To say that many of us take our health for granted would be the understatement of the year, as many of us constantly put our bodies through hell, when in reality, there is no need at all. People smoke cigarettes, they use drugs, they binge drink and consume too much alcohol, and they consume too much junk food and not nearly enough healthy produce. Yes, our lifestyle and dietary choices can indeed affect our health and wellness, and those effects are now looking more noticeable than ever. Obesity levels are increasing, more and more people are relying on prescription drugs and medications to function on a daily basis, and life expectancies are declining. The frustrating thing is that by simply getting more exercise, cutting way back on the junk and unhealthy lifestyle choices, and following a healthy and balanced diet, many of these problems could be avoided. If you’re looking to take back your health and get back on the road to a healthier and happier you, you should ensure you consume plenty of nutrient-dense superfoods, foods including the five we’re going to look at right now.

Onions

Onions

Obviously you wouldn’t eat them whole, well, not unless you really love onions, nor would you eat them raw, other than in salads etc, but as you know, onions often make up the base of a number of delicious dishes, including soups, stews, curries, and casseroles. Not only do onions taste amazing however, but they also provide fantastic health benefits. To begin with, they are naturally rich in vitamin C, which functions as an antioxidant that helps to rid the body of toxins and harmful ingredients, whilst simultaneously boosting the immune system. They also contain Quercetin, which is a very potent antioxidant that has been proven to protect and strengthen damaged cells, whilst ridding the body of free radicals and fighting the effects of oxidative stress. What’s more, onions increase good cholesterol levels, they reduce blood pressure, plus they help to prevent blood clots by thinning the blood, which provides cardiovascular benefits.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a green vegetable that is very popular in a number of dishes. Not only does it add flavour however, it also adds health benefits as well. Broccoli is considered a superfood for a very good reason – because it is! It contains nutrients that provide so many health benefits that it would be impossible to list them all in one go. In particular however, it contains vitamin C and magnesium, which boost the immune system and provide anti-viral properties, helping to ward off viruses and infections. What’s more, it contains a compound known as interferon, which actually functions as layer of protection for cells. Interferon basically forms a protective layer around our cells, preventing infections, bacteria, and viruses from getting inside. What’s more, it can also provide protection against cancer, as our cells are attacked by free radicals that damage our cells via process known as oxidation, which can cause them to mutate. By protecting the cells however, the risks of cancer are greatly reduced. Broccoli is packed full of other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and is considered to be one of the most effective anti-cancer foods in the entire world, so make sure you get enough.

Quinoa

Quinoa

Quinoa, pronounced ‘keen-wah’ is a superfood that has only gained popularity over the last few years, despite the fact that it has been a staple ingredient in many culture’s cuisines for a number of centuries. Quinoa, although similar to a grain, is not actually a grain at all, it actually comes from a seed of a plant which is a part of the spinach family. It fluffs up and actually resembles couscous once cooked. Quinoa is fantastic because it is considered to be a complete plant-based protein, meaning that it provides all essential amino acids required by the body. What’s more, it is rich in healthy fats, B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including riboflavin and folate, both of which provide proven anti-cancer benefits for the human body. Ideal as a side dish, or served in salads and stir frys, quinoa is an ingredient that is very much a superfood.

Kale

Kale is another green leafy vegetable that is considered to be a superfood ideal for optimal health and well-being. Kale is rich in fiber, and is crammed full of vitamins and minerals, making it one of the most effective immunity boosting foods you could ever wish for. In particular, kale contains high dosages of vitamins A, C, and K, which provide cellular benefits, antiviral benefits, and help to promote healthy vision. What’s more, it is rich in antioxidants, including lutein, which helps to promote healthy eyesight, as well as skin health, helping to keep the skin looking healthy and youthful.

Wild salmon

Wild-salmon

When buying salmon, if possible, always go for wild salmon instead of farmed salmon, as not only does it taste so much nicer, but it also provides so many more health benefits. Wild salmon is a great source of protein, plus it provides plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation in the body, they boost brain health and cognitive function, they boost the metabolism, they strengthen the heart, they promote healthy organ function, plus they help to promote healthy cellular function. What’s more, wild salmon is also rich in minerals such as zinc, and potassium, which help to regulate hormone production, and muscular function. As if that wasn’t enough, wild salmon also contains plenty of vitamin D, which enables the body to absorb calcium into its bones, making it fantastic for bone and joint health as well. It is rich in fats, but the fats are healthy, so providing you watch your intakes and don’t consume too much, your caloric intakes will still remain low enough to enable you to lose weight without any problems, especially as the salmon provides energy and revs up your metabolism.

BroccoliGeneral healthKaleQuinoaSalmon