Food & Diet

The Science Behind Superfoods: How They Boost Your Health

Written by Kaushiki Gangully
Published: May 23, 2024

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Few children like eating spinach, seaweed, or fish daily. Most make a face at healthy, homemade foods and refuse to take a bite. Parents can no longer force them to polish their plates like in the old days. Therefore, the food they consume must have a whole lot of nutrients and energy to give your kids and your family the strength to sail through the day. And that’s where superfoods come in.

Now, superfood is not a scientific term, it is an elevated title given to foods rich in nutrients or with disease-preventing properties. Such foods are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and macronutrients, making them essential to a healthy diet. Therefore, it is important to understand the health benefits of superfoods to accept the nutrition and science behind them.

Health Benefits of Superfoods

Not every superfood has the same kind of health benefit, but here are some common merits of superfoods.

  • Strong immune system
  • Improved heart health
  • Prevention of certain cancers
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Lower bad cholesterol and hypertension levels
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • Strengthens muscles and bones
  • Improves metabolism
  • Prevents constipation
  • Manages and lessens the risk of diabetes

Since superfoods are rich in nutrients, have many health benefits, and lower the risk of many diseases, they should be a significant part of your family’s diet. Here are some superfoods that must be incorporated into your and your kids' diets to boost their health.

1. Turmeric

Rich in phytonutrients, this unsuspecting, common spice contains huge doses of potassium, dietary fiber, Iron, vitamin C, calcium, and protein. Turmeric has also provided much relief to patients with inflammation, degenerative eye diseases, arthritis, anxiety, bad cholesterol, poor kidneys, and muscle soreness post-exercise. Use a pinch in your curries and dishes and watch the science behind superfoods give affirmative results for your blooming health.

2. Quinoa

A trendy superfood, quinoa is a renowned food for good reason. It provides all 20 essential amino acids the human body requires, as well as protein, fiber, folate, vitamins B6 and E, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and more. Quinoa’s health benefits are endless, and it goes well in salads and grain bowls with some grilled proteins and veggies.

3. Green Tea

While green tea leaves are packed with nutrients like calcium, iron, and potassium, their beneficial impact gets diluted as tea. But, thanks to its massive levels of antioxidants, specifically polyphenols, green tea helps prevent cell damage, oxidative stress, heart disease, high blood pressure, and some types of cancers. Green tea is also associated with boosting metabolism and aiding in weight loss.

4. Soy

Soybeans and soy products are not only easily available but also possess high levels of isoflavones, which are a kind of phytochemical. Isoflavones have been found to lower bad cholesterol levels. At the same time, soy is commonly associated with the prevention of age-related memory loss and bone mineral density loss and helps decrease menopausal symptoms in women. Since soybeans also provide lots of potassium, iron, vitamins B6, C, and K, magnesium, and calcium, this makes them an exceptionally good superfood addition to your diet.

5. Berries

Berries like acai berries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and tart cherries are loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids, along with natural sugars, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, copper, folate, and vitamin K. This makes them good for bones, muscle health and helps control diabetes. Make yourself some berries and yogurt parfait for breakfast or make your children some berry smoothies this summer to incorporate more superfoods and boost health.

6. Seeds

Seeds like pumpkin, flax, chia, watermelon, sunflower, and sesame seeds are powerhouses of minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats. A couple of tablespoons of pumpkin seeds offer more than 9 gm of protein, along with iron, magnesium, calcium, and dietary fiber. Make yourself some homemade trail mix with nuts, dried fruits, and a few dark chocolate chips.

7. Garlic

Though garlic may not be preferred by Count Dracula and new lovers, it is certainly hailed by nutritionists and fitness enthusiasts as a superfood for all the nutrients it provides to dishes, by simply adding zest and flavor. Be it protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, or selenium, garlic has it all. Make yourself some nicely toasted garlic bread and green tea for a superfood boost to health.

8. Avocado

Avocadoes are rich in healthy fats, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, zinc, vitamin C, and many other nutrients, which lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Therefore, the next time someone makes fun of your ‘hipster vibes’ for having avocado toast, explain the superfood’s benefits to them.

Therefore, superfoods may not be scientific, but the science behind these foods is sound. If your children are fussy eaters or do not prefer eating much in the heat, try to incorporate more of these superfoods into their diet to boost their health and explain the science behind it to them. Children nowadays prefer doing something they understand to something they need to believe in blindly.

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The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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