Healthy Eating Made Easy - 5 Superfoods You Need To Hear About
Guest blog post from Andy Macia
He was born in Bogota, Colombia, but raised in Los Angeles, California. He spends his time helping others with their recovery and growing his online business".
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” – Mark Twain
When I was in high school, I never knew that this quote existed. In fact, if I had read it at the time, it probably would have made me more aware of my own situation. I first started feeling uncomfortable with my appearance right around the time when puberty hit. I was average looking, but at that time is when people start to develop the idea of self-consciousness.
The way people looked at me made me second guess my looks. That, or the clothes I was wearing and the way my hair was styled. Those thoughts eventually brought on anxiety issues. I dealt with those issues by trying to fit in. Enter drugs and alcohol.
The more I used substances and got drunk, the more I gained weight. In turn, those amplified my self-esteem issues. What started as a way to avoid my mental difficulties became the reason why I did them.
It didn’t take too long to get addicted after that. Everything went downhill and I eventually checked into a rehab center for drug and alcohol addiction. At that point, I had developed health problems such as a slow liver and weak respiratory system. I was also overweight.
What followed were some pretty difficult times. One aspect of rehab was a nutrition class taught by a specialist, which involved the different types of foods and how they benefit you. That’s where I learned about superfoods.
As it turns out, superfoods are filled with nutrients and are excellent for your health. The nutritionist in rehab helped me create a superfood diet which shaved off all the weight I had gained. Today I’d like to share what some of those foods were, and how they can help you:
This small seed is native to South America, specifically the countries Bolivia and Peru. It was popularized around 5 years ago. Experts say that quinoa is one of the only plants which contains a complete protein. In that sense, you can get all of the amino acids your body needs by eating it.
It’s also gluten-free, which means it substitutes free grains such as rice and corn for fiber. It’s also commonly used by vegetarians and vegans to get the protein they would usually get from meats.
2. Wild Salmon
This will be the only animal-based food on the list, so vegans and vegetarians fear not. The most commonly known benefit of wild salmon is its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. That help develops a healthy brain and heart.
It can also protect you from certain types of cancer and chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression, diabetes, and so on. Wild salmon quickly became one of my top foods because of its benefits to my particular case.
Flaxseeds are great for losing weight due to their high fiber content. What that does is improve your digestion and boost your metabolism. They also contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and lignans; an antioxidant which promotes hormonal balance.
Flaxseeds are great when added to smoothies in grounded form (1-3 tablespoons). They won’t affect the flavor. Sprinkle them on some homemade muffins, bread, or cookies. I usually mix them with water and use that as an egg substitute when I’m cooking for my vegan friends.
I never understood why grapefruit is so often omitted from top superfood lists. One reason why I decided to include it here is that I love the taste, but also because science backs its benefits.
Grapefruit contains lots of vitamin C, which is good for your skin, keeping it clean and looking healthy. The fruit is also filled with antioxidants. Those same antioxidants protect the cells of the body from damage. Finally, it has fiber as well, which promotes intestinal health.
In a study of 91 obese patients, those who consumed more on a regular basis ended up losing much more weight than those who ate placebo. As such, it was on almost every plate when I was trying to get back in shape.
5. Green Tea
So you’ve got the above 4 foods to supercharge your diet, but what do you drink them with? I present to you, green tea, the drink to beat all drinks. Yes, I know it’s technically not a food. But green tea is so jam-packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that it deserves a place on our list.
First of all, green tea is calorie-free. Furthermore, it’s an excellent source of antioxidants. Research also links green tea to fight different types of cancer. It can lower your risk of stroke, lower cholesterol, and fight inflammatory skin diseases.
The great thing about this list is that it has a little bit of everything. Having a balanced diet full of organic food is everything, according to my nutritionist in rehab. When I designed my meals, I always tried to include one of these superfoods. Whether it was a green tea to end the meal, grapefruit as a desert, or salmon with flaxseeds and quinoa on the side, there were always great combinations available. Now, when I look in the mirror I’m happy with what I see. If you incorporate these into your diet, you will be, too.
How have these foods benefited your life? Let me know in the comments!