For the past two decades, the word Superfood has become increasingly popular. Dieticians and nutritionists are continually studying both the healing compounds of food and the impact foods can have on particular diseases. Many studies are beginning to prove that foods can play a significant role in treating many ailments. It is essential to always seek medical advice before changing your diet, however, as some foods can interact negatively with prescribed medicines.
If you want to use food to help lower your cholesterol, choosing foods that are high in soluble fiber has been proven to work. One cooked artichoke, for example, is a rich source of soluble fiber as are whole oats. Soluble fiber binds with cholesterol as it moves through your body until ultimately it is excreted. Research has shown that adding just ten grams of fiber to your diet every day for a month can reduce cholesterol by as much as five percent. Also, compounds called phytosterols are both heart healthy and proven to help block the absorption of LDL, the harmful cholesterol. Cooking oils produced from plants like olive, vegetable or sesame oils have the highest concentrates of phytosterols, but they can also found in nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Carrots are considered a superfood and have been known to be good for your eyes because they are packed full of vitamin A. People who are deficient in this nutrient can not only experience eye problems but are also more prone to infections that can cause everything from diarrhea to measles. Adding carrots to salads, sauces, or smoothies is an to add vitamin A to your diet every day and strengthen your immune system. Sweet potatoes contain almost six times the daily recommended amount of vitamin A and may also help prevent infections. Vitamin A helps keep the structure of your skin cells strong, so bacteria and viruses will have a harder entering your body when your vitamin A levels are high.
Spinach is also a superfood that contains multiple B vitamins that tell your immune system to fight off infections. If fighting inflammation or infection is your goal, mushrooms are well known to help your body increase white blood cell production. White blood cells are critical for your body’s immune system to fight off infections. Spinach and mushrooms can be added in everything from omelets to salads to pasta. Most purple and blue foods such as eggplant and blackberries are also powerhouses filled with antioxidants proven to fight off inflammation that can lead to infections.
Ginger is another superfood that has healing capacities. The Zanjan University of Medical Science in Iran reported a study that participants experienced the same or more relief from headaches as taking aspirin. The same study also suggests that ginger can help soothe nausea, which many people report as a side effect of headaches. In traditional Chinese medicine, ginger has been used for centuries to cure digestive and stomach ailments and also as a remedy for the common cold. So the next time you aren’t feeling well, you may want to head to the refrigerator instead of the medicine cabinet.