Ever wondered what makes a food a "superfood"? It's the highly dense concentration of vital vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, enzymes and other properties that can treat, reduce or prevent certain maladies and diseases. Contrary to popular thought, superfoods are not necessarily super-expensive either. Here are top 10 greatest superfoods that are easily available and budget-friendly.
This superfood makes it to the no.1 spot on the superfoods list for topping the others in terms of nutrition and providing much more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables do. It's also an excellent source of fiber, iron and calcium. Eat it raw, roasted, steamed or stewed, however you fancy your greens.
These berries are abundant in antioxidants that can help fight cancer. This also makes blueberries one of the best superfoods for skin and can also enhance memory recall. Top your parfaits with a handful or add to a smoothie.
This pink-fleshed fish is healthy for the heart due to its protein content (which also makes it one of the best superfoods for hair) and abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that these properties can help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cook it steamed, baked, grilled or eat it in a sushi roll.
4. Greek yogurt
This is regular yogurt's creamier Mediterranean cousin which is packed with probiotics and protein. Greek yogurt is satiating and superb for boosting digestive functioning. Eat it plain or with finely chopped ginger and chilies, seasoned with black salt. This yogurt is also a wonderful and healthier substitute for cheese, mayonnaise and dips.
Turmeric is probably one of the most cheapest everyday superfoods. It's used predominantly in many Ayurvedic treatments for its anti-inflammatory properties. A close relative to ginger, turmeric can be consumed with milk as a "turmeric latte" or "golden milk". Fortified with spices such as cinnamon and cardamom, turmeric milk is highly beneficial for your immune system.
Winter season is the time when vitamin C intake tends to drop, but if you take advantage of the fresh strawberries available during this time, you'll easily meet your daily vitamin requirement. Strawberries are rich in antioxidants which help to repair the body's tissues and enhance immunity. These juicy red fruits can also boost eye functioning for those with weak eyesight. Make a delicious strawberry-banana smoothie for a healthy breakfast packed with nutrients.
Lentils are widely available, easy to make and quite cheap. One of the reasons lentils are a superfood for weight loss is because they are very satiating without adding unwanted calories. Their iron and protein content can help prevent anemia, which is quite common among vegans and vegetarians. Lentil soups, stews and dals are delicious meals to make for getting your protein fix while on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
This staple fruit is chock-full of fiber and is low in calories; one medium-sized apple is under 100 calories. Studies have found that eating more apples reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, diabetes, asthma and arthritis. While raw apples are delicious, add a few slices to your oatmeal for a warm, fiber-packed meal this winter.
Certainly not the most desirable spice, garlic is incredibly powerful as a natural healing food. Ancient cultures have always considered and used garlic as medicine for its healing properties. From heart disease to certain types of cancer, garlic is an all-rounder herb for virtually any ailment. Garlic cloves can be crushed and eaten raw or lightly cooked in a dish to get its optimal benefits.
This veggie is actually one of the superfood underdogs. Cauliflower has a lot of cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates, which are phytochemicals that can prevent lung and stomach damage caused by carcinogens. It's also able to potentially protect against cancers that can affect those regions. Need more motivation to eat cauliflower? Three words: cauliflower pizza crust (and yes, it's absolutely delicious)!