The idea of foods having healing powers isn’t as absurd as some may think. The food we eat is what fuels our bodies, and gives us the nutrients and energy we need to function. You have probably turned to foods for their healing elements before. There is a good reason we consume chicken broth when we are sick or associate prunes with… well let’s just say a healthy digestive system.
We have all gotten into the rut of rotating between the same couple of meals, or maybe you feel sick of consuming the same old superfoods (foods rich in nutrients) such as kale and quinoa.
The following 6 superfoods are some less common choices – each with incredible health benefits that will spice up your diet.
Beets are an often-overlooked root vegetable with few calories, but many vitamins and minerals. Beets are rich in potassium, antioxidants, and folate (a B-vitamin important in infants, adolescents, and pregnant women).
Beets are anti-inflammatory, can help lower blood pressure, and support brain health. They can be easily incorporated into your diet as a unique flair to salads, dips, and juices.
If you have ever suffered through a urinary tract infection and were desperately trying to find relief, you may have heard of cranberry juice as a remedy. Pure cranberry juice, without added sugar or preservatives, can help prevent and speed up the healing of a UTI.
This is not their only benefit though. Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and can help boost your immune system, prevent gum disease, and improve gut health.
Cranberries are not just for Thanksgiving; they can be added to your diet via a bowl of oatmeal, homemade muffins, or smoothies.
Here is a fruit you have probably never even heard of! Haritaki is the name for the dried fruit off of Terminalia Chebula trees and utilized in Eastern medicine. Haritaki can help aid in memory and focus, cleanse the digestive system, relieve constipation, and boost immunity due to its high vitamin C concentration.
Haritaki is also believed to have anti-aging properties. Because it is relatively unknown it is hard to find outside of Asia. Sites such as haritaki.org offer Haritaki in powder and capsule form as a dietary supplement.
4. Goji Berries
Goji berries have a semi-bitter flavor, and are often eaten dried, similar to raisins. Only a quarter cup of these berries contain 340% of the daily-recommended intake for vitamin A, and 40% of your recommended amount of vitamin C.
They are also rich in zinc, protein, and fiber. Dried goji berries are a healthy snack choice, or can be added to salads, cereal, or yogurt.
Turmeric is a spice commonly found in Indian food, and has been used as a medicinal herb in India for thousands of years. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory (beneficial for people with arthritis), can help an upset stomach, reduce symptoms of viral infections, and boost your immune system.
Turmeric can be used as a spice in cooking, drank in teas or smoothies, or added to soup.
It may be hard to believe something associated with chocolate and desserts can be healthy, but pure cacao has powerful health benefits. As opposed to chocolate bars with additives and packed with sugar, cacao has health benefits. It improves circulation, reduces blood’s ability to clot, and decreases inflammation.
Some people find cacao to be too bitter to eat alone, but it can scratch your itch for chocolate when added to granola, oatmeal, or as a replacement to chocolate chips.
Superfoods Can Make a Huge Difference
Focusing on a healthy diet and lifestyle with preventative healthcare is always easier than reactive medical intervention. Simply eating superfoods won’t bring about miraculous health changes, but incorporating them into a healthy diet and lifestyle can help give you the extra nutritional boost you need.