Superfoods

Nutrition

FIVE “SUPERFOODS” THAT REALLY PACK A PUNCHTION

You’ve heard the term ‘superfood’ before. You know they’re good for you, but how good, exactly? Is it really worth it to pay attention to superfoods as long as you’re generally a healthy eater?

Despite widespread references in the media, there’s no conclusive definition of superfood. They range from “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being” (Oxford English) and “a super nutrient-dense food, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and/or polynutrients” (Merriam-Webster).

Exactly how super superfoods are may still be up for debate. But, when it comes to being sick with a cold or the flu, there are certain foods proven to help lessen symptoms and encourage quicker recovery. These foods show up across the board, and they taste great, too boot.

1. Garlic
Garlic’s major active component, allicin, contains most of its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which promote healthy gut flora, helping your body rid itself of toxins, bacteria, and viruses. Great when you’re sick, not to mention year-round.

2. Tumeric
If you’re not already in on the trend, hop to it! Tumeric may very well be that spice sitting in your rack you’ve never used. Curcumin, one if its properties, is anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant. It’s also been used in South Asia for more than 4,000 years for its medicinal properties. The flavor is used often in Indian cooking but is a great addition to so much more!

3. Salmon
This one is pretty obvious, but the facts are staggering. Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are the big ones, but the list goes on and on. It’s brain healthy, heart healthy, and more. If you like salmon, you’re in luck.

4. Chicken Soup
By now, you’ve surely seen the “mom was right” headlines about the health benefits of chicken soup, especially when you’re sick. It’s not just a rumor. Of course, hot soup helps ease a sore throat and is arguably just great comfort food. But also, chicken soup inhibits neutrophils movement—which is a common type of white blood cells that defend your body from infections—so it actually reduces cold symptoms.

5. Ginger
Ever wonder why it was common to drink ginger ale when you were sick as a kid? There’s good reason. Ginger has been shown to reduce stomachaches and nausea, as well as inflammation. Now, we know that the sugar in soda will negate any benefits, but adding it to tea is a great way to take it in.

Depending on your definition of super, these just might be ideal superfoods. And the power of their healing properties makes them great foods to eat year-round, even when you’re not sick–but especially when you are.

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