While there are more adults, especially millennials, who are becoming increasingly health conscious, there is still a large number of people in America who don’t follow a good diet. The latest findings showed that 39.6% of adults in the US were obese in 2015, which is a significant rise from 30.5% fifteen years earlier.
To combat obesity, it’s important to be knowledgeable about superfoods, because they can give you a substantial amount of important vitamins and minerals. When researching diets, you’re bound to come across meal plans that incorporate superfoods. Here are important reasons why you should consider integrating this sub-group into your diet.
1. They help reduce weight. Most superfoods make you full without consuming too much, which reduces the chances of gaining excess fat. Some of them, like chili peppers, even help regulate your metabolism and reduce your cravings for sweet and salty snacks. Meanwhile, Nutri Inspector previously recommended adding yogurt for a healthy GI tract – an important factor in weight management.
2. They provide energy. Many items in the sub-group also release sugar slowly, providing energy for a longer period of time. Chia seeds, in particular, are popular at breakfast because aside from providing an energy boost, they also contain a lot of fiber, potassium, calcium, and iron. Medical News Today adds that an ounce of chia seeds contains 5.6 grams of protein. Men need 30.8 grams while women need 25.2 grams. Sprinkling chia into your daily smoothie is a great way to up your fiber intake.
3. They make you look younger. The Food Network pointed out that superfoods contain antioxidants and phytochemicals which aid in protecting the body against free radicals and inflammation. This effect makes your skin look firm and healthier. Almost all berries are rich in antioxidants, as are other superfoods like plums, peaches and tomatoes.
4.They boost the immune system. Aside from citrus fruits, you can also get vitamin C from red bell peppers, spinach, and broccoli to strengthen your immune system. You can incorporate almonds too because they’re rich in vitamin E. This nutrient further improves your resistance against free radicals, which Live Science explains are responsible for oxidative stress, an underlying cause of cancer.
5. They prevent diseases. Since superfoods improve the body’s immunity, they help prevent risk factors for more serious diseases as well. Spinach, for example, is known to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, while Foxy Bingo relays that cinnamon is good for lowering the risk of heart disease. The biochemical compounds naturally found in cinnamon fight off high blood pressure and maintain cholesterol levels.
6. They help you sleep better. Some superfoods have properties that facilitate the production and/or secretion of melatonin, AKA the sleep hormone. Cherries, for instance, are among the few external sources of the hormone. Chickpeas, on the other hand, improve sleep quality because they contain healthy amounts of vitamin B6, a nutrient known to promote the body’s production of melatonin.