With winter never far away and with the cold and flu season around the corner, it’s important to take a proactive approach to stay as healthy as possible. No one wants to spend time sick in bed, make trips to the doctor or hospital, or develop a severe illness, but it happens to thousands of Canadians each year.
Rather than accepting that you will likely get a cold or flu this season, why not take a proactive approach and integrate superfoods into your diet?
What are superfoods?
Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods that are particularly beneficial for your health and well-being. They are mostly plant-based, but some are found in dairy products and fish. While there are no set parameters for what qualifies as a superfood, foods in this category are often rich in antioxidants or vitamins, or they contain significant amounts of healthy fat.
The benefits of including superfoods in your diet
Superfoods continue to grow in popularity. They are beneficial in many ways, as they:
- Help strengthen the immune system
- Improve overall nutritional intake
- Reduce the risk of illness
- Help keep the heart healthy
- Boost metabolism and help with weight management
- Improve complexion and help keep the skin healthy
- Increase your energy level.
Eating superfoods can help you feel better overall, and it’s an indirect way to reduce your health care costs. The healthier you are, the less likely you are to need your health insurance.
There is a misconception that superfoods are odd and uncommon plants and seeds, that they are difficult to find, that they taste awful, and that they are extremely expensive. While some superfoods do fit these descriptions, you might be surprised just how many of the most potent and healthy superfoods you already know and see at the grocery store on a regular basis.
Here is a list of superfoods you can easily integrate into your diet today (if you haven’t already):
- Swiss chard
- Sweet potatoes
- Açai berry, dragon fruit, noni fruit
- Coconut oil
- Chia seeds
- Various types of nuts.
This is only a sample of the dozens of superfoods you can include in your diet.
How to prepare for winter with superfoods
One of the main reasons you might want to start integrating superfoods into your diet to prepare for winter is because it’s common to eat too much over the holiday season, and the food is often high in fat and processed sugars. These foods also tend to lack the vitamins and minerals we need.
What does this mean? It negatively affects our immune system and increases the odds of getting sick. Superfoods help us by overcoming our diet shortcomings and ensure we stay healthy and fight off germs and viruses during the winter months.
Here are some superfoods that are particularly effective for this time of the year:
- Barley grass and wheatgrass – perfect ingredient for a green smoothie
- Goji berries – another great smoothie ingredient
- Cranberries (unsweetened) – goes very well with turkey
- Apples – an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
- Avocado – guacamole anyone?
- Sweet potatoes – how about some homemade sweet potato fries?
- Root vegetables – a perfect side for any dinner
- Cinnamon – add some to your morning coffee!
The simple act of adding a few superfoods to your diet can have a significant impact on you and your family. You will be less prone to getting sick, you will have more energy, and you will feel better overall.
Do you make it a point to include superfoods in your diet? If so, which are your favourites? Which ones are you planning on trying in the future?