The term “superfood” is thrown around a lot these days, but what exactly makes a food “super” and how do you know what to look for? Superfoods, or functional foods, have nutritional plusses that bring a wide range of benefits to your health. Whether you’re looking to improve your heart, brain, immune, or digestive health—functional foods can have wonderful benefits.
Heart-Healthy Cooking Oils
This kitchen staple is dripping with health benefits. Liquid non-tropical plant oils, such as olive or sunflower oils, are packed with healthy unsaturated fats. Omega-3’s and omega-6’s found in cooking oils have several heart-healthy effects such as reducing inflammation and lowering bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.
Immune-Boosting Fruits and Veggies
Making healthy choices—especially when it comes to food—can help build your body’s ability to ward off infections. Fruits and vegetables contain critical, immune-supporting nutrients like vitamins A and C, iron, selenium, and zinc. Fill half your plate with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and change it up daily. The more colorful your diet, the better!
Seafood is swimming with lean protein, healthy fat, and many nutritional benefits that will support your heart and brain health. It’s also a great source of vitamins A, D, and B, which, when combined with the omega-3s, are especially good for your brain.
Whole Grains for Digestive Health
Good health starts from the inside out. Full of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, whole grains can reduce your risk of chronic diseases while supporting your digestive health. Fiber feeds the healthy gut bacteria that helps with digestion and helps to keep you full between meals.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.