Five superfoods to add flavour to your food this festive season
Trying to maintain a healthy diet plan during festivities can be challenging. But superfoods help you balance your festive diet with the right dose of nutrients.
- Total Shares
Superfoods are natural foods which have high nutritional content and properties beneficial to health. Most of us are familiar with the high-nutrient value of superfoods.
It is believed that consumption of superfoods can enhance the immune system and the overall health. The 2015–2020 US Dietary Guidelines recommend healthy eating patterns, “combining healthy choices from across all food groups — while paying attention to calorie limits.” Over the years, research has shown that healthy dietary patterns can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Dietary patterns such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and the Mediterranean diet — which are mostly plant-based — have demonstrated significant health benefits and reduction of chronic diseases. While most superfoods are plant-based, there are some that are fish and dairy.
Here are 5 superfoods which are healthy and satisfy the taste buds at the same time:
- Avocado: They are stone fruits with a creamy texture that grow in Mediterranean regions and are also known as Alligator Pears or Butter fruit. Avocado is a rich source of healthy monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA). The fruit is naturally high in nutritional value, containing nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Some of its health benefits include preventing osteoporosis, improving digestion, natural detoxification, protection from chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, heart diseases etc. Avocadoes can be added in salads for easy and quick consumption
Avocado: Rich in mono-saturated fatty acids (Credits: Reuters}
- Quinoa: This gluten-free superfood is one of the most popular among the health-conscious. It is high in proteins, fibers, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa is often used as a substitute for rice. However, quinoa is not a grain — it is a seed. There are 1800 known types of quinoas. The seeds of quinoa can be black, red, white, pink, purple, yellow, grey, orange or green. Some of the health benefits quinoa is packed with include weight loss, protection from heart diseases, reduction in the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heath disease. Quinoa can be used in soups, salads or sandwiches.
Quinoa: Not a grain, but a healthy perfect substitute for rice (Credit: Reuters)
- Pistachios: It is a sweet superfood in intriguing viridescent hues. These are one of the oldest nuts which are being grown in the Middle East for thousands of years. They are even mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, which highlights their rich history as a prized food source. Like all other nuts, pistachios also have health beneficial properties like high-protein value, good ratio of fatty acids including Omega-3, rich in antioxidants including lutein, beta-carotene, and gamma-tocopherol and it is also a good source of the mineral phosphorus. This versatile nut can be eaten alone as a snack, in baked goods or it can be used for an added crunch as a coating for fish or meat.
Grown in the Middle East, nutrient-packed pistachios are mentioned in The Bible (Credit: Reuters)
- Black Raspberries: Botanically known as Rubus Occidentalis, black raspberries are hailed as “the king of berries”. These berries are generally available during the three weeks of July. Through the rest of the year, you can find them freeze-dried or as jams. They help in losing weight due to the perfect nutritional value. Black raspberries have only 60 calories in a cup — two grams of proteins, and are rich in fibers. Due to their health-beneficial properties like rich in antioxidants, minerals, and polyphenols, black raspberries help build the immune system. This superfood can be used as an added flavour with ice creams and cookies.
Have it fresh, frozen or as a jam, black raspberries are packed with antioxidants, minerals, and polyphenols (Credit: PTI)
- Kabocha: Kabocha is a type of winter squash of the species Cucurbita Maxima. It is also known as Japanese pumpkin and is hard on the outside with knobbly-looking skin. This superfood is an excellent source of beta-carotene which helps in enhance vision and slows down cognitive decline. It also has a low-calorie count — 30 calories per cup — aiding in weight loss. Regular consumption of Kabocha can also help in the lightening of scars and blemishes due to its high antioxidant properties. It can be used in making your next salad bowl, soup or it can even be roasted alone.
Kabocha is an excellent source of beta-carotene which helps in enhance vision (Credits: Reuters)
Benefits and usage of these superfoods are endless and adding these nutritious ingredients to the daily foods, one can have a healthy diet plan without compromising the taste. Due to their healthy nutrition value, regular consumption of superfoods can help one achieve their health goals.