Not all foods are created equal. Some foods are so packed with healing properties that you might say they have superpowers!
We call these foods superfoods. Although it’s not a medical term, these superfoods have high levels of vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and antioxidants.
Superfoods can be found all over the world and can range from something you see in every American garden to the exotic that you can find only in the most remote parts of the earth. Let us open the world of superfoods for you and tell you why you should be including them in your meals every day.
How They Can Heal
Because of the different types of nutrients in superfoods, they can actually replace your daily vitamins. Most people take a daily supplement because it can be so hard to get all the recommended daily nutrients through diet alone. One serving of superfoods can fulfill your daily vitamin intake.
The power that comes from superfoods are what the foods themselves use to survive. For example, many plant-based superfoods are beneficial because of their flavonoids. These flavonoids are used by the plant to protect it against pests and diseases and fixing any wounds or tears they get. When you eat these superfoods, they help protect you from disease and heal wounds, as well (1). Other plants can have many other types of antioxidants, all of which stop and even reverse the effects of oxidation in the cells, which can result in damaging or killing cells. These damaged cells, or free radicals, can cause a range of health problems and diseases including cancer (2).
Incorporating superfoods into your daily diet is like using food as medicine. The better you eat and the more superfoods you include in each meal, the more health benefits you will see. Superfoods can help improve your immune system and fight off any future threats to your health. Instead of waiting for your health to deteriorate, start healing and strengthening your immune system from the inside out with superfoods.
Superfoods can also help you look and feel younger. The many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that superfoods contain host a sleuth of benefits for your skin, eyes, hair, and nails. Vitamin E and omega 3’s are great to create supple and soft skin. Lutein is great for your eyesight. Vitamin K and D are good for hair and nail growth.
Superfoods are also great for weight loss. Most superfoods are low in calories. Superfoods can also help control your appetite because your body won’t be craving more nutrients.
Superfoods You See Everyday
Fruits and Vegetables
- Green Vegetables: Every dieter knows they should be eating plenty of salads in their weight loss efforts. Green veggies are not only a great low calorie food but they are also considered a superfood because of their high antioxidant Different types of green vegetables, especially spinach and kale, are full of vitamins and fiber.
- Avocados: Adding a slice of avocado to your sandwich can help lower your cholesterol and provide plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids, or healthy fats. They also contain over 20 other essential nutrients including folic acid, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and twice as much potassium as a banana! Avocados also help the body absorb vitamins and antioxidants that you consume from other foods, like lutein and beta-carotene (7).
- Apples: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” It should have said an apple a day keeps the fat away. Apples supply the body with natural sugars to help the body control its sugar cravings. It also contains two different kinds of fiber. An insoluble fiber in the peel and a soluble fiber, called pectin, in the meat of the apple. These two kinds of fiber make the stomach feel more. That is why an apple eaten with a glass of water about 15 minutes before you sit down for a meal can greatly decrease the amount of calories you consume.
- Berries: All berries are full of antioxidants and fiber. The natural sugars will help the body regulate its blood sugar levels and maintain energy. Blueberries are one of the best berries to eat because its full of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant that kills cancerous cells (4).
- Low fat dairy: The body needs calcium and vitamin D to build strong bones. Dairy products deliver both of those. Great options are skimmed milk and ricotta cheese that is full of whey protein, a nutrient that builds muscle.
- Lean meats: Meats are a great source of protein. The downfall is that some are full of fat. If you find a good cut that is very lean, like chicken breast, beef or pork loin, it could be a good addition to your diet. The superpowers of these foods are in their amino acids and protein. They also provide iron and B vitamins which help with oxygenating the blood and increase your energy levels.
- Eggs: Eggs will not cause high cholesterol, as the news has suggested during the last few decades. They contain vitamin B12, choline, lutein and zeaxanthin. All of which are amazingly good for you.
- Salmon and other fish: Salmon, shellfish, and some other fish contain a high level of astaxanthin from the microalgae they eat. This is what gives shrimp their pink color. This algae uses this powerful antioxidant to protect itself from the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. These foods pass those benefits on to you when consumed (6).
- Whole Grains: By switching your carbohydrates like rice, pasta, and bread to a whole grain option, you will greatly decrease your body’s chances of storing fat. One of the best choices for whole grains is oatmeal. Oatmeals antioxidant is called avenanthramide and it helps keep the good cholesterol in the body and get rid of the bad (3).
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, and split peas are all examples of legumes. These little morsels are a great way to get your protein and fiber. They also provide iron. These are best if you prepare them yourself to make sure there are no additives, fats, or sugars. They also provide proteins, vitamins, and minerals, such as zinc and magnesium.
- Nuts and seeds: Eating a handful of nuts or seeds on a daily basis will help to burn belly fat. The reason only a handful should be eaten is because they are pretty high in calories and fat but the calories are worth it. The fat from nuts and seeds are the essential fatty acids that are good for the body.
Superfoods Around the World
- Goji Berries: Native to China, these berries were used medicinally by the Chinese for decades because of their healing properties. You get the same benefit by eating them.
- Acai Berries: These exotic little fruits are found in the deep Amazon rainforests, and have been proven to contain higher than normal antioxidant levels (4).
- Coconut Water: Coconut water is nature’s sports drink. It hydrates and restores lost electrolytes. Its vitamin B content gives you a boost of energy and the cytokinins have anti-aging benefits (5).
- Cacao: The flavonoids in the cacao plant are known for their ability to protect against any type of cardiovascular disease. It can lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and reduce inflammation of the blood vessels (1).
- Seaweed: Seaweed is loaded with fucoxanthin, which is a type of marine carotenoid that supports a healthy immune system (6).
- Mangosteens: Every part of the mangosteen plant is used medicinally in parts of Asia, from the fruit, rind, and bark. This plant is known for its ability to help diarrhea, UTI’s, mentrual disorders, and many others.
- Kefir: Kefir is a yogurt-like drink loaded with beneficial probiotics, healthy bacteria, and nutritional yeasts that clean the colon and boost your immune system.
How Not to Use Superfoods
While its true that superfoods are very good for you and can greatly benefit your health, you can’t expect them to perform a miracle for your health. Eating a poor diet and adding in a superfood here and there won’t make much of a difference.
Eating healthy and staying active are always the best ways to stay in shape. Superfoods are like a little helper in your endeavor towards getting fit and healthy.
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.