You are what you eat. Seriously. The foods that you put into your body are responsible for keeping you healthy and happy. There are so many “superfoods” or diets that promise nothing short of miraculous results or health benefits and it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. That’s why we created this super short list of just three foods that you can add to your diet today to improve your health.
For the past few years, this superfood has been receiving tons of attention. Although it is commonly referred to as a grain, quinoa is actually the seed from a vegetable that is related to Swiss chard and spinach. Quinoa is an incredibly versatile food that can be used in everything from your favorite salad to a delicious pudding dessert. Riboflavin, which improves the energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells, is found in abundance in quinoa. Consuming foods high in riboflavin can help those who suffer from migraines have fewer attacks. Additionally, quinoa is a high-protein, low-calorie complex carbohydrate that is very helpful for weight management.
Dark, leafy greens are always a good addition to your diet, but even spinach can’t quite compete with the nutritional benefits that kale provides. Kale is packed with nutrients and extremely low in calories and provides health benefits from heart disease prevention to healthy skin and hair. The fiber, potassium and vitamins C and B6 contained in kale all work to promote healthy heart functioning. When it comes to changing diet for improved heart health, the most important change you can make is to decrease your sodium intake while increasing your potassium intake. Vitamin K is essential for healthy bones and just a one-cup serving of kale provides nearly 700% of your daily vitamin K needs. Iron and vitamins A and C all benefit your hair and skin. Iron deficiencies are commonly a cause for hair loss while vitamin A is necessary for moisturization levels as well as the growth of bodily tissues, including your skin and hair. Vitamin C supports healthy collagen building and maintenance, which keeps your skin looking young and radiant.
When it comes to health foods, nuts are certainly not new on the scene. In moderation, nuts are an excellent addition to your diet, and one nut in particular may be especially beneficial. Walnuts contain protein and a healthy dose of antioxidants. Dr. Joe Vinson, a researcher at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, notes that “[t]wenty-eight grams of walnuts (an ounce) have more antioxidants than the sum of what the average person gets from fruits and vegetables. That is not to say they are a replacement for fruits and vegetables, but they are very antioxidant dense.” Although nuts are not a low-calorie food, they are filling meaning an ounce of nuts as a snack can make you less likely to overindulge at your next meal. What really sets walnuts apart from other nuts is their high content of serotonin. Serotonin is the “feel-good” chemical in your brain that is responsible for creating feelings of calm and happiness and walnuts are one of the richest dietary sources of serotonin available.
The importance of eating well cannot be stressed enough. Following a diet that is full of essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals helps ensure that your body is receiving everything that it needs to keep you both healthy and happy. You don’t have to change your entire diet overnight, gradually adding foods that improve your health will still have a significant positive impact on all areas of your health from increasing happiness to giving you glowing skin.