This is part two of our look at Superfoods and the benefits they will bring along with adding them to your diet. The next two foods we will look at today are Blueberries, and Spinach. You can find part 1 here.
- This small fruit is packed with antioxidants to help your body fight free radicals which could cause health issues such as hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, heart problems, and various types of cancer. These antioxidants are called Anthocyanins.
- The blue/purple pigment in blueberries called Anthocyanins is known to improve the strength of the supporting structures in the entire vascular system, improve the effects of vitamin C, and help strengthen tissues in your body.
- There have also been studies done that show evidence of blueberries actually can help protect your brain from oxidative stress and can help prevent diseases brought upon by age such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Dimentia.
- Blueberries also contain large amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, which aid with digestion. Not only this, but there are many different compounds in blueberries, which are also found in cranberries, that can reduce inflammation of the digestive system and the urinary tract.
- With so many benefits found in such a small fruit, it should be a no-brainer than these are need to be a part of your everyday diet. They can be used on yogurt, cereal, or you can just take some to the rink with you for a pre-game snack. With all the pro-cognitive effects, they certainly can’t hurt, and might even improve your game.
- As always, look for organic.
- I know what you are thinking, spinach is in the same boat as broccoli where nobody likes it and think it just looks bad. Sorry to burst your bubble here, but spinach is another superfood that should be a staple in your diet because of the benefits that it provides. Turn’s out Pap
- Spinach is a member of the phytofoods family that posses most of the same benefits as broccoli as well as the other green foods. However spinach is unique because it is high in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Another group of nutrients unique to spinach are called Glycoclycerolipids, which can help protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage-especially damage caused by unwanted inflammation.
- Some other benefits from eating spinach includes, a lowering of the homocysteine levels in your body. Homocysteine is an amino acid that at a high level in your body can lead to coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Spinach has also been known to lower the risk of degenerative eye disease and lower the risk of many types of cancer.
- When preparing your spinach, the way to get the most benefit from it is to just eat it raw such as in a salad. When food is cooked above 120 degree F, most of the beneficial nutrients will be destroyed.
In the case that you dislike broccoli or spinach, try this: Mix 1 cup of blueberries with 1 scoop or vanilla whey protein, 1 cup of water or coconut water, and throw in 1 cup of spinach or broccoli. This may sound like an awful idea, but the good thing about broccoli and spinach is that they mix great and leave no after taste. The only thing you’ll taste is a blueberry smoothie that has tons of fiber, a lot of protein, a massive amount of phytochemicals and nutrients, and an excellent muscle builder.
By Steve Volek