top superfoods health benefits

We have all heard the term “Superfood,” but what does it really mean?

Simply put, superfoods are any type of food that is filled to the brim with nutrients and vitamins which are considered to be very beneficial for the overall wellbeing of the human body. There is a lot more scientific jargon that comes along with superfoods, but we won’t bore you with it. 

Choosing superfoods and incorporating them into your daily diet ensures that you not only get the basic nutrients and minerals that your body needs but also that you get a little bit of extra stuff to help your body grow and be healthy. Those of us who need some of those extra nutrients and vitamins which we might be lacking in can benefit the most from consuming superfoods.

However, even if you don’t have any health issues that can be related with poor nutrient consumption, getting some superfoods into your system can still be beneficial in helping you be ready to fight all those pesky viruses and bacteria.

So, how many different superfoods are there? Surprisingly, there are plenty! Fruits, nuts, berries, beans, certain protein meats, special veggies, and unique wheats all have superfood like qualities to them. Some can be easily found in your local supermarket, while others are a bit more difficult to locate.

Because these superfoods can be found in many different categories, finding the right superfood to fit the diet you are most comfortable with shouldn’t be an issue. The problem is deciding on which superfoods you should incorporate in your diet since there are so many different choices. Luckily we are here to help you fix that problem!

We have compiled a list of the most popular and the most used superfoods out there, along with a short and straight to the point explanation of the benefits of each superfood and where to get them.

Without further delay, here is our list of the top 27 superfoods that you can start using today!

The Top 27 Superfoods

Acai Berry

acai berriesThese somewhat unique berries have been dubbed as a superfood because of their amazing ability in helping with weight loss and diminishing the effects of aging. Acai berries contain high amounts of antioxidants, which is the main reason they are so popular amongst all superfoods. This berry is native to Central and South America and is usually about an inch long with reddish coloration.

Besides the antioxidants, acai berries also contain great amounts of fiber, vitamin A, calcium, and iron. One type of antioxidants found in acai berries are anthocyanins, which help with balancing cholesterol levels, similarly to red wine. Because of this acai berries can help you improve your heart health.

Additionally, the berries are filled with plant sterols which can help support circulation, blood composition, and improve blood vessel quality. The fibers present in acai berries can also do wonders for your body, including improving your overall digestion and aiding with weight loss.

There are a few different ways you can use acai berries daily. The berries can be turned into acai powder, which can then be mixed into drinks or smoothies, effectively boosting the healthy benefits of both. Alternatively, you can also choose to juice the berries on your own, which may prove to be rather tedious. Lastly, simply buying premade acai juices, drinks, and shakes is most likely the least complicated solution to increasing your acai berry intake.

Almonds

almondsWe often overlook this amazing and tasty seed. Almonds are packed full of nutritional value. This easily accessible and often mislabeled nutseed is packed full of nutrients and vitamins. Expect to get plenty of iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, potassium, and phosphorous. Now that’s a list of nutrients that anyone could benefit from!

Because of all the wonderful stuff that’s packed into each little almond, this seed can improve many different aspects of your health. At the forefront of its abilities, reducing risks for heart health problems is what almonds may be able to help with the most. Reducing bad cholesterol is something that can be done by eating between one to six ounces of almonds per day. If combined with a low calories diet, these appetite conquering seeds can help you lose weight and reduce fat mass.

The nutritional values that almonds offer are already more than enough to qualify them as a superfood. However, this isn’t what makes them so special. It is the huge versatility in methods of consumption that make almonds stand out amongst all other superfood.

Almonds can be turned into flour, mixed into nearly any smoothie, chopped and used as breading for some of your favorite dishes, used in your favorite salad, and even used to produce healthy almond milk that can be turned into almond butter, and so much more. You can use almonds for anything you wish, all you have to do is add them in, and this is exactly why they are considered one of the best superfoods out here.

Artichokes

artichokesSome of you might be cringing a bit after reading this superfood, but trust us when we say that you should reconsider adding artichokes into your diet. As it turns out, artichokes have one of the highest levels of antioxidants in them when compared to other commonly eaten foods such as broccoli or red bell peppers.

If you are looking for additional nutrients and vitamins, don’t worry, artichokes have plenty of those in them, too. They are an awesome source of fiber and vitamin C, as well as a pretty good source of magnesium, folate, potassium, and phosphorus.

Unsurprisingly, eating artichokes can help with a few things when it comes to your overall health. First and foremost, we have cholesterol reduction, which can be easily accomplished with the help of a few artichokes. Atherosclerosis may also be prevented alongside heart disease when you decide to increase your artichoke intake. Lastly, your liver can be kept healthy and protected for a long amount of time, all thanks to constant munching of artichokes.

Oddly enough, artichokes are actually a species of thistle. The edible parts of the artichoke are the flower buds before they bloom. They can be prepared in a few various different ways. Simply steaming the artichoke and adding a few spices is by far the easiest and fastest method to get some artichoke on the plate.

Baking is another option which you can choose; we usually love to add some cheese to baked artichokes. Grilling them with your favorite meats is also a possibility. They can also be marinated and canned if you have the time. There are plenty of different ways to prepare this superfood and get your health levels up on the scale of well-being.

Asparagus

asparagusDue to its somewhat undesirable aftereffects, many people overlook the power of asparagus and often choose to add other vegetables to their dish. Little do they know asparagus is actually a superfood! Asparagus contains huge amounts of vitamin K and vitamin A. Both of these vitamins are vital to a healthy life. Vitamin K promotes healthy bones and bone growth, as well as improves your blood’s ability to clot, while vitamin A is responsible for helping maintain major organ health.

Besides the vitamins listed above, asparagus also contains high amounts of antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of serious health problems like cancer, heart conditions, and even diabetes. Asparagus also contains very little calories, about 27 calories per 12 spears, which makes it a perfect side veggie for any dish. Additionally, high levels of folate found in asparagus can also help with preventing cancer and anemia amongst children and adults.

If you still aren’t convinced that this delicious vegetable is worthy of the superfood title, think about this: asparagus has anti hangover properties. One study showed that cells in the liver which were treated with asparagus extract displayed reduced toxicity levels and higher levels of active alcohol-metabolizing enzymes. In short, this means that asparagus can help you recover from the one too many beers you drank last night.

There are plenty of different ways to prepare asparagus, but our favorite is by grilling it alongside your favorite protein. Add a little bit of oil and some salt, throw it on the grill, and we guarantee you will enjoy the outcome.

Avocados

avocadosWe are all aware of how versatile and tasty avocados are. Spread them on your favorite sandwich, dice them into your favorite salad, or just eat one with a spoon and a little bit of salt. The outcome is the same: deliciousness!

Besides tasting amazing, avocados offer plenty of other benefits that will certainly make you think twice when you pass them in the grocery isle. They contain one of the highest amounts of fiber per ounce when compared to other fruits and vegetables. Folate, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin E all can be found in abundance inside avocados. This list of nutritional benefits is more than enough to make the avocado one of the best superfoods out there.

But we aren’t done yet. Avocadoes contain one of the highest amounts of monounsaturated fat. The only other fruit that comes even remotely close is the olive. The monounsaturated fat found in avocados can help reduce cholesterol levels.

Furthermore, the cholesterol which is typically reduced by incorporating avocadoes in your diet is LDL cholesterol, also known as the Bad cholesterol. So if you are having bad cholesterol problems, it might be time to get a few avocados at your local grocery store.

Our favorite way to add more avocados to our diet is by choosing to eat that super delicious avocado salad during lunch instead of the fast food join down the street. Not only will you be cutting down on the unnecessary fat and all sorts of harmful ingredients, but using avocados in your salad will keep you feeling full for a longer amount of time while giving you the right type of nutritional value to keep you healthy.

Beets

beetsWe wish we could say that beets are everyone’s favorite food and that we need not tell you more about how they are a superfood. Unfortunately, many people overlook beets and their amazing healthy properties, which make them yet another excellent superfood.

The most significant and often praised reason to start eating more beets or drinking beet juice is their ability to lower your blood pressure. It is estimated that drinking just one glass of beet juice can reduce your blood pressurehttps://supplementpolice.com/lower-blood-pressure-naturally/ by roughly 4-5 points, all of this in mere hours after consumption.

Alongside blood pressure reduction, there are also significant stamina boosts that can be experienced after drinking beet juice. Both of these benefits are caused by high nitrate levels which are found in beets. The nitrate is converted into nitric oxide inside your body, which in turn helps your blood vessels dilate and deliver more oxygen into your system. The result is lowered blood pressure and more stamina from oxygen when you need it most during workouts.

Another compound that can be found in abundance in beets is betaine. This nutrient can help protect proteins, enzymes, and cells from numerous stress factors. Additionally, betaine has properties which make it the perfect weapon to use against inflammation and numerous chronic diseases. Phytonutrients which are found in beets and give them their distinct color may help with preventing cancer.

While beets can be eaten in numerous different ways, many have said that by far one of the tastiest ways to increase your beet consumption is by roasting them and eating them with goat cheese. You can also add some hazelnut to the mix and take this tasty dish to an even higher level.

Blueberries

blueberriesYou most likely have already heard about how beneficial blueberries can be to your overall health. Let us dive a bit deeper into why these berries are an amazing superfood. First a foremost, blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants in them. In addition to the antioxidants, they are also packed to the brim with phytoflavinoids, vitamin C, and potassium.

All of these nutrients and vitamins are more than enough to dub blueberries as a superfood. The combination of all the nutrients found in blueberries give them the ability to decrease your risk for cancer and heart disease. Additionally, they are also capable of decreasing inflammation.

This is all great for your body, but what about the brain? No worries, blueberries have got your back! These amazing berries are capable of increasing your memory capabilities and learning functions. Reducing blood sugar and decreasing symptoms of depression is also in their arsenal of benefits. Is there anything these berries can’t do?

Generally, the darker the berries are then the more anti-oxidants can be found in them. Don’t worry about their nutritional value if you can’t find any fresh blueberries, the frozen ones pack the same punch as the fresh ones. As far as how to eat them, well you can always go the good old grab a hand full and munch method.

If that isn’t your cup of tea, you can also blend them into a smoothie but be careful what you add to the smoothie, you don’t want to offset the positive benefits of the blueberries with negative ones like those found in pure sugar. Alternatively, adding some of these wonderful berries to your summer salad or yogurt is also a perfect option!

Bok Choy

bok choyAlthough bokchoy isn’t exactly the most sought after of veggies, it does hold plenty of health benefits to make you consider cooking with it. Often described as a cross between cabbage and lettuce, and known to taste in a similar matter, this vegetable has high nutritional value and can often be used in many dishes to mimic their taste.

First things first, bokchoy has very few calories in it. One cup is estimated to have only 20 calories. It is one of the few vegetables out there that technically contains negative calories, meaning that eating bokchoy actually requires more calories than what you will ultimately get out of it. This makes it the perfect filler in salads and an excellent base for many other meals without adding those extra unnecessary calories.

Low calorie amount isn’t the only reason to partake in munching on some bokchoy. The high levels of antioxidants found in this veggie are also a pretty good reason to incorporate it in your diet.

Contrary to common belief, bokchoy doesn’t actually have high amounts of vitamin A in it. Instead, it has antioxidants which can be turned into vitamin A if necessary. However, if you have plenty of vitamin A in your system, the antioxidant carotenoids will simply float around and counteract the free radicals that enter your system, thus preventing potential damage from occurring.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two other carotenoids which can be found in bokchoy. They help with protecting your eyes from potential age related damage due to high exposure to UV light and intense blue light.

Lastly, bokchoy is also full of vitamin C, which is also a super powerful antioxidant. Vitamin K can also be found in abundance in bokchoy, making it ideal to help metabolize calcium properly and prevent inflammation related disease. A veriety of different B vitamins can also be found in bokchoy. These help with numerous health functions, such as proper digestion, correct brain functions, nervous system functions, and many other body functions.

Because vitamin C is easily destroyed by high heat, try to incorporate bokchoy in your meals where cooking at high temperatures isn’t necessary. Generally adding it to your stir fry at the end of cooking for a short amount of time is the best way to incorporate it in your diet. Otherwise, you could also add it to your salads. Just remember to stay away from high heat, which could be considered anything over 160Fo.

Broccoli

brocoliRemember when your parents used to tell you to eat your broccoli? Well, there is a pretty good reason for it. As it turns out, broccoli is a superfood! Even though some of you might find its taste to be less than ideal, we strongly urge you to try and add it to some of your favorite culinary creations. You’ll thank us in the end.

So why is this green vegetable so praised? The answer is pretty simple; it has huge amounts of nutrients in it when compared to other vegetables and fruits. Boiled broccoli has higher amounts of vitamin C in it than one whole orange. That’s not all, it also has enough calcium in it to be compared to a glass of milk. Fiber, magnesium, vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, and folic acids are also present in high quantities in broccoli.

Broccoli is basically packed with nutrients, but why else is it considered a superfood? Well, it does have one of the lowest calorie contents out of all vegies and fruits. Half a cup of broccoli contains only 27 calories and only 1 gram of fat. As long as you don’t deep fry it or add a crazy amount of cheese to it, broccoli can be an awesome alternative to less healthy snacks. We urge you to make the switch now!

The best part about broccoli is that you can literally do anything with it. Want to bake it and add it as a side to your steak? No problem, go for it! Soup needs a kick of the good old green superfood? Broccoli can help you out! Whatever you can possibly imagine, broccoli can do. Our favorite is a steamed broccoli and cashew salad. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it.

Brussels Sprouts

brussel sproutsGenerally, foods that are dense in nutrients usually have a specific taste to them that not all people find appetizing. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with Brussels sprouts. This extremely nutrient dense vegetable can be cooked in a variety of different ways to suit each person’s unique taste preferences.

The most beneficial compounds found in Brussels sprouts are glucosinolates. These compounds are used by your body to make isothiocyanates, which are used by your body to engage enzymes that are capable of fighting cancer. Some of these isothiocyanates can cause certain enzymes to halt cell cycles in cancer cells without actually killing them.

Essentially, this gives us the opportunity to stop cancer cells from growing without destroying other healthy cells in the process. That’s a big plus for Brussels sprouts if you ask us.

A more complicated way that Brussels sprouts can help your well-being is by accommodating your body with detoxification. Their constant supply of sulfur keeps the natural detoxification process of your body running continently.

Additionally, the antioxidants which are found in Brussels sprouts give ample support to our body’s detox system, resulting in more effective detoxification. The best part is that these antioxidants can be used in many different applications through our body’s standard functions, giving Brussels sprouts a sort of “Jack of all trades” title. Those same antioxidants are capable of offering anti-inflammatory capabilities, too.

There are a few different ways to prepare and eat Brussels sprouts, but we think roasting them is probably one of the best ways. You can roast them and add some chopped pecans to counterbalance the soft texture Brussels sprouts offer by themselves. You could also roast them and add them to your favorite baked potato combination. Either way you slice it, Brussels sprouts are delicious!

Chia Seeds

chia seeds Derived from a desert plant that belongs to the mint family, chia seeds are a source of some fantastic nutrients and vitamins, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. The list of nutrients provided by chia seeds is rather long: molybdenum, phosphorous, silicon, sulphur, zinc, thiamine, sodium, potassium, niacin, manganese, iron, calcium, magnesium, and copper.

We aren’t done yet, there are also many vitamins that are found in chia seeds: A, B, E, and D. Furthermore, chia seeds contain a huge amount of fiber. One ounce of chia seeds, a little less than three tablespoons, can account for 11 grams of fiber. That’s astonishing!

Using chai seeds in your diet can boost your nutritional intake significantly. Per single gram chia seeds contain nearly eight times more omega-3 in them than salmon, almost six times the amount of calcium than milk, about three times more iron than spinach, and the list goes one. Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse.

Chia seed on a wooden spoon against burlap background

Increasing chia seeds in your diet should be relatively easy. You can add them to your salads by sprinkling a tablespoon or two over your favorite salad. Alternatively, you can grind the chia seeds into flour and add them to your baked goods, which will alter their taste slightly but give them one heck of a nutritional boost.

By far our favorite is adding chia seeds to your smoothie of choice. Doing this doesn’t change the taste at all but the outcome is a much healthier smoothie.

Cocoa

cocoa powderBet you didn’t think chocolate would make its way onto this list. Well, it sort of did, but we need to clarify something. Specifically, cocoa is the superfood. Yes, it can be found in chocolate, but generally the sugars which come alongside cocoa when chocolate is made, even the high quality dark chocolate, can offset the benefits you get from cocoa. With this said, in moderation, even dark chocolate can prove itself to be worthy of snacking on every once in a while.

Cocoa contains a ridiculous amount of antioxidants in it. However, when it is turned into chocolate about sixty to ninety percent of antioxidants are lost! So, while a piece of chocolate will certainly boost your free radical fighting power, raw cocoa is where all the good stuff is at.

It is estimated that raw cocoa contains about forty times more antioxidants in it than blueberries. No, that wasn’t a typo. FOURTY times more! Needless to say, raw cocoa can certainly help you fight potentially cancer inducing elements with ease.

Often those who partake in vegan or vegetarian diets find it rather difficult to locate the right amount of iron in the foods they eat. Cocoa is the solution to this problem. One hundred grams of cocoa offers a staggering 7.3mg of iron. This is the highest amount of plant based iron known to mankind.

The only other food that comes remotely close is lamb and beef at about 2.5mg and spinach at roughly 3.6mg. This alone should be enough for you to want to partake in some cocoa consumption.

We aren’t done yet. Cocoa also contains more calcium in it than milk, can you believe it? So, while you substitute your latte with raw chocolate, you can also enjoy increased levels of serotonin and dopamine, because cocoa is also capable of that. This means your mood is improved and you are able to combat depression more effectively.

As we mentioned earlier, all of these benefits come in high amounts, but mostly from raw cocoa or raw chocolate which is dairy free. Going to your local grocery store and buying a chocolate bar won’t cut it.

You need to use raw organic cocoa to get the plentiful benefits it holds. The best way we found to do that is either by brewing some hot chocolate milk with the raw cocoa or blending it into your smoothies! Give it a shot, the taste is out of this world!

Cranberries

cranberriesThere are many fruits and berries out there with a reputable amount of nutrients and different health benefits. However, cranberries are at the top of the chart when it comes to the number of total polyphenols inside them. These polyphenols, like flavonoids, contribute to a variety of different factors which can improve our overall health. Because of this broad blanket like coverage of many different polyphenols, cranberries are considered to be a superfood.

This same high polyphenol content contributes to supporting blood vessel health, stomach health, and even urinary tract health. Both urinary tract and stomach health can be attributed to polyphenols, which help prevent certain bacteria from sticking to the walls of urinary tracts and the stomach, thus effectively deterring complications related to those specific bacteria.

Additionally, cranberry juice can help decrease inflammations in the body, as well as increase levels of good cholesterol while decreasing levels of bad cholesterol. Blood pressure can also be reduced with the help of low calorie cranberry juice. Furthermore, one glass of cranberry juice can help reduce the frequency of cold and flu symptoms.

Finding a good source of cranberries is relatively easy, as well. You can opt into drinking cranberry juice, although we do urge you to choose the low calorie or organic options, since all those extra sugars might not be so good for our bodies. Alternatively, you can get some dried cranberries at your local supermarket all year round, which can be used in numerous dishes, including salads.

Flax Seeds

flax seedsThese seeds have been around for thousands of years and their super nutritional value is well recognized around the world. Just one ounce of flax seeds contains nearly 6,400mg of omega-3, six grams of protein, and eight grams of fiber. In addition, flax seeds are a great source of selenium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, vitamins B1 and B6, zinc, iron, copper, and potassium. Flax seeds have one of the highest profiles of nutrients and vitamins when compared to other nutritional vegetables, fruits, and seeds.

The low amount of carbs and high amount of fiber makes flax seeds the perfect food to help with your digestion. Mucilage is one of the fibers that is found in flax seeds, and it helps keep the food you eat from entering the small intestine too quickly, ensuring that you absorb as many nutrients from the food you eat as possible. This is exactly why flax seeds are a perfect addition to a variety of dishes.

The fibers and fats found in flax seeds can also help with skin and hair care, as well as weight loss. The ALA fats can help your skin and hair by providing important vitamins and fats necessary for their growth. These same ALA fats also keep your feeling full longer, resulting in decreased appetite, which can help with weight loss.

There are many other reasons to add flax seeds to your diet, such as their high antioxidant levels and high omega-3 fatty acid levels. There really isn’t a good reason not to add flax seeds to nearly everything you eat. You can add them to your morning smoothies, mix them with yogurt, and even bake them into your favorite baked goods. We like to bake them into muffins to make them a bit healthier.

Goji Berries

goji berriesThese red berries are pretty amazing, and there are plenty of reasons why they are in the superfood category. Although technically these berries are considered a fruit, they are often referred to as an herb derived from Asian and European countries. They can easily be bought in North American stores, but can sometimes get slightly pricey, although we believe it is well worth paying the small amount in return for the health benefits that these berries offer.

Just like many other berries on our list, Goji Berries are packed full of antioxidants. Although there are many other berries and fruits which have a higher oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) score, it is the fatty acids, amino acids, and certain antioxidants which separate Goji Berries from all other berries. It is considered extremely rare to find amino acids in fruits, let alone eleven different types of amino acids.

This combination of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants, and their specific combinations, makes Goji Berries one of the best fruits when seeking to improve your immune system and fight cancer cells. Additionally, expect to see improvements in skin health, eye health, liver detoxification capabilities, and blood glucose stability.

While these berries do contain pretty high amounts of nutrients, they also have a bit of sugar in them. This doesn’t mean you should avoid them, just be careful with how often you use them and the quantity you use them in. You can add them to baked goods or incorporate them in salads. Our favorite is adding Goji Berries to oatmeal cookies.

Hemp Seeds

hemp seedsIf you are looking for a good source of protein and fatty acids, then hemp seeds might be the answer. They are also a fantastic source of other minerals such as zinc, iron, and magnesium. You can also find plenty of polyunsaturated fatty acids and essential fatty acids in hemp seeds, which adds to your body’s ability to fight cancer, heart disease, and even depression.

The high levels of protein make hemp seeds the perfect post workout snack to help you rebuild your muscles as quick as possible. Contrary to common believes, there is very little THC present in hemp seeds, not even enough to trigger any suspicion on a drug test, so you need not worry about the possibility of experiencing visions of butterflies or rainbows.

Hemp seeds do contain quite a bit of calories in them, roughly 160 calories in two tablespoons, so definitely observe a bit of moderation when incorporating them in your daily diet. The taste of hemp seeds is very close to sunflower seeds, with a bit of a nutty twist. You can add them to pretty much anything. Yogurt, smoothies, salad, soup, you name it and we are pretty positive that you can add hemp seeds to it.

Alternatively, you can also look for hemp milk, which is amazing when used with your morning cereal or for pancake batter. If none of these options are for you, then you can also try using hemp oil as an alternative for your salads or baking needs. Lastly, if you partake in the use of whey protein powder for your workout, try substituting it with hemp protein powder. It might be a more suitable fit.

Jalapeños

jalapeñoThat’s right, Jalapeno Peppers are a superfood! So, all of you spicy food lovers rejoice, we have found a superfood that you will really enjoy. Jalapeno peppers are super low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, which means you can eat as many as you would like or can and chances are they won’t affect your diet in a negative way.

On the flip side, jalapeno peppers are filled to the brim with vitamin C, an effective antioxidant capable of fighting free radicals in your system. Additionally, jalapeno peppers supply a great amount of vitamin A, which is helpful to your eye health and skin health.

One jalapeno pepper supplies 18 to 22 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and 17 to 22 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A for men and women. This means that eating just 5 to 6 peppers per day will get you the full amount of vitamin A and C you need daily.

However, the greatest health promoting contributor which is derived from jalapeno peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin has amazing properties which makes it ideal for fighting inflammations and improving blood flow. Furthermore, capsaicin is also capable of blocking NF-kB, a protein complex that can promote tumor growth, thus effectively making capsaicin capable of fighting cancer.

Incorporating jalapeno peppers in your diet shouldn’t be too difficult. Cooking them will reduce the heat slightly. If you are looking for more heat, leave more of the white inner membrane intact.

This is where you will find the highest concentration of capsaicin. You can also eat them raw or slice them into your favorite salsa or chili. To be honest, you can put them on anything, including sandwiches, hamburgers, and fried eggs. Try it and see what suits your taste buds best.

Kale

kaleYou didn’t think we would forget about kale, did you? No way! Kale is by far one of the best superfoods on our list. While there are many other foods out there that pack a punch when it comes to vitamins and other nutrients, kale is definitely at the forefront.

As often found with many superfoods, kale contains many powerful antioxidants. Amongst them are vitamin C, Quercetin, beta-carotene, and kaempferol. Kale is one of the top ten vegetables with the highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) ratings. Only a handful of veggies have a better ORAC rating.

This means that kale is capable of fighting free radicals with ease, resulting in better cardiovascular health, reduced risk for cancer, lower risk for diabetes, and lower risk of pathogen related illnesses, atherosclerosis, and immune system degeneration.

Remember glucosinolates? Well, kale has plenty glucosinolates in it, as well. These compounds are converted into isothiocyanates when we eat kale, which helps us fight cancer and even diminish the growth of tumors. Isothiocyanates are capable of removing certain carcinogens from the body, which successfully combats development of cancer and promotes self-destruction of cancer cells.

If you have urinary tract problems, kale might be able to help. The amount of vitamin A in kale is nearly equivalent to carrots. This vitamin helps stop bacteria from sticking to the walls of your urinary tract, which reduces the risk of urinary tract infection (UTI).

Additionally, kale contains low levels of oxalates, which are known to be linked to kidney stone development. So, substituting your greens which are often full of oxalates with kale could reduce the risk of kidney stone formation.

Here is the deal, raw kale can sometimes be somewhat difficult to eat, and it can be kind of tough. There is a solution to this problem though; simply massaging or lightly rubbing it into your salad should fix the toughness issue without compromising any of its health benefits. Kale chips are also a tasty way to get more of it into your diet.

If you don’t like the taste of regular kale you can try Lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale because it resembles what many people think dinosaur skin would look like, it has a different flavor and is a bit more tender. Finally, you can also add kale to your smoothie, which some people prefer to do.

Kiwi

kiwiDid you know that kiwifruit used to be called Chinese gooseberry? Well, now you do! This amazing superfruit is probably the best source of vitamins you can come across today. The best part is that you can find them nearly all year long at your local grocery store.

Kiwis contain plenty of essential vitamins, including vitamin K and vitamin C. Half an ounce of sliced kiwifruit has 136 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and 40 percent of the suggested daily intake of vitamin K. To put that into perspective, half a cup of oranges contains about 80 percent of the suggested daily value of vitamin C.

Besides the vitamins, kiwifruit also contains other nutritional minerals. Amongst them is potassium. Everyone knows that bananas contain plenty of potassium, but did you know that one cup of kiwifruit contains more potassium in it than the same amount of banana?

Furthermore, kiwis have less sugar and calories in them than bananas do. Let’s not forget about the fiber; one cup of sliced kiwi contains about 5 grams of fiber to help with your digestion.

So, you might be wondering what you can do with a kiwi to add it to your diet besides just eating it. Luckily there are a few things you can experiment with. How about a kiwi cobbler? Make it just like you would with any other cobbler, but instead of your other, less nutritional fruit, use kiwi and elevate the cobbler to the next level.

Not a fan of baking? No problem, how about we use kiwifruit and some strawberries in a smoothie, which will definitely offer up some amazing nutrients. If none of these are to your liking, we have one last option for you: a kiwi parfait. Simply slice some kiwifruit and layer it with some low-fat yogurt, granola, nuts, and honey. That should satisfy your sweet tooth!

Lemons

lemonIt’s no secret that lemons contain some pretty fantastic ingredients in them, capable of altering one’s health in a positive way. But what exactly makes lemons a superfood?

One of the major reasons is that lemons are packed full of vitamins and minerals, but at the same time they are rather low on calories. For example, juice from just one lemon contains enough vitamin C in it to count for a third of our recommended daily intake level, while measuring up to only 12 calories.

This means you can incorporate lemons in your daily diet without increasing your calorie intake, while using the available vitamin C at your disposal to make sure that your bones, ligaments, and tendons are functioning properly since vitamin C is needed to produce collagen which is an important building material in these body parts.

Antioxidants are also in abundance in lemons, besides the already mentioned vitamins C. Specifically, the flavonoids found in lemons are capable of fighting free radicals, thus successfully reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and multiple inflammations.

Furthermore, there have been studies done that show a connection between lemons and possible prevention of brain strokes in women due to the combinations of antioxidants found in them.

There are a few different ways to increase your lemon consumption. However, it is often suggested to pair lemons with leafy greens which are high in iron, because the vitamin C found in lemons helps absorb iron into the system. So, our number one suggestion is to use lemon juice or squeeze a fresh lemon over your favorite salad as dressing. This will ensure that you absorb as much iron as possible, which will improve your overall health considerably.

Adding lemon slices to your water or tea is also a good idea, since vitamin C is a soluble antioxidant and thus will improve your drink greatly. Using lemon juice in meat marinades is also a good idea, or simply squeezing it over an already baked protein can also add to its flavor and health benefits.

Finally, you could also make lemonade, but beware of all that sugar that some recipes call for when making lemonade. Too much sugar is really bad for your body!

Lentils

lentilsWhile many of the superfoods we have listed in this article are capable of helping with weight loss due to their fiber content and other nutrients, none are as capable with this task as lentils.

Lentils come from the legume family and contain nutrients and complex carbohydrates which make them the perfect food to boost your metabolism. At the same time, they are also a superb source of fibers, which can also help with weight loss by keeping you feeling full longer and reducing your cholesterol levels.

Keep in mind that lentils are pretty full of calories. One cup contains about 230 calories, meaning that if you are planning to incorporate them in your diet you will have to keep an eye out on your total calorie consumption, and you might even have to cut some other foods out of your diet to make room for this amazing superfood.

Because lentils are high in protein and low in fat, they are a rather perfect substitute for meat. Cutting out fatty meats and adding in lentils into your diet can drastically help with your heart health. Additionally, you can find phytochemicals in lentils which can help with counteracting the free radicals that can damage our body in multiple different ways, including cancer. They also contain high levels of magnesium, which can help decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Perhaps one of the major reasons why lentils can be called a superfood is because of the many different ways you can add them to your daily diet. Of course, our favorite way is by adding them to your salads, but you can literally do anything you want with lentils. If you are in the mood for some soup today, lentils can help.

If you would rather make a sandwich with some delicious lentils spread on it, go right ahead! Everyone loves potatoes chips, but what about making some lentil chips? Yes, that is also an option. Like we said, you can literally do just about anything with them.

Oats

oatmealThere are many foods that can help you fight high cholesterol, but we think that oats are on top of the list. We know it isn’t the “tastiest” food on our list, and it often gets a bit of backlash for being bland, but to this we say “Add something to it!”

Seriously, there isn’t much you can’t add to oats to make them taste better, preferably fruit or berries, some of which are listed in this superfood article. Trust us when we say the nutritional benefits offered by oats make it worth thinking about what to add into them to make them a frequent dish in your diet.

The key element of oats is the crazy amount of fiber that can be found in each serving. Fiber helps you feel full and it also helps reduce your cholesterol levels. The end result when eating lots of fiber is the possibility of losing weight a lot easier. That same fiber helps your digestive system and promotes movements of material through it. This means that stuff is digested quickly and efficiently.

Additionally, all this extra fiber ensures that bad particles that get into your belly don’t linger too long and get absorbed, since fiber is moving everything along without giving it extra time to get into our system and do major damage.

The best part is that oatmeal can be eaten in many different ways. Since it has such a long shelf life, you can easily have some of it stored in your pantry and make it spontaneously when you think about it. Even though most people prefer to heat it up and eat it warm, you can alternatively eat oats cold as well, kind of like cereal.

Our favorite way is to make some hot oats and add a few blackberries to the bowl. This way we get the crazy amount of fiber from oats and an insane number of antioxidants from blackberries, but more importantly all of it tastes simply delectable!

Oranges

orangesAll of us are familiar with the delicious and somewhat unique fruit, the orange. It’s hard to find even a single person who doesn’t like oranges and for a very good reason, they are absolutely luscious. Praised for their incredibly high level of vitamin C, oranges are definitely worthy of being called a superfood for many reasons.

This amazing fruit contains many vitamins and nutrients. However, one specific compound which is found in rather high quantities inside oranges is D-limonene. This compound has a vital role in helping your body protect itself against many different types of cancer. So, eating oranges on a daily basis gives you greater chances to ward off cancer.

If you are looking to lower your blood pressure and decrease your cholesterol levels, oranges are capable of helping with this, as well. Hesperidin is the compound responsible for giving oranges the ability to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Reducing cholesterol is done through the combination of hesperidin and pectin, which effectively reduce the amount of fat that your body is able to absorb, resulting in lower cholesterol levels.

Lowered blood pressure levels are achieved through the combination of hesperidin and magnesium, so if this is your goal when eating oranges then try to pair them with other superfoods that are high in magnesium and you will get the best results possible.

Although oranges are capable of increasing your wellbeing on many different levels, there is one thing they can do much more effectively than other superfoods. Reducing inflammation is something that oranges are exceptionally good at. By simply consuming one glass of orange juice per day, you are effectively fighting numerous inflammatory diseases. No other superfood is capable of delivering such high anti-inflammatory capabilities.

Adding oranges to your diet is exceptionally easy. The most effective and simplest way is by drinking a glass of orange juice in the morning as you start your day. This will not only give you the nutrients and vitamins needed to function at peak capacity throughout your day but also supply you with enough energy to tackle any challenges each day might present. But try to stay away from the store-bought stuff, since many companies choose to add artificial flavor altering compounds and additional sugar.

Oranges already contain more than enough glucose in them to fuel you, and more refined sugar isn’t needed. You can add more oranges to your diet by simply adding them to your lunch as the fruit of choice or adding them into your summer salad, or any other salad for that matter.

Oh, and don’t toss the orange peels away, you can use those in many different sweet baked goods, or you can even fry them on a pan in strips for a delicious candy treat, which is a much healthier alternative than those “no one knows what is in this” candy bars you buy at the gas station.

Prunes

prunesNot many dried fruits have made it onto our list. This is possibly due to the amount of damage that drying a fruit can do, resulting in decreased nutritional value. This isn’t the case for prunes. Unlike other fruit, they keep the majority of their nutritional value and antioxidant compounds.

Prunes score very high on the oxygen radical absorbency capacity (ORAC) test. They pack nearly twice the number of antioxidants then some of the other fruit on top of the ORAC test charts. Furthermore, prunes, which are essentially dried up plums, scored higher than plums, which is somewhat unique since they are made from plums.

The primary reason why prunes score so high on the ORAC test is due to the amount of hydroxycinnamic acids found in them, mainly consisting of neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids, which are super effective at combating the free radicals that enter our body.

Probably the most known property of prunes is their laxative capability. This is greatly due to the high amount of fibers and sorbitol they contain. We know that fiber helps the digestive system by encouraging movement of particles through our digestive tract but what about sorbitol? Well, this little-known stimulant is what is responsible for the laxative properties that prunes have to offer. The hydroxycinnamic acids mentioned above are also capable of helping sorbitol with its laxative functions.

So, if you need help with your digestive health, prunes are definitely the weapons of choice. But what is the best way to increase you prune intake? The most effective way to benefit from what prunes have to offer is most likely through drinking prune juice, which is packed with the same benefits that regular prunes have to offer in a much higher concentration level.

However, as with most juices, we urge you to be careful with store bought items, since most of the time these juices will contain extra sugar and other additives that might not be so great for your health. Always try to obtain either natural organic juice or use a juicer on your own at home.

Alternatively, if you aren’t looking for the super highly concentrated effects that come alongside prune juice, you can simply snack on these dried fruits without anything else, add them to your morning cup of oatmeal, or add them into baked goods. Adding prunes into smoothies might also be a good idea, although they do have a specific taste that might not be for everyone, so choose wisely with the last option!

Quinoa

quinoaIf you are looking for something that is gluten free and can replace most of your wheat products on the plate, then quinoa is the choice for you. It has been known as a healthy alternative for many other sides that you might be tempted to use whenever you cook at home. Quinoa is one of very few plant based foods that contains all of the major nine amino acids our body needs for proper growth and health.

The main reason why quinoa is such an excellent choice when deciding what to add to your diet is because of its great nutritional value. Quinoa contains protein, fiber, manganese, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, potassium, a plethora of B1, B2, and B6 vitamins, and a few other additional nutrients in small quantities. One cup of quinoa contains about 225 calories, 40 grams of carbs, and about 5 grams of fat.

Basically, this tells us that it is a very filling food with plenty of calories to keep your body functioning and very little fat to promote your metabolism. Substituting other grains and more calorie rich sides with quinoa may promote weight loss.

Like most foods listed here, quinoa also contains an excellent number of antioxidants in it. While it’s ORAC value isn’t nearly as high as some of the other foods we have listed here, it is still a very reputable number at roughly 3200 points per 100 grams of quinoa.

However, you need to consider that if you are planning to incorporate quinoa in your diet and cut out some of the other less valuable grains or starches, your intake of quinoa will be much higher than other superfoods on this list, so overall the antioxidants which you will get from quinoa might be much higher in total value than from other sources.

One of the main reason quinoa is praised in the superfoods circle is because of its exceptional nutty flavor that hooks many people into coming back for more. Most people simply cook quinoa and eat it plain with their favorite protein, but there are other things you can do with quinoa to add more of it to your diet.

Stuffing vegetables and baking them with quinoa is something that many people turn towards, and it’s also our favorite way to add more of this tasty superfood to your diet. If you prefer, you can also choose to eat quinoa in the morning for breakfast.

Adding some maple syrup ( in moderation) with a few nuts will result in an amazing breakfast that you will end up making more than once. You can opt to replace most of your whole grains with quinoa, but we do suggest you try some of it first; it does have a unique taste.

Salmon

salmonBefore we go further into the amazing benefits that salmon offers for your overall health, we should mention that we are talking about wild salmon, not the frequently farmed and commercialized salmon you see at most grocery stores and restaurants today. Unfortunately, farmed salmon contains a ridiculous amount of fat in it and most of the nutritional value which is derived from wild salmon is missing in action when compared to farmed salmon. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk salmon!

Wild salmon is an amazing source of protein. Unlike many other meats out there, salmon contains proteins which are free of carcinogens and are able to be absorbed by our body easily. Additionally, it is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, a vital component for keeping your body healthy. Other vitamins and minerals are also present in abundance in salmon. Calcium, selenium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and D, are all present in salmon and are responsible for keeping many aspects of your body functioning properly.

Selenium, which is found in great quantities in salmon, is used as a building block for many of your body’s tissues, such as your nails and hair. It also plays a huger role in proper metabolic rates. Unfortunately, selenium is not produced by our body and can only be absorbed with the help of our diet. Luckily, salmon is an excellent source and since it’s a protein, selenium can be absorbed into our system a lot easier than through other means.

The previously mentioned omega-3 acids are a key staple in various body functions and body part developments. Your metabolism is greatly influenced by proper omega-3 intake levels. They help increase insulin production, which in turn helps facilitates the absorption of sugars, resulting in lower blood sugar levels. At the same time, increased omega-3 intake can help improve your eye health greatly.

It’s no secret that individuals who consume more fish throughout their lifetime generally have better eye sight with less fatigue and reduced risk of vision loss. Brain and nerve development can also be attributed to proper intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Combined with vitamins A and D, plus the above-mentioned selenium, you have yourself the perfect nerve system defense necessary for healthy nervous system function.

Salmon can help with a lot of different aspects of your body and your health. Shiny and desired skin texture can be achieved with increased salmon consumption. Reduced inflammation in your digestive system and other parts of your body can also be attributed to salmon intake. With such amazing benefits, there is no reason not to choose salmon over other proteins available at your local supermarket.

So how do we increase our salmon intake? Believe it or not, the easiest way to get more salmon into your diet is by eating more salmon! Who would have thought? Lucky for you there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different salmon recipes out there.

Salmon on a sandwich, salmon on a salad, raw salmon sashimi, fried salmon, baked salmon, grilled salmon, whatever you can think of can be done with salmon. However, our favorite is baked salmon and asparagus with quinoa on the side: superfoods galore!

Yogurt

yogurtNo, we aren’t talking about that processed stuff you buy at the store with the premixed “fruits” in them. We are talking about the real stuff! Yes, the bacteria sparked milk sugar that has been converted into lactic acid and thickened, resulting in what we know as yogurt: the good stuff.

Some take it even further and strain the yogurt through a cloth, which removes the excess liquid produced during the whole yogurtification process, with the end product being much thicker compared to regular yogurt and referred to as Greek Yogurt. Whichever one you choose to indulge in, the health benefits that come from each type of real yogurt are out of this world!

First and foremost, yogurt contains in it what we call probiotics. Now some of you might gasp as we tell you that probiotics are actually live bacteria, but don’t worry, these are the good kind of bacteria which promote amazing gut health and digestive health.

These bacteria can help your immune system, as well. They shape your gut health, which many people speculate extends far into health levels of many other parts of your body. Meaning, good gut health equals good overall health.

Now, since yogurt comes from milk, pretty much most of the stuff we find in milk, like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, magnesium, and potassium can be found in yogurt as well. The levels might be a bit different since some of the calcium can be removed if the yogurt is turned into Greek yogurt, but in the grand scheme of things you will still get the benefits of all of those nutrients and vitamins.

Yogurt also seems to make people feel fuller after consumption. Studies have been done comparing people who have eaten the same calorie amounts in yogurt and peach flavored dairy drink with the results showing that those who ate the yogurt were less hungry and felt fuller when compared to the other participants who did not eat yogurt.

Finally, the probiotics found in yogurt can do a lot of stuff to the microflora of your gut. The microorganisms that live inside your gut have a huge impact on your overall health. Often those who are struggling with the balance of their gut microbiota also suffer from many different health problems that may become chronic.

The relationship between your body and the microorganisms that live inside your gut is a symbiotic one, meaning that both you and the microorganisms benefit from this coexistence.

However, if this coexistence is disrupted somehow, the results could be a drastic decline in health levels. Yogurt contains many bacteria in it that are good for our gut health. Adding these bacteria to our internal gastrointestinal microbiota often has positive results and enforces the balance between the microorganisms that live there. The result is a healthy gut!

There are a few different ways you can eat yogurt to get more of it into your diet. The most obvious one would be to get a cup of yogurt and add some extra goodies to it, like some of the above-mentioned fruits or berries, and then enjoy the deliciousness!

However, you can do a lot more than that. How about using it as a topping for your tacos or chili, or your favorite baked potato recipe? Try to use it when making Alfredo instead of heavy (full of fat) cream. Make your own ranch dressing with yogurt instead of that stuff you buy at the store. There are plenty ways to add yogurt to your diet, so give it a shot!

Top SuperFoods Conclusion

Superfoods are dubbed as super foods because they contain nutritional values which are generally higher than most other foods we consume. For us, this means that eating these foods instead of the other less valuable foods will improve our health, which is a no brainer. However, there are a few other things you need to do alongside eating a nutritional, antioxidant full, and vitamin rich diet.

First, practice moderation. It doesn’t matter how healthy something is, eating 5 pounds of it will have an adverse effect to on your body. Take your time! Chew slowly and enjoy the food you cook. It takes at least 15 minutes for your body to register what you have eaten and send appropriate signals to your brain to let you know that you are full.

Drink water, take short breaks, and do whatever is necessary to give yourself enough time to register when you get full. Overconsumption will lead to extra calories, which will lead to storing of those calories as fat. There are very few foods out there that contain extremely low calories, so keep that in mind.

Secondly, remember to exercise. Dieting plays a huge role in your overall health, and choosing superfoods as the base for your diet is an excellent decision, but it won’t work without physical movement. Your body needs to move to stay healthy. You need to promote muscle growth by making your body work, and the only way to do this is through physical activity.

It doesn’t matter what your body weight is, low or high, you need to move to grow muscle to keep your bones healthy, as well as your joints and pretty much every single other organ and body part. Stagnancy will do great harm to your health. Your body will convert everything you consume into fat and the pounds will add much quicker than you can lose them through correct dieting.

The last piece of advice we have for you is to stay away from processed foods as much as you can. Not only do these foods generally contain additives and chemicals which are designed to promote their longevity, but the majority of their nutritional values are lost during processing.

This includes sugar. There is no other food out there that is more harmful to your body than sugar. Processed sugar contains nearly no nutritional value, and it is able to spark neural activity in our brain which is comparable to the same activity one experiences when using illegal substances such as heroin or cocaine.

What exactly does this mean? Simply put, you start to crave more and more sugar even though your body doesn’t need it. Care to guess what your body does with sugar? Unless you introduce insane amounts of physical activity and energy burning conditions, all the sugar you consume will turn into (you guessed it) fat. Simply stay away from it.

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