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Superfoods, natural cures, and miracle remedies have become very popular lately. We usually attribute therapeutic properties to exotic or hard-to-find products, partly because our unfamiliarity with them gives them a halo of mystery.
However, in many cases, the healthiest foods are available at supermarkets. All the nutrients our body needs to stay in shape are present in healthy foods such as fruits, mushrooms and some types of fish.
The following foods are essential for having a balanced diet. However, besides from eating healthy food, it is also important to reduce the consumption of foods containing saturated fats and refined sugars.
This food list shows perfect sources of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. All of them are very healthy and easy to find in any store or supermarket.
Many of these foods are especially recommended for those who need to take care of their diet, as in cases of high cholesterol or overweight.
Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent substitutes for the saturated fats provided by red meat. They are also much richer in low-density lipoproteins or LDL (bad cholesterol). Their consumption reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.
Omega-3 fatty acids have multiple benefits for the heart: in addition to helping to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, they regulate the heart rate (preventing sudden heart arrest) and have an anticoagulant effect that decreases the risk of heart attacks.
This Mexican fruit contains monounsaturated fats —which are healthier than saturated fats—, carotenoids, phytosterols, vitamins, and soluble fiber, all of which reduce bad cholesterol levels: it is the perfect superfood. Avocado oil is also considered potential healthy food.
In addition to avocados, more particularly healthy fruits are kiwi, orange and pomegranate. All of them are rich in fiber and different types of vitamins. Also, they are perfect to eat as a snack.
Almonds provide many essential nutrients, including vitamins B and E, iron, calcium, and fiber. Almonds stand out among nuts because they contain high amounts of antioxidants, which are molecules that reduce cellular aging.
As well as oily fish and avocados, nuts help maintain healthy cholesterol levels because they barely contain saturated fat. However, you should not eat large amounts of almonds or other nuts because they are very high in calories, even though they are very healthy food.
Mushrooms are the fleshy part of fungi where there are the spores through which they reproduce. They are rich in B vitamins, selenium, copper, and other mineral nutrients.
As a source of vitamin D, which has important roles in calcium absorption and cell regeneration, mushrooms are especially important in vegan diets. They are superfoods because this kind of vitamins is not common in other foods.
Leafy green vegetables are great sources of fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and manganese. Chard and spinach are even richer in nutrients than similar vegetables.
Whole milk yogurt contains vitamin B12, proteins, carbohydrates, phosphorus, and selenium, making it very nutritious. It is also beneficial for the intestinal flora. Regular milk increases cholesterol more than a half than do yogurts.
Traditional Greek yogurt is a superfood because it contains a high amount of protein. It also satiates more than other yogurts, reducing the risk of weight gain.
Whole grains such as oats, wheat, corn, and quinoa provide us with soluble fiber. This type of fiber helps our body absorb lower amounts of LDL cholesterol, so it has healthy effects on the heart and cardiovascular system.
Oats stand out among whole grains because in addition to being rich in soluble fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals, contain beta-glucans, which are molecules that enhance cholesterol reduction even more.
Broccoli is a very healthy food because it is a source of vitamins C, K, and B, and also contains manganese. The levels of carbohydrates and fats in broccoli are very low. It is an ideal food to prevent weight gain while getting essential nutrients.