If you were in a time machine and saw yourself living in 400 B.C., what do you think would you see?
My intelligent guess would be… a strong culture among people, eating nutrient-dense foods to prevent and TREAT diseases. ?
Wondering who had the most significant influence on this philosophy back then? Hippocrates, the founder of medicine and rational science!
Intriguing, right?! It makes me think that if the founder of medicine himself believed in the power of nutritious foods, then who are we to doubt?
If we fast forward to current times, the concept of “nutrient-dense foods” only had a remake in the early 2000s. These foods were coined with the term “superfoods”. Nowadays, there is a noticeable rise in popularity for superfoods, especially among health enthusiasts!
Read on and discover how superfoods regained their power and reputation — AND WHY THEY DESERVE IT. ?
What Makes These Foods “Super”?
Superfoods are believed to offer maximum nutritional benefits. These sorts of foods are also packed with high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants compared to other foods!
But hey, I don’t want you to fall into a pit of misconception. These foods are not miracle-workers, alright?
Dietitian Penny Kris-Etherton explains that a lot of people have unrealistic expectations about these foods. Most people think that they will be spared from chronic diseases by eating one or two of these foods in the middle of their unhealthy diet!
There’s no doubt that including superfoods as part of your daily nutritional intake is beneficial. But make sure to consume an overall healthy and balanced diet! On top of that, get the extra boost of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from these superfoods. Now you have the perfect formula to be a healthy superwoman! ?
Health Benefits of Superfoods
Superfoods take things to the next level by providing a megadose of nutrients. They help optimize your body’s overall ability to function! More than that, superfoods are also excellent in preventing sneaky diseases from creeping up! Take a look at the following health benefits you could get from superfoods:
• Decreasing Inflammation
This is among superfoods’ top health benefits! Inflammation is the immune system’s response when your body perceives a threat. This response can negatively affect almost every tissue, hormone and cell in the body! A related study shows that obesity has a strong inflammatory component. This problem affects nearly two-thirds of all adults in the U.S.
• Balancing Blood Sugar Levels
This is also made easier by superfoods! If you consume high amounts of sugar and processed carbohydrates, it is harder to manage your blood sugar levels. This can lead to cravings, fatigue, neurological damage, mood disorders and hormonal imbalance. Diabetes and weight gain are health conditions that are also closely tied to poor insulin response. These conditions happen if your blood sugar levels are not in the right balance!
• Eliminating Toxins
Since superfoods are rich in antioxidants, they can effectively help detoxify the body! They neutralize free radicals closely linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, hypothyroidism, respiratory problems, infertility, immune deficiency, emphysema, fibromyalgia and Parkinson’s disease. Toxins also cause weak digestive health, hormonal changes and decreasing liver function.
• Achieving Hormonal Balance
Hormones affect every aspect of your health — from your energy levels, cognitive functioning, body weight, sex drive and a whole lot more! Consequently, abnormal hormonal changes contribute to a bunch of health problems too. This includes accelerated aging, diabetes, obesity, fatigue, depression, low mental capacity, reproductive problems and autoimmune diseases.
Top 11 Superfoods for a Healthier Midlife
Superfoods are mostly plant-based, but there are also herbs, fruits and seeds that gained the “superfood” title! Here’s a list of superfoods every midlife woman should have in her pantry! With the rich nutrients they contain, it is important to start gradually and try one superfood at a time. They contain very high amounts of nutrients and it would be best to see how your body responds! CLICK to know more about each of them!
Personally, I mix my superfoods with water and have it before my first meal of the day. This is my way to take advantage of my fasting state! It allows all the nutrients for maximum absorption.
Additionally, it is also believed that berries are astringent in nature. They are safe to be eaten on an empty stomach! They can also reduce water retention in the body, tighten the tissues, increase collagen in your skin and promote weight loss.
Well, this is an awesome way to face the day! ?
To give you another idea for a superfood smoothie, check out this video from Dr. Josh Axe! [My Morning Superfood Smoothie!] [7:17]
How Do I Know It’s a “Superfood”?
According to the American Health Association, there is no distinct set of criteria to determine what is and what is not a superfood.
Despina Hyde, a registered dietitian, acknowledges that each superfood belongs to a respective food group. She also believes that “superfood” is simply more of a marketing term for foods with a wide range of health benefits.
Don’t take superfoods as individual mysterious wonders. Instead, let them aid your diet to maximize the health benefits you can get from food! The key to ensure that is by consuming a varied and balanced diet. ?
More Sources to Supplement Your Diet in Midlife
Nothing compares to a rainbow selection of veggies, fruits, proteins and healthy fats, naturally sourced from foods. But I have learned in menopause, that supplements also support our overall well-being!
The good news is that there are natural menopause supplements that you can try too. They tap into the healing effects of herbs and plants! Natural means that they are from good sources and went through minimal processing. Natural supplements don’t contain hormones, antibiotics or artificial flavors. You can know more about them through our articles:
You can also go for dietary supplements. Vitamins and minerals play a significant part in our hormone production and balance! Learn the best vitamins and minerals for women in our article:
As another wisdom goes from the founder of medicine himself:
“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”
Nowadays, only a few health conditions can be linked to genes. Almost all health problems are related to nutrient deficiencies and unhealthy diet — which are both WITHIN OUR CONTROL. Even experts can say that diseases actually don’t lie in our genes, but in our choices.
So, treat your body right and always fill your plate with the best nutrients! Whether it’s a “superfood” or not, it all boils down to the variation and moderation you observe in your diet!
Eat well and live well, superwoman. ?
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Gita is the founder of My Menopause Journey. Since 2014, she has been supporting midlife women by sharing hard-earned learnings from her own experience. To advance her knowledge, Gita puts a lot of her time and effort into understanding the broad spectrum of women’s health. She immerses in extensive research about the physical, mental and emotional aspects of menopause. Gita believes in the life-changing power of healthy, holistic living — this is where she anchors her message to all women. Learn more about her marvelous mission in About us - My Menopause Journey.