Superfoods packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are great for your well-being and even better for keeping you in good shape. However, these nutritional powerhouses do more than just contribute nutrients – they help in preventing and curing diseases. Every single item on this list has numerous medicinal properties, from lowering blood pressure to boosting the immune system.
#1 Cashews Reduce Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that regular consumption of cashew nuts reduces the risk of heart-related problems, including high blood pressure. The key elements in cashews are potassium and magnesium; the former regulates a number of fluids and salt in the organism, whereas the latter reduces hypertension. These nuts also have a balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and are naturally low in sodium. Sodium is known to trigger spikes in the blood pressure, so it is very important to consume unsalted cashews.
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
#2 Almonds Support Healthy Nervous System
Almonds have been known to improve cognitive function and boost the central nervous system. The two key nutrients that enhance the neurological functions are L-carnitine and riboflavin. These two compounds also prevent age-related cognitive decline, like Alzheimer’s and dementia, and that is why it is recommended that people over 50 consume a handful of cashew nuts several times a week.
#3 Pistachios Lower LDL Cholesterol
High LDL cholesterol levels are one of the key risk factors for heart disease. Pistachios contain powerful antioxidants that keep the heart healthy by preventing ‘bad’ cholesterol from entering the bloodstream and cause inflammation. Studies have confirmed that a single serving of these nuts daily reduces cholesterol levels by 9%.
#4 Bananas Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Bananas have a low glycemic index (GI 52). On the other hand, they are rich in carbohydrates. Low glycemic index foods are unlikely to cause blood sugar spikes, which is not the case with foods rich in carbohydrates. That is why serving size is crucial here – try not to overconsume bananas or combine them with foods that are not lower in carbohydrates.
#5 Walnuts Improve Heart Health
Walnuts contain nutrients such as plant sterols, vitamin E, and fiber, that lower bad (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, keep the arteries clean, and aid blood flow. Studies have found that walnuts reduce the risk for inflammations as well as the risk for metabolic syndrome, both of which can lead to a heart disease. It should be noted, however, that these nuts are quite high in calories, so it is important to limit the daily intake.
#6 Cumin Water Facilitates Weight Loss
Cumin helps you lose weight three times faster by reducing the harmful lipid levels in the blood. Cumin water facilitates digestion, boosts the metabolic function, and supports the production of fat-burning enzymes. Prepare this simple drink by soaking cumin seeds in water during the night and drink the filtered liquid next morning on an empty stomach.
#7 Watermelon Acts as a Diuretic and Supports Kidney Function
Watermelons are over 90% water, in addition to highly hydrating nutrients. The nutrients in this summer fruit stimulate proper kidney functioning, causing them to produce more urine. This process reduces bloating and expels toxins from the body more efficiently, resulting in lower high blood pressure and weight loss.
#8 Kiwi Fruit for Better Digestion
Kiwi contains a unique enzyme called actinidin that helps the digestive tract break down the proteins present in foods like dairy, meat, and eggs, which are the hardest to digest. Kiwi is also very rich in antioxidants and fiber, which help the treatment of digestive and bowel problems.
#9 Apple for Heart Health and Immunity Boost
Apples contain pectin, a specific type of fiber which helps lower the LDL cholesterol naturally. This fruit also contains polyphenols that play an important role in promoting heart health.
In addition, one apple provides 14% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which is well known for giving the immune system a boost, thus protecting the body against various diseases.
#10 Apricot Against Diabetes
Apricots have a low glycemic index and do not cause blood sugar spikes after consumption. Apricots are very low in calories, but rich in dietary fiber, which regulate the release of sugar into the blood vessels. All these factors make apricots a perfect diabetic diet addition.
#11 Grapes Improve Brain Power
Grapes are rich in anthocyanins, flavonoids that prevent decline of neurological functions by fighting harmful free radicals and fighting oxidative stress. This means that grapes have a positive effect on cognitive function as well as the central nervous system. This fruit has been found to be especially efficient for memory boost and may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
#12 Lemon Water Replenishes Body Salts
After an intense physical activity, salt and electrolyte levels in the body are out of balance. Drinking lots of water helps maintain this balance, but infusing water with some freshly-squeezed lemon juice makes it even more efficient due to the presence of calcium and potassium which quickly stabilize the levels of fluid and salt in the organism.
#13 Soda Water Helps with Stomach Upset
This carbonated beverage is the cheapest and most efficient way to relieve various stomach problems, including indigestion. Just one glass of sparkling water reduces gasses, bloating, and alleviates stomachache caused by impaired digestion.