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Let’s Find Out About “Superfoods”

Foods have well-known nutritional qualities, such as their energy, carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water content. What makes superfoods, also called functional foods, so special? They have additional properties beneficial to health, in addition to meeting the standards mentioned above. Superfoods are characterised by the presence of antioxidants (which protect the body against internal aggressions, acting a little bit as our own rustproofing system) and phytochemical compounds (which have beneficial effects on the body beyond the scope of vitamins and minerals) in great quantities. Here are a few examples that can easily be integrated to you nutrition:

Blueberries: these small berries are filled with antioxidants and phytoflavonoids, and are very rich in potassium and vitamin C. They help prevent certain types of cancer and decrease risks of heart disease. They also have anti-inflammatory properties. Fresh or frozen, they can be added to smoothies, yogurts, or gruels.

Spinach: they contain a lot of active molecules that prevent the development of certain types of cancer and slow down the deterioration of vision brought on by aging. This green vegetable is very versatile and can easily be used in salads, sandwiches, dips, pasta, shepherd’s pie, soups, pottages, omelets, ratatouille, and many other dishes!

Broccoli: it contains several compounds that hinder the development of cancer. Eating five servings per week of this vegetable decreases risks of developing bladder, breast, lung, digestive system, and prostate cancer. There are several ways to use broccoli on a daily basis. You probably already use it as a side dish, au gratin, in salads, raw, in sautés, etc.

Seaweeds: their nutritional value is exceptional! They are known for their benefits against cancers, heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. Once again, they are very rich in antioxidants, but also in carotenoids, soluble fiber, phytosterols (which help reduce blood cholesterol), and iodine. For those who love sushi, this is another reason to eat them!

Other superfoods include tomatoes, garlic, nuts, salmon, oats, flaxseeds, green tea, yogurt, olives and olive oil, dark chocolate… to name only a few!

By Christina Timotheatos
In collaboration with Émilie Morin, LVL intern 4 at Université de Laval

Christina Timotheatos

Christina holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from the University of Montreal, and has been a member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec since 1999. She has been working at Nautilus Plus since 2008, where she began as a nutritionist, before occupying her current position of Nutrition Operations Coordinator since 2010. Actively contributing in the development and training of nutritionists at Nautilus Plus, Christina is one of the go-to experts in nutrition within the organisation. Before specialising in sports nutrition, Christina worked as a dietician-nutritionist at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital for 10 years, in addition to doing consultations in private clinic and private homes. To add to her professional baggage, she also worked as a dietician and nutrition consultant for a school board.

Let's Find Out About "Superfoods" is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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