.

Allie Hirschberg is the Business Manager for The Spartan Speaks.