Thanks to the progress we’ve made in medical science, today we have a cure for the most deadly and incurable diseases. However, when it comes to prevention of diseases or even maintaining general health, medicines have often very little to offer. We tend to look back to our ancestors to learn what foods constitute a properly balanced diet that is necessary for good health.

Benefits of a balanced diet
Even medical science has shown us that a healthy body can be gained only through a healthy diet. The result is that we have a wide range of healthy foods that nutritionists and dieticians often prescribe for maintaining good health. There is also a wide range of diets like Vegan, Paleo, Vegetarian, and Ketogenic that are gaining popularity among health enthusiasts.

While there is some good nutrient in every food that we eat, some foods do have unique benefits over others. These are the superfoods that both nutritionists and naturopaths recommend as a must-have in our daily meals.

The following are some such superfoods that carry unique benefits necessary for maintaining a healthy body:

Flax seeds
Flax seeds, or linseeds, are the most abundant source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.

  • These small brown colored seeds are also a rich source of fiber, plant-based protein and minerals like manganese, thiamine, and magnesium.
  • Recent studies show that they are one of the best sources of lignans that promote immune health and maintain hormonal balance.
  • Flax seeds are bland to taste, easy to digest and easy to incorporate into our foods.

You can use flaxseed oil, flaxseed meal and seeds to add this superfood to your diet.

Sweet Potatoes
These sweet-flavored tubers are one the most versatile vegetables we have. They can easily substitute for potatoes in most healthy food preparations enhancing its taste further.

  • Studies show that sweet potatoes have less effect on blood sugar levels making them ideal for people who have diabetes.
  • Sweet potatoes are full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins A – C.
  • Recently, they have gained popularity for their immune-boosting, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Avocados
These delicious fruits from Mexico and South America are one of the most abundant sources of healthy fats. They are ideal for those who are on a fatless diet to lose weight. They are also full of antioxidants, nutrients, and proteins.

  • This creamy fruit is easy to integrate into your foods both as a fruit and vegetable.
  • They can enhance the taste of any preparation by their creamy texture and can give a tremendous nutritional boost.
  • They also protect from heart disease, cancer, other brain diseases.

Blueberries
Most recommended by nutritionists, these succulent fruits are full of antioxidants. They boost our immune health and help fight cancer, heart disease, and hormonal imbalance.

  • They are also rich in potassium, and vitamin C.
  • Blueberries are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties that make them a superfood.
  • This beneficial superfood also has a beautiful taste that makes it a favorite among health enthusiasts.

Walnuts
While nuts are all considered essential for a healthy diet, walnuts, in particular, are called superfood because of their antioxidant properties.

  • They contain proteins and nutrients in high concentration that can add a nutritional boost to any meal.
  • They are a rich source of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids besides flaxseeds and soy.
  • Besides being rich in fiber, protein, minerals and vitamin E, they are known to lower the serum cholesterol levels because of the presence of plant sterols in them. It is these plant sterols that make them more preferred than almonds and pistachios which are also superfoods.
  • A well-balanced diet with all these superfoods incorporated will help you fight many diseases while maintaining a healthy body.

For more information, visit Careworks.

Author:  Sarah Vidumsky, PA-C

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