Spring is the perfect season to add superfoods to our diets. These superfoods provide vitamins, antioxidants, and deliciousness. Here are the top 10 superfoods to eat in 2023!
Kale: Oh kale yeah! It’s no surprise that this leafy green is on top of our list. Kale is low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, and iron. It’s great in salads, smoothies, or even baked into crispy chips
Kale is a nutritious food rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. It also contains nutrients that can support eye health, weight management, heart health, and more.
Loaded with important micronutrients and antioxidants, kale is one of the most nutritious leafy greens available.
In fact, kale contains a variety of beneficial compounds, some of which have powerful medicinal properties.
Plus, it’s versatile and boasts a nutty, earthy flavor that works well in a wide range of recipes.
Here are 9 health benefits of kale that are supported by science.
1. Highly nutritious
Kale is a popular vegetable and a member of the cabbage family.
It is a cruciferous vegetable and is closely related to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple, and have either a smooth or curly shape.
The most common type of kale is called curly kale or Scots kale, which has green and curly leaves with a hard, fibrous stem.
Kale is antioxidant-rich like other leafy vegetables.
Beta-carotene, vitamin C, flavonoids, and polyphenols are examples.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals to prevent oxidative damage.
Oxidative damage may cause aging, chronic diseases, and cancer.
Several antioxidants have additional vital activities.
Kale has high levels of quercetin and kaempferol.
Test-tube and animal research show these chemicals may reduce inflammation, enhance heart health, decrease cancer cell proliferation, and prevent chronic illness.
3. Vitamin C-rich
Vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant, has several crucial activities in cells.
For example, it is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, the most abundant structural protein in the body
Kale is higher in vitamin C than most other greens, containing about three times much as spinach and collard greens
Kale and other vitamin C-rich foods constitute a healthy, balanced diet.
4. May reduce cholesterol.
Cholesterol performs numerous vital activities.
For instance, it is used to make bile acids, which are substances that help the body digest fats
The liver turns cholesterol into bile acids, which are then released into the digestive system whenever you eat a high fat meal
Bile acids are reabsorbed into the circulation and utilized again after absorbing all the fat.
Kale can bind bile acids and limit their absorption. This reduces the total amount of cholesterol in the body
In 149 metabolic syndrome patients, eating 14 g of kale powder daily for 8 weeks lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure, belly fat, and fasting blood suga
One previous study found that heating kale greatly boosts bile acid binding. Steamed kale is 13% as powerful as cholestyramine, a comparable cholesterol-lowering medication
5. Vitamin K-rich.
Important vitamin K.
It is absolutely critical for blood clotting, and does this by “activating” certain proteins and giving them the ability to bind calcium
The well-known anticoagulant drug Warfarin actually works by blocking the function of this vitamin
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K, with a single raw cup containing almost 70% of the recommended daily amount
Kale contains K1, not K2. Vitamin K2 is found in fermented soy foods and certain animal products and may help prevent heart disease and osteoporosis
6. Anti-cancer chemicals
Cancer is a condition characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells
Kale has several cancer-fighting chemicals.
One of these is sulforaphane, a substance that has been shown to help block the formation of cancer at the molecular level
It also contains a indole-3-carbinol, another substance that is believed to help prevent cancer
Studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables (including kale) may significantly lower the risk of several cancers, although the evidence in humans is mixed
Vitamin A content in kale is exaggerated.
It is actually high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body can convert into vitamin A
Kale and other vitamin A-rich foods can help you satisfy your vitamin needs.
8. May help eyesight
Nutrients may assist maintain good vision as you age.
Two of the main ones are lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoid antioxidants that are found in large amounts in kale and some other foods
Many studies have shown that people who eat enough lutein and zeaxanthin have a lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, two common eye disorders
9. Weight loss.
Kale provides various weight-management benefits.
For starters, it is very low in calories but still provides significant bulk that should help you feel full
Kale has low energy density due to its low calories and high water content. Eating plenty of foods with a low energy density has been shown to aid weight loss in numerous studies
Kale also contains a small amount of fiber, which is an important nutrient that has been linked to weight loss
Kale may aid weight reduction, but there are no trials on it.
Blueberries: These small but mighty fruits are full of antioxidants that help fight off diseases and keep your skin glowing. Plus, they’re a tasty addition to your morning porridge or afternoon snack.
Salmon: Full of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is the perfect superfood for your heart. It also helps in boosting brain health and reducing inflammation. Grill it, bake it or have it in your sushi – it’s delicious however way you cook it.
Avocados: Avocados are all the rage and for good reason. This creamy fruit is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and vitamins. Slather it on toast, mix it into salads, or just enjoy it with a spoon!
Quinoa: This grain-like seed is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s also rich in fiber and minerals. Use it in salads, make it into a porridge, or substitute it for rice.
Chia Seeds: Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are a nutritional giant. They’re full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and high-quality protein. Sprinkle them on your breakfast bowls, blend them into smoothies, or make a chia seed pudding.
Turmeric: This vibrant yellow spice is not just for curries. It’s rich in curcumin, a compound with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Spice up your meals or enjoy it in a warming turmeric latte.
Dark Chocolate: Who said superfoods can’t be delicious? Dark chocolate is loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium, and powerful antioxidants. So go ahead and indulge your sweet tooth, guilt-free.
Garlic: Garlic doesn’t just add flavor to your dishes. It’s also loaded with vitamins and minerals and boosts the immune system. Just remember to keep some mints on hand!
Almonds: These nuts are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. They make a satisfying snack and can also be used in cooking, baking or to make almond milk.
Incorporating these superfoods into your diet is a great way to boost your health this spring. Remember, though, that balanced nutrition is just one part of overall wellness. Speaking of which, if you’re looking for a holistic approach to health, why not consider a wellness retreat? You can learn more about the best wellness retreats around the world at this article on Slingo.com.
So, here’s to a healthy and vibrant spring! Load up on these superfoods, try new recipes, and have fun with it. After all, eating well should be a joy, not a chore. Cheers to your health, guys!