Top 8 Spring Superfoods You Should Be Eating Right Now
Gardens are abloom, orchards have turned bountiful, and markets look luxuriant with fresh seasonal produce. It’s time you too felt the spring in your steps. Nutrient-rich food, besides regular exercise and proper sleep, can boost your energy and health while keeping illnesses away. Of late, superfoods have taken over conversations with their list of antioxidants, healthy fats, and phytochemicals that are believed to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other ailments. Choose from a variety of spring superfoods to pepper your diet with wellness and taste.
The tropical delight is loaded with antioxidants that can apparently fight various types of cancer. With one cup, you get about 76% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C and 25% of Vitamin A to boost your immunity and vision. It is rich in nutrition and fibre, making you feel fuller while increasing your digestive system’s ability to burn more calories. Its high Vitamin C and potassium content is known to lower serum cholesterol levels and maintain healthy heart rate and blood pressure. Vitamin B 6 and glutamine acid improve memory, while Vitamin E makes it an aphrodisiac and your skincare specialist. From March to June, you will get a variety of mangoes to taste such as Ratnagiri’s Alphonso, Gir’s Kesar, Malihabad’s Dasheri, and Kurnool’s Baganpalle. Go ahead and scoop out your dose of health and pleasure.
One tablespoon of the tiny seeds is said to pack in more calcium than a glass of milk. Rich in fibre, protein, and micronutrients, they provide energy besides supporting the heart, joints, and digestive system. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in them help regenerate the skin and slow down the ageing process. With about 20% of protein in each serving, the seeds help in building and repairing tissues. Stir in chia magic into your daily diet to court vigour.
The king of nuts is armed with a plethora of nutrients such as polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fibre, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. An instant energy-booster, it is also a good source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps make sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. Some reports suggest that the nut itself contains its own source of melatonin. Tryptophan also produces a key brain chemical, serotonin, which relaxes and lifts the mood. So munch on this handy and delicious snack anytime, anywhere. Add walnuts to your desserts, salads, and cereals for rich flavour and texture.
Used liberally as a cooking medium by older generations, clarified butter had slipped away from modern homes due to the stigma of causing heart ailments and obesity attached to it. But thank goodness for comebacks, ghee has now found its way to the top as the new superfood. With vitamins such as A, E, and K2 along with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – an antioxidant with anti-viral properties – it has a lot of benefits to shower. It offers medium-chain fatty acids that are absorbed directly by the liver and burned as energy. Drizzle this tonic daily on your food for better digestion, immunity, and weight loss. No, seriously.
With a velvety-peachy coat and creamy flesh, it is delicious when fresh but equally nutritious when dried. It is full of cholesterol-lowering fibre, potassium, Vitamin A, and phosphorous, which detoxifies the body and ups your digestion and energy. Drop the golden, jelly-like fruit in your cereal, salad, and desserts or snack on it for wholesome goodness.
When fresh, it tastes luscious. However, it’s the dried, chewy variety which is easily available and more popular. Rich in calories, proteins, calcium, iron, and fibre, fig reportedly fares better than apple, raisin, and date on the nutrition chart. Used for treating constipation and skin infection, you should definitely include this fibre-rich superfood if trying to lose weight. A good source of potassium that helps control blood pressure, the fruit is hailed for lowering the risk of vision loss in older adults with regular consumption. Make your cereals, salad, and desserts a little more worthy with fig add-ons.
Grown abundantly in Manipur as chakhao amubi, black rice -- which turns deep purple when cooked -- contains essential amino acids such as lysine and tryptophan; minerals such as copper and iron; vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, and folic acid; along with high fibre content. It boosts immunity with copious levels of antioxidants that help fight infections and toxins. Believed to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer, this richest source of antioxidant anthocyanin is fragrant and delicious. With a low glycemic index of 42, it is the best choice of carbohydrate for those trying to lose weight. This rich, nutty-flavoured, sweet rice on your platter will give you pure purple pleasure.
This is your low-cost, gluten-free superfood that is ground with the outer covering, making it fibre-rich. It is a good source of calcium and protein, equivalent to that in milk, and thus perfect for all age groups and even those with lactose intolerance. Diabetics and weight-watchers benefit from its low glycemic index. Commonly used in South-Indian dishes such as dosa, upma, and mudde, this humble energy-booster is now also available in laddoo and halwa forms. Switch to ragi and reap a world of difference.
Disclaimer: The original article appeared in NDTV Smart Cooky here.
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