While the first quarter of 2018 is almost done, there are still nine months left to tweak your diet plan and make healthy choices to have a better year. At a time when everybody is turning to the healthy lifestyle, superfoods have come to the forefront of the healthiest options. Nuts and seeds took the center stage in 2017, but this year, another set of nutrient-dense superfoods is the next best thing this 2018.
Fermented foods – think kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir, and you have the top healthiest superfoods to look out for this year. According to the survey “What’s Trending in Nutrition”, people are now aiming literally for their gut, emphasizing the need for superfoods that promote digestive health. A more important reason why fermented foods top this list is that fermentation is a natural process, good bacteria break down starches and sugar, making it even healthier and more nutritious than ever. Fermented foods are extremely helpful in controlling inflammation, losing weight, detoxifying the body, preventing certain cancer types, and boosting the immune system.
Watermelon seeds – While chia seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. have lorded in 2017, watermelon seeds are stealing the limelight this 2018. Turns out these little black pellets are nutrient dense, packed with vitamins and minerals that range from protein, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, to healthy fats. And what’s even more astounding is the fact that 100g of watermelon seeds has more vitamin content as compared to pumpkin seeds or even sunflower seeds. But wait, there’s even more to these seeds; it works wonders for your skin, perfect for that anti-ageing regimen to keep wrinkles and sags away.
Nut oils – Oils are kitchen essentials, a staple in cooking, but while healthier oil options are already available in olive, vegetable, and canola, nut oils have also been recently added to this growing healthy options. Nuts in its raw form have already been established as nutritious superfoods, these nut oils also retain those nutrients. Oil from almonds, walnuts, and cashew, to name a few, are low in trans-fat and rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which is good for the heart. So the next time you cook your favorite dish, why not try nut oil.
Cassava flour – this 2018 superfoods list is not all about overpowering nutritional benefits, but it’s also about equally healthy alternatives and convenience, and cassava flour is one such item on the list. As it is root vegetable based, cassava flour is gluten-free, nut-free, and grain-free, which makes it a good alternative for baking, especially if you suffer from numerous allergies. In addition, cassava flour is paleo-friendly and is low in fat and calories. It is rich in carbohydrates too, but in complex form so it is not easily digested prompting a spike in sugar levels.
Moringa – This superfood’s nutritional impact has recently come to light over the past few years. This year, it’s set to become the top superfood because of its nutritional content and medicinal application to boot. Moringa powder is derived from the leaves of the moringa tree (Moringa oleifera), dubbed as the miracle tree that is not only used as a meal staple in some Asian countries, but also used as a remedy in traditional medicine especially in India. Aside from the many variety of vitamins in moringa, it contains antioxidants that minimize inflammation. It is abundant in flavonoids, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid that help manage blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Moringa as a supplement that increases breast milk production has also been studied.
Super powders – when it comes to getting your daily dose of health benefits conveniently, super powders are the way to go. This is why it is predicted to become big in 2018. These super powders are the superfoods in its raw form, processed into powder form, so that it is more convenient to take, still packing all the nutrients of the original superfood. Preparation requires very minimal effort because it is easily integrated into your smoothie, tea, or even in your baked goodies. Here are some of the superfoods in powder form:
Maca – processed from maca roots, this super powder is best known for its energy-enhancing, mood-boosting, and memory-increasing benefits. It can balance estrogen levels and improve sexual health in female and fertility in male.
Acai – sourced from dried acai berries, this super powder is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits.
Bee pollen – found in worker bees, bee pollen powder is a superfood that has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant benefits, not to mention the host of vitamins and minerals one can get from it.
Spirulina – made from freshwater algae, spirulina is known to help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. It is an effective weight loss aid as it uses up a lot of energy to metabolize, and it curbs hunger.
Turmeric – obtained from Curcuma longa, a ginger family plant, curcumin is the active ingredient that gives this super powder its wide variety of health benefits. It boosts immunity, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helps with weight loss, improves pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, and more.
If you’ve already incorporated some of these superfoods in your health plan, then great! If not, then the time is NOW!