Food is medicine for your mind and body and that’s why celebrating National Nutrition Month this March is so important.
I thought it would be a good time to share some of the invaluable information I’ve amassed about nutrition. I want to share some superfoods that you should have in your diet on a daily basis, if possible. These foods can energize you, boost your immune system and help your mental health. These superfoods have lots of research behind them and they can dramatically change your health risks.
Eat breakfast every day no matter what. Breakfast can increase your metabolism by up to 25 percent and can help stabilize mood swings throughout your day. In fact, try to include some of the superfoods listed below in your morning breakfast.
11 Superfoods That Will Boost Your Physical and Mental Health
1. Fish. Research shows that people who eat fish regularly are less likely to have chronic diseases and they live longer than those who do not. These are some of the diseases omega 3’s in fish can help with.
- Breast cancer. A study shows Greenland Eskimo women have a very low breast cancer rate. It’s believed that this is partially due to their fish-based diet. Fish contains an estrogen receptor blocker.
- Depression. A recent study links fish consumption with a lower risk of depression. People who ate fish less than once a week ran a 31 percent higher chance of mild to severe depression than people who ate it more often.
- Heart disease. Fish has omega 3 fatty acids that prevent platelets in the blood from clumping together and sticking to arterial walls in the form of plaque. They also drive down triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Autoimmune diseases. Researchers suspect that omega 3’s may block the production of inflammatory substances linked to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
- Alzheimer’s and diseases of aging. Reports suggest that omega 3’s interact with the fatty layers that surround brain cells and may somehow help protect brain cells from the diseases of aging like Alzheimer’s.
2. Broccoli. This green veggie is rich in vitamin K and vitamin C, and it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with your heart health. These are some of the ways broccoli can benefit your health.
- Cancer tumors. John Hopkins discovered a compound in broccoli that not only prevents the development of tumors by 60 percent in the study group, it also reduced the size of tumors that did develop by 75 percent.
- Cancer, heart disease, and your immune system. Broccoli is among the most powerful weapons in our dietary arsenal against cancer. Broccoli boosts the immune system, supports cardiovascular health, builds bones, and fights birth defects.
- Cancer. Broccoli consumption doubled in the last decade, following news of its cancer-fighting abilities. Eighty-seven studies now confirm that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables lower the risk of cancer.
3. Blueberries. They are the berries that keep on giving. They are full of vitamin C and vitamin K, antioxidants that are great for your health. These are some of the ways blueberries can give you a boost.
- Cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, senility, and degenerative diseases. A study of the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found people who ate one cup of blueberries daily increased the antioxidant level in their blood. This increase can help with the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, senility, and degenerative diseases.
- Aging. A Tufts University study shows blueberries slow and even reverse many degenerative diseases associated with an aging brain. In short, these berries will keep you young.
4. Tea. All tea is delicious, but there are certain kinds that are especially good for your health: green tea and black tea. A warm cup of tea can help with your physical health.
- Cardiovascular disease. Current research suggests that green tea may lower cholesterol and reduce cardiovascular risk.
- Cancer and tooth decay. Studies suggest that green tea is protective against certain cancers and tooth decay.
- Blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease. How would you like a morning beverage that lowers your blood pressure, helps prevent cancer and osteoporosis, lowers your risk of stroke, and promotes heart health? What if there was a drink that was antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-cavity, anti-allergy and prevents cataracts. Tea is all this and more.
- Heart attack risk. A study found that in males, deaths from coronary artery disease were reduced by 40 percent among those who drank one or more cups of tea daily. Another study from Harvard showed that there was a 44 percent lower risk of heart attack in people who drank at least one cup of tea daily.
5. Tomatoes. Tomatoes are low in calories and very nutritious. They can also help your heart and prevent cancer.
- Heart disease. The American College of Cardiology reports that licopene, the red pigment in tomatoes, can reduce heart disease risk in middle-aged women by one-third.
- Cholesterol. Tomato products reduce LDL, the bad cholesterol, by 13 percent, according to the British Journal Nutrition.
- Prostate Cancer. Harvard study surveyed 48,000 men and found that those who ate 10 or more servings of tomatoes a week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent and their risk of aggressive prostate tumors by 50 percent. The higher the tomato intake, the lower the cancer risk.
6. Oranges. Oranges are a packed with the antioxidant vitamin C. Twenty to thirty percent of Americans adults have marginal blood levels of vitamin C and 16 percent are reportedly deficient in Vitamin C, so oranges are an important fruit to have in your diet. Check out the other health benefits listed below.
- Heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Oranges help in reducing heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and a host of chronic ailments.
- Aging. Vitamin C is essential in the fight against aging and disease.
- Cancer. The National Cancer Institute calls oranges a complete package of anticancer power. The soluble fiber, or pectin, which is so effective for heart health, is also an anticancer agent. They are antioxidant and antimutagenic. Antimutagenic refers to their ability to prevent cells from mutating and initiating this first step into developing cancer and other chronic diseases.
- Stroke. The Framingham Nurses’ Health Study found that drinking one daily glass of orange juice reduced the risk of stroke by 25 percent.
7. Spinach. This leafy green plant is full of vitamin K and vitamin A, healthy nutrients that are known for reducing stress. It can also help prevent other health ailments.
- Cancer, cardiovascular, and degenerative diseases. There are a number of studies that demonstrate that spinach consumption aids in the reduction of cardiovascular disease, a host of cancers, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts.
- Heart health. Spinach is a heart-healthy food. The rich supply of carotenoid and other nutrients heal and protect artery walls from damage.
- Cancer. In epidemiological studies, it’s been found that the more spinach consumed, the lower the risk of almost every type of cancer. As a general rule, the darker the greens, the more powerful they are against cancer and other diseases.
8. Beans. No matter the variety, beans are a wonder food. Vitamin-rich, low in fat, and inexpensive, beans are crucial to your diet. They also lower cholesterol, reduce obesity, reduce hypertension, and help stabilizes sugar levels (important for managing diabetes). That’s not all! Beans can also prevent dangerous diseases.
- Decreases risk of cancer. Research shows higher rates of bean consumption is associated with a decreased risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers.
9. Oats. The oats are packed with fiber—they help with your digestion and keep you feeling full longer. This is why oats are a breakfast staple.
- Cholesterol. The FDA concluded oats lower serum cholesterol levels, especially LDL’s bad cholesterol.
- Longevity. Oats reduce disease and extend your health span. They sustain your energy and are rich in protein.
- Reduced disease risk. Whole grains lower your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, and hypertension.
10. Spices. Turmeric, ginger, oregano, and cayenne pepper are powerful spices. They can take an average meal to a tasty experience. They are also good for your health.
- Reduced inflammation. Inflammation creates disease in our bodies. These particular spices control inflammation.
11.Garlic. Garlic is an ancient traditional medicine that has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It also has anti-inflammation properties.
- Reduced inflammation. Many studies show that garlic boosts the immune system and lowers inflammation in the body that leads to disease.