Not all foods are equal. Some foods are so full of healthy goodness that it seems they have a super power of healing the body.
We call these foods superfoods, although it’s not a medical term, and they can be used to keep you in optimal health because they blow all other foods out of the water with their 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 good nutrients in superfoods, these can actually replace your daily vitamins. Most people take a daily supplement because it can be so hard to get all the recommended daily doses through their diet. One serving of superfoods can fill your entire days need for vitamins that can be hard to get without them.
The power that comes from superfoods are what the food 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 it gets. When you eat them, 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 damage or even kill cells. These damaged cells, or free radicals, can cause a range of health problems and diseases including cancer.(2)
Including superfoods in your daily diet is like using your food as medicine. The better you eat and the more superfoods you include in each meal, the more healing you will be doing for your body and the stronger your immune system will become in order to fight off any future threats to your health. Instead of waiting for your health to deteriorate, start healing and strengthening it from the inside out with these superfoods.
Superfoods can also help you to look and feel younger because many of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they deliver are great for the 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 growth and nails.
Superfoods are also great for weight loss. Most are low in calories but still highly nutritious. There are low calorie foods from a box or bag but they won’t give you any vitamins or nutrients and leave you unsatisfied and still hungry. In this way, superfoods can also help control your appetite because your body won’t be looking for more nutrients after eating them. Being overweight itself is dangerous to your health, and bringing your weight down will decrease your chances of many of the diseases that obesity can cause.
Superfoods You See Everyday
Fruits and Vegetables
- Green Vegetables: Every dieter knows they will be eating plenty of salads in their weight loss efforts. Green veggies are a great low calorie food but they are also a superfood because of their high content of antioxidants. 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 you lower your cholesterol and get plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids, or healthy fats. They also contain over 20 other essential nutrients including twice as much potassium as a banana! Folic acid, vitamin E, and vitamin C are also included in an avocado. Avocados also help the body to absorb vitamins and antixodants 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 peeling and a soluble fiber, called pectin, in the meat of the apple. These two kinds of fiber make the stomach feel fuller. 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: Any kind of berry is full of antioxidants and fiber and the natural sugars will help the body regulate its blood sugar levels and maintain energy. Blueberries are one of the best berry 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 or 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, building blocks of strength. 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 xeanthaxin. All of which are amazingly good for you.
- Salmon and other fish: Salmon, shellfish, and some other fishes contain a high level of astaxanthin because of the microalgae they eat. This is what gives salmon and 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 breads 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. Oatmeal 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 and the fat is 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. It’s 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 flucoxantin, which is a type of marine carotenoid that supprts 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 really perform a miracle in 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 way to stay in the best shape. Superfoods are like a helper in your endeavor to get 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.