We eat food to fuel our metabolic activities, but some foods do more than provide energy for the rigors of daily life. Functional foods enhance health and wellbeing by boosting metabolism, promoting digestion, improving nutrient absorption, protecting against the risk of disease, and improving weight loss as well as keeping you filled and satisfied. Here are the top ten foods to take your diet and health to the next level.
Turmeric is one of the most popular spices and one of the most potent functional foods. Densely packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, including the active agent curcumin, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help provide relief from the inflammation caused by arthritis or exercise-induced joint pain, as well as controlling the growth and spread of cancer. Whether in your smoothie or curry, turmeric’s golden color and powerful health-enhancing contents can provide a great boost to your health. We talked about Turmeric in a previous blog
A produce of New Zealand, Manuka honey is full of nutrients and compounds that provide a ton of health benefits. Manuka honey, which got its name from the Manuka tree which the bees that make the honey feed on, is higher in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds and anti-bacterial enzymes that combat pathogens compared to traditional honey. Manuka honey can help relieve digestive stress by reducing the growth of intestinal microbiota, alleviates skin problems caused by inflammation, controls seasonal allergy symptoms, soothes sore throats, and boosts immune function. Add a spoonful to your beverage or oatmeal to enjoy the healing powers of this wonderful honey.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider vinegar has been shown to produce proteins that reduce blood lipid levels, helping to promote cardiovascular health and also enhance fat burn. ACV is rich in acetic acid, which studies show help to curb appetite by delaying the emptying of the stomach and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Fermented foods are some of the best sources of probiotics available because of their high content of gut-friendly bacteria that aid digestion and absorption of food nutrients. For a healthy gut, you need a proper balance between good bacteria and harmful microbiota like candida that cause yeast infections and overgrowth. An inadequate population of good gut bacteria can lead to overgrowth of the bad gut microbiota, leading to inflammation, leaky gut syndrome, skin issues, depression, autoimmune disorders, and obesity. Yogurt, kefir, tofu, and tempeh are some of the most popular fermented foods rich in probiotics to enhance gut health.
Ginger, especially when fresh is densely packed with nutrients that can relieve bloat and aid weight loss. If you are having digestive troubles such as gas or bloating, prepare a cup of ginger tea for fast relief. Ginger can also make your stomach look flatter because of its anti-bloat properties.
Also known as bitter gourd, bitter melon is actually a type of cucumber with prickle-like projections on the surface. Bitter lemon is rich in vitamin B, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. It can help boost energy, improve immunity, and also enhance insulin sensitivity. Add to your smoothie to enjoy the wonderful health benefits of this amazing functional food.
Grapefruit is best known for its fat-blasting properties. Scientists believe that the abundance of vitamin C and phytochemicals in grapefruit might help reduce belly fat accumulation and cholesterol levels. Research show that eating half a grapefruit before meals for 6 weeks reduced the waists of participants in one study by an inch, showing how powerful this fruit is for weight loss.
Fatty fish are packed with heart-healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have potent anti-inflammatory properties that protect against heart disease, mental decline, depression, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Wild tuna, mackerel, and halibut are some of the best sources of fatty fish. It is well known that fatty fish, and higher fat diets in general work well as part of the ever-popular ketogenic diet.
Bone broth is the product of slowly cooking animal bones to break down the collagen to form gelatin which dissolves into the water. The gelatin can help heal intestinal lining, promoting digestion and enhancing the absorption of nutrients. Gelatin may also strengthen the joints and bones to provide relief for age-induced joint deterioration and arthritis.
Avocado is one of the few fruits with an unusually high amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help prevent heart disease, stabilize cholesterol levels, prevent arterial damage, and keep you full for longer. Avocado oil is also rich in vitamins B and E, potassium for bloat relief, and lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants that boost eye health. Whether on fish, salads, or bread, avocado oil is a great functional food you should add to your pantry.
Eating these foods is equal to practicing functional medicine. Not only will they keep you full and energized, but they will also provide several health benefits.
Eating nutritious food is just one of the many Functional Medicine Hacks to Boost Your Mood and Energy, all aspects of modern life need to be adjusted.
If you want to discover even more functional foods check out these articles!
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