When it comes to staying fit and healthy, we all know that a combination of exercise and a balanced diet is the key. Whilst exercising is mostly straightforward, there can be a challenge in finding the right food to best compliment working out. With so much to choose from and an array of hidden ingredients, you never know what you might be eating. Superfoods (so called owing to their 'super' health benefits) may be the answer to this problem. Although 'superfood' is no legal definition, these 'nutrient powerhouses' pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, minerals and vitamins to help you remain slimmer and healthier. Here, Health and Fitness Travel, the leading specialists in healthy holidays worldwide, round up the top 10 superfoods, the health benefits they offer and how to fit them into your diet.
Blueberries, often referred to as the 'go-to' super fruit, are packed full of antioxidants that are said to protect against cancer and reduce the effects of age-related diseases. They help with memory protection and regular consumption can keep your brain functioning well as you age. Blueberries are also rich in manganese that boosts the metabolic rate, keeping you slim and energised. Add blueberries to low fat yoghurt at breakfast or snack on a handful between meals.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, that the body cannot produce itself. These 'good fats' improve circulation and help to protect against heart disease and other inflammatory diseases. It is also a rich source of selenium, which helps prevent cell damage. Many of our resorts boast restaurants that offer the freshest catches of the day, so enjoy the highest quality fish prepared in the most nutritionally balanced ways.
As little as one cup of this leafy green vegetable contains more than your daily requirement of vitamin A and K along with almost all the manganese and folate your body needs. Spinach is said to improve brain function and its high antioxidant component fights cancer by neutralising free radicals in the body.
Apples are a great source of fibre and the skin contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory powers that can protect against heart disease and allergic reactions. People who eat more apples are proven to have better lung function. They act as a great mid-morning or afternoon snack and provide a low calorie alternative for dessert.
5. Whole grains
Whole grains are packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats that are slowly released to keep you feeling fuller for longer. They also increase your fuel reserves, meaning incorporating them into your breakfast or lunch will allow you to keep on your toes for that afternoon game of charades.
Part of the ‘cruciferous’ vegetable family, broccoli contains nutrients that suppress the growth of tumours and reduce cancer risk. One cup alone helps to boost the immune system and is full of vitamin C and folic acid. Broccoli can be enjoyed raw or cooked so is perfect for both mealtimes and Christmas snacking.
7. Olive Oil
One of the best types of fat you can opt for in your diet olive oil is an old-time favourite, with its reported ability to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and a staple base to the Mediterranean diet.
Tomatoes contain a sought after antioxidant called lycopene, which is rarely found in other fruits and helps to stimulate the immune system. They’re also high in vitamin C and potassium and are thought to be powerful cancer-fighting super foods. Lycopene remains highly concentrated even in cooked tomato products including tomato paste, tomato sauce and even ketchup!
Packed with fibre, protein and more ‘good fats’, eating nuts will help stave off hunger pangs and encourage your body to burn more fat. Eating nuts protects against heart disease and helps to lower cholesterol. They provide an ideal daytime snack or are a heart healthy addition to any meal.
10. Dark Chocolate
It’s more than wishful thinking; studies show that eating dark chocolate can be good for you. Packed with natural anti-oxidants it falls under the same ‘good for you’ category as tea and blueberries. Dark chocolate is good for the heart and brain, high in minerals and helps to control blood sugar – so don’t feel too bad about treating yourself to a bar over the festive break!
For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com.au or call 1300 551 353.
About Health and Fitness Travel
Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph, Adam Heathcote and co-founded in Australia by local Director Samantha Lippiatt as a result of their combined passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people’s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives.
Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel have also created their own healthy holiday collections in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness and Discover Recover, offering clients the best value and holiday experience. For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com.au