If there were certain foods that could help restore your body and mind, would you eat them? While you wouldn’t necessarily think of your shopping list as a prescription, in actuality, many of the foods you consume have the power to improve your overall health and well-being from head to toe. So the next time you go to the supermarket, be sure to pick up these eight superfoods that do a super job at putting you at the top of your game.
While cranberries are largely known to help prevent UTIs, they’re also packed with antioxidants that can help protect and heal your body from cell damage. Plus, as noted in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, cranberries even contain compounds that can help impede the growth and development of certain breast, lung, and colon cancers. Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving, but it’s definitely worth being thankful for this fruit.
It’s always a good choice to go green, and eating the green interior of an avocado is no exception. Avocados are an excellent source of fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids (the good fat!), while also being free of sodium and cholesterol. Plus, they’re full of potassium, which plays a key role in helping lower blood pressure. In fact, they contain more potassium than a banana. Further, as discussed in the Archives of Medical Research, avocados can help reduce your cholesterol levels and can thereby help reduce your risk of heart disease. But the healing benefits don’t stop there, as avocado oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in alleviating arthritis pain.
Long considered a morning staple, oatmeal has countless healing properties that can help transform your body both inside and out. Oatmeal is full of fiber, helps lower bad cholesterol, and also aids in stabilizing your blood sugar levels. Further, as noted by Tufts University researchers, oats play a key role in preventing cardiovascular disease and have numerous heart-healthy benefits. But it’s time to think outside the box of oatmeal and consider applying it to your body’s exterior. It’s been shown that the use of oatmeal on your skin, such as in an oatmeal bath, can help treat certain dermatological conditions, including psoriasis, dermatitis, and rashes.
Greek yogurt is a popular and easy go-to snack, but it’s Greek yogurt’s ability to make it easy for you to “go” that has increased its appeal over the years. In terms of its many benefits, Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium and contains nearly double the amount of protein that’s found in regular yogurt. But its healing powers are actually found in its probiotics, the healthy bacteria that are already found in your gut and help to aid digestion. In fact, this is one of the key reasons that yogurt is often consumed by those battling different intestinal issues, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. So if you’re regularly dealing with irregularity or if you suffer from constant constipation, adding Greek yogurt to your diet is a step in the right direction.
While eating spinach may not help your muscles grow instantaneously like Popeye’s did, his increased intake of spinach is definitely worth emulating. Spinach can make your body strong in a multitude of ways, as it’s an excellent source of iron, can lower your blood pressure, and can help keep your brain functioning at peak levels. It also contains different antioxidants that can help protect your eyes against macular degeneration as well as inhibit the growth of certain cancers. Studies have shown that spinach can help maintain a healthy immune system and even aids in healing wounds. It’s also important to give spinach a second look in terms of its many benefits for your appearance, since it can facilitate hair and nail growth.
Olive oil has long been praised for its major role in the Mediterranean diet, which is often considered one of the healthiest diets in terms of illness prevention and extended lifespan. With this in mind, it’s definitely worth examining this superfood more closely and including it in your cooking routine, as it’s rich in omega-3s and monounsaturated fatty acids. Plus, research has shown that the consumption of olive oil can help lower the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and various heart conditions. Olive oil also has restorative benefits for your body’s exterior, and applying it topically can help repair skin, especially in terms of healing burns. It also can be used as a deep conditioner for your hair, so it’s really up to you if you’d rather keep a bottle in the kitchen or in the bathroom.
While they may be small in size, kiwis pack a powerful punch when it comes to their healing characteristics and true value in your diet. For starters, this fuzzy fruit can help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well as help prevent various cancers. But the benefits don’t stop there, as research has shown that eating kiwis can help improve your quality of sleep by aiding the onset and length. And if getting your beauty rest isn’t a big enough benefit, kiwis also contain anti-inflammatory properties which can help heal your bad skin woes by fighting acne, pimples, and outbreaks.
Yes, you read that correctly. Dark chocolate has many healthy and healing properties, so it’s the perfect excuse to give in to your chocolate craving. To begin with, dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and contains important cell reparative powers. And while it may surprise you, studies have also shown that dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to your heart and brain, and even prevent blood clots. But not as surprisingly, consuming dark chocolate has also been shown to help boost the serotonin levels in your brain and can help heal a foul mood. Who knew eating dark chocolate could be so sweet?