Have you ever heard of superfoods? This term has been used in recent years to refer to those foods that are very beneficial and nutritious and are generally exotic and vegetal.
In this article, you will find a superfoods list for a healthy life, including spirulina, maca, and olive oil.
Below are the benefits of the best superfoods. We can find seeds such as chia or flax, green leafy vegetables such as kale, reishi mushrooms, and even algae: spirulina.
Spirulina is an algae that has its origins in Mexico (where Lake Texcoco used to be), Chad, and Africa, where they eat "dihe" which has very similar benefits to those of spirulina.
This seaweed is currently consumed as a capsule or powder. The World Health Organization has promoted its use as a supplementary food in countries with nutritional deficits due to its high content of vitamin B, proteins, carbohydrates, fatty acids, iron, manganese, and other minerals.
Maca is a superfood obtained from a root. In addition to providing different types of nutrients —proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins— maca boosts the functioning of the immune system, helps fight depression and could prevent cancer.
Chia seeds come from the Hispanic Sage. In Central America, the Aztecs consumed them with the aim of obtaining energy. What makes chia such a healthy food is that it is rich in dietary fiber, different types of vitamins, calcium, iron, and Omega-3 fatty acids —one of the healthiest types of fat which are also found in oily fish and nuts.
This leafy green vegetable is very rich in iron, as well as dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K. It has antioxidant functions and is believed to reduce the rate at which neurons deteriorate, is good for our bones and even prevents cancer.
Turmeric is a spice that comes from South Asia. It is obtained from the root of the Curcuma longa, a plant in the ginger family —which is also considered a superfood by some people— and has been used throughout history as a medicinal product and condiment. Besides from being a very healthy food, it is the main ingredient in curry.
Curcuma —and more specifically curcumin, its main active component— helps lose weight, promotes intestinal transit, is beneficial for the skin and cardiovascular health, boosts the functioning of the immune system and even prevents cancer and dementia.
Flaxseeds are rich in dietary fibre and polyunsaturated fatty acids —specifically omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9— which are healthier than saturated fats. They are very popular in vegan and vegetarian diets because of their high fat intake, which can be hard to obtain in those cases.
The ancient scientific name of the Malabar tamarind, a fruit from Southeast Asia, is "Garcinia cambogia," as we know it nowadays. This superfood, which is consumed in capsules, is considered a useful nutritional supplement for people who want to lose weight. It has satiating effects because it blocks the metabolism of fats.
Goji berries (or Goji) are obtained from the plant Lycium barbarum. This healthy food originates in China, the largest producer, although they are also grown in Chile. Their main benefit is their high antioxidant levels, which are much higher than similar foods.
Ganoderma lucidum is a fungus that has been used in traditional Asian medicine since ancient times. Its Japanese name is "reishi." It is said to protect the body from cancer and other diseases, but recent research cannot confirm such benefits.
Even if olive oil is not usually considered a superfood, health and nutrition experts consider it to be the healthiest type of oil —especially extra virgin olive oil, the purest and most nutritious variant. Refined olive oils have much more mediocre health benefits.
Scientific studies indicate that olive oil decreases the risk of many diseases, including atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus and various types of cancer. It is believed that the benefits of the Mediterranean diet are due to this ingredient.