The holiday season can be a significant obstacle for those looking to follow a healthy diet. While Intermittent Fasting helps curb some of the rampant overconsumption of calories on these festive days, it’s not enough.
The term superfoods have been around for a while, but the definition isn’t known by many. It’s merely a term that applies to foods that contain a lot of nutritional benefits.
Superfoods provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds. The research is still in its infancy, but some limited evidence points to superfoods’ ability to lower metabolic syndrome risk.
Combined with an effective Intermittent Fasting program that has proven health benefits, superfoods can supercharge your health!
So, why not throw some Superfoods into your holiday menu?
1. Turmeric: a powerful antioxidant
Turmeric has beneficial compounds called curcuminoids. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and works as a powerful antioxidant. It’s shown to effectively reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
You can put Turmeric on various side dishes for more flavor. While it’s the main component of Curry, it also works well with roasted vegetables, rice dishes, dark leafy greens (which is another superfood to use), and soups.
One thing to consider is that Turmeric and the beneficial curcuminoids will absorb better in the body in the presence of Black Pepper. Make sure to add that whenever you use Turmeric!
2. Ginger and its anti-inflammatory effect
Like Turmeric, Ginger offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s also anti-bacterial and can ward off sicknesses and improve digestion. It may also be beneficial for reducing cancer growth and lowering LDL cholesterol levels. It’s an all-around powerhouse!
Ginger is excellent in tea that can be served alongside any other dishes planned for the holidays. You can also season fish with it or put it in a stir fry with dark leafy greens and Turmeric for multiple superfoods on one plate.
3. Dark Leafy Greens: a cocktail of healthy micronutrients
Dark leafy greens like Kale and Spinach offer a ton of micronutrients for very few calories. Dark greens can be rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K while providing ample B vitamins. They also contain Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium.
They also provide a lot of antioxidants that can reduce the risk of cancer.
Leafy greens are easy to sneak onto almost any plate. You can be traditional and make a salad. You can use them in stir-fries as well. If you don’t like the flavor, they make a great addition to smoothies, along with Citrus Fruits, like Oranges, for a double dose of superfoods. They are too versatile to list everywhere you can use them!
4. Citrus Fruits for a stronger immune system
It’s no secret that Christmas time also brings the increased risk of getting sick. Vitamin C plays a major role in a healthy immune system. Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C. They are also high in antioxidants and show anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that a higher intake of Citrus fruits lowered the risk for heart attack and stroke!
As mentioned before, you can make a smoothie of superfoods with Citrus fruits and dark leafy greens. You can also use it in tea and to season fish along with Ginger for another combination. If you like a little tartness in your salads, you can use a fresh lemon-based dressing in a salad with dark leafy greens and Broccoli (another superfood).
5. Broccoli: a boost of essential vitamins
Broccoli boasts all the benefits of dark leafy greens and more. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals. It also contains a compound sulforaphane, a potent antioxidant that can regulate regular blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce the risk for major diseases, and lower the effects of oxidative stress throughout the body.
Certain cooking methods lower nutrient content, so it’s best to either eat it raw or steamed. Don’t worry, though. It’s still a superfood with any cooking methods! Throw it in salads, stir-fries, baked dishes, soups, or just by itself as a side dish.
Intermittent Fasting can do wonders for your health, but you can take it to the next level by ensuring the food you eat is nutrient-dense. Including superfoods into your holiday meals isn’t hard. Most people gain weight during the holidays, but you don’t have to!
- Try to follow your intermittent fasting routine, but don’t worry if you slip up.
- Try not to go over your total calorie budget.
- Choose healthy meals that cover your nutritional needs.
- Add superfoods for boosting your results.
- Most important of all: enjoy your time with friends and family!