What are the best superfoods? A term many have become familiar with over recent years is superfoods, but what exactly are they and do they deserve such a status? Well there are indeed certain foods that do contain superior quantities of nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants in comparison to other foods, which is where they get their superfood status from, and in this post I have listed the most nutrient dense top 6. And the best thing about them is they happen to be pretty easy to sneak into you and your family’s diet without too much fuss.
Eat the highly nutritious foods on this list every day, along with other antioxidant rich foods, and you will feel the benefits of more energy, higher immunity and glowing skin.
Do you need more energy?
For most of us the answer to this question is unequivocally a YES. Our vitality depends on a balance of around 50 different nutrients: These include calories, amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Deficiencies in the last 3 are very common, and can lead to lethargy, a compromised immune system, and many other diseases.
For energy specifically, hundreds of chemical reactions need to happen involving 30 different vitamins and minerals. The body needs these essential micro-nutrients to unlock the energy potential from the food you eat, and if just ONE of them is missing then vitality and optimal performance in both the body and brain simply cannot happen.
You are SUPPOSED to feel good!
Yes, high value nutrition is absolutely crucial, but the problem is, a lot of people haven’t a clue that they’re not performing at their optimal levels. They have lived a certain way their whole lives; yes they feel tired a lot, have brain fog, weight issues, anxiety, depression, aches, pains, and maybe a million other little niggles, but it’s become normal to them.
This is a pretty sad situation because this is most certainly not normal, and shouldn’t have to be either. You are supposed to have lots energy and vitality to live your life to the fullest, not like you are just muddling through trying desperately to ignore the aches and pains; or worse still, living off adrenaline or painkillers.
Don’t allow this to become the norm for you, you deserve so much more, and it CAN be changed if you make some changes to your diet and exercise regime. And these changes don’t have to be anywhere near as painful as you may think. It’s all about dong things one step at a time; start slowly, and these changes will soon become a habit that you will do without even thinking about.
The role of superfoods and health
This is where eating certain superfoods can help you feel healthier, and even give you an energy and a zest for life that you may have never before experienced – especially if you have always numbed yourself out with sugar and junk foods.
It really does work: when you start to make even small changes for your health you will start to feel good, and you will become ‘addicted’ to that high of feeling good; it’s like a natural high, except it will be on life and not drugs.
Below is a list of the best superfoods to eat, which you should start incorporating these into your diet everyday. If you do this you will start to feel the difference quickly, and COMPLETELY different over time in both body and mind. Don’t forget, finding your way to this kind of health is a journey, and you will need to reprogram yourself gradually if the changes are to stick for good.
Don’t worry about small slip-ups
Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon as this is the kiss of death when it comes to permanent change; just forget about it and move on immediately. Don’t wait until the next day to start afresh; or worse still, next week. Just get yourself straight back on the horse and forget you ever slipped.
This is literally the ONE thing that was a game changer for me, as being an all or nothing sort, if I broke my healthy eating plan (like I did almost every day) I would then get depressed and annoyed with myself and go on a food bender, thus making myself feel a million times worse. But once I could finally get it into my head that I could have the odd treats, and not have to go mad for the rest of the day, it stared to change things.
Eat more plants in general!
This list of foods is a great place to start, but if you want to take things to another level you should gradually move towards a more healthy plant based diet altogether. This will automatically cause you to consume a lot more alkaline and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables – all of which will fill you up, give you lots of nutrition which lowers food cravings, and they help melt away the fat due to antioxidants, fiber and detoxification.
TOP 6 PLANT BASED SUPERFOODS
Avocados are the first on this list as they truly deserve to be the number one superfood EVER. They are bursting with heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, contain high amounts of potassium (more than a banana), are high in fiber, and also boast high levels of vitamin K, E, C, B5, B6, potassium and folate.
You can easily incorporate avocados into your diet, by adding them to smoothies, salads, sandwiches, or making lovely guacamole; OR just chop them and add them as a side with any meal. Squeezing lemon juice on avocado not only adds to the flavour, but also stops them from going brown and oxidising: Something that happens very quickly after exposure to air.
Other avocado benefits:-
- Lower Cholesterol – Can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels when eating a portion a day (which is half a small avocado), thus cutting your risk of heart disease.
- Boost vitamin absorption – Avocados contain fats that boost the absorption of all the other nutrients contained in it (yes, nature made them perfectly). Eating fats like avocado (or any other healthy fat for that matter) along with your meal will help boost the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K, and the antioxidants by up to 15 fold. Now, that’s impressive!
- Offer eye protection – Due to their antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin; these nutrients dramatically reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Helps you to lose weight – Avocados are low GI, so can help to keep your blood sugar stable, and their fats make you feel satiated and full for hours which will help stop you from snacking later on. This really does work: I have half an avocado with my main meal every day and I’m full for the rest of the evening. The monounsaturated fats found in avocado and other certain vegetables helps to reduce stomach fat specifically.
These little purple gems are not only low in calories and sugar, but also contain one of the highest amounts of antioxidants of all the common fruits and vegetables. The main antioxidant compounds (or flavonoids as they are otherwise known) they contain are called anthocyanins, and these are responsible for its super powerful antioxidant qualities.
Other blueberry benefits:-
- May offer some cancer protection – Due to their antioxidant capacities some studies are showing they show promise of containing effective anti cancer compounds.
- Helps lower blood pressure – Considering high blood pressure is a pre-curser to strokes and heart attacks then keeping it down is a must, and just another of the many great reasons to eat blueberries.
- Helps in the prevention of heart disease – Although only small studies have been done on this so far and with much success, it seems likely to be true given the already known benefits blueberries have on the pre-cursers to heart attacks. Eat lots of other antioxidant rich foods as well as blueberries for better protection, as no one thing alone will be enough.
- Improves memory – As oxidative stress can affect the brain, blueberries (alongside other brightly coloured plant foods) may help to improve memory and brain function due to their high amounts of antioxidants.
- Anti-diabetic – The compounds called anthocyanins in blueberries are anti-diabetic, due to their beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and the metabolism of glucose which then helps to lower blood sugar levels.
- Warding off bladder infections – Just like cranberries, blueberries can help fight urinary tract infections by preventing bacteria binding to the wall of the bladder.
Broccoli is full of fiber, vitamins B6, B1, A, E, potassium, magnesium, manganese, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron and niacin, and is an easy and tasty side dish. It’s also one of the highest protein vegetables there is, making it great on a plant based or vegan diet.
Other broccoli benefits:-
- A great detoxifyer – broccoli helps neutralise aging free radicals from the blood, therefore purifying it of toxins and helping to slow down the aging process.
- Anti aging – can slow down the aging process due to its antioxidant vitamins of C and E, and its essential fatty acids, all of which the skin, hair and nails need to look glowing and stay youthful. Broccoli can also help reverse the negative effects of sun damage thanks to the photonutrients it contains.
- Be great for stomach problems – As broccoli is high in fiber, it helps with constipation. And its other nutrients such as magnesium also help acidity, digestion, and the absorption of all the other nutrients it contains.
- Can help lower bad cholesterol – The high nutrient content of lightly steamed broccoli specifically helps to reduce bad cholesterol. Steaming not only helps to keep broccoli’s fiber in tact, but also retains more of its nutrients.
- Eye health – Broccoli contains an array of all the nutrients needed to maintain eye health, thus helping to protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Improved immunity – All of broccoli’s impressive nutrient profile work together to boost the immune system.
- Great for bone health – especially in the elderly, children, or pregnant and lactating women. Broccoli is full of highly absorbable calcium, making it perfect for building stronger bones.
- Can help treat anemia – due to its high amounts of copper and iron; both of which are lacking in those with this condition.
- Help regulate blood pressure – Chromium is found in abundance in broccoli, and is a compound that helps regulate blood sugar, which in turn regulates blood pressure. Chromium picolinate supplements are often used to aid weight loss and help with blood sugar control.
Beetroot, or beets as they’re sometimes called are high in potassium and a good source of many other minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc and sodium. Beetroot is often used by athletes for its endurance properties therefore making it on this list of superfood superstars.
You can roast them, juice them, or grate them finely and eat raw in a salad. They’re also delicious grated with apple then drizzled with some fresh orange juice and olive oil.
Other beetroot benefits:-
- Helps lower blood pressure – due to their nitrate compounds that convert into citric acid, beetroot can help to relax the blood vessels.
- Increase muscle power in heart patients – One 2015 study has shown that the nitrates in beetroot juice increased the muscle power of patients in heart failure by 13% just 2 hours after consuming the juice.
- May slow down the progression of dementia – These same nitrates increase blood flow to the brain, specifically the frontal lobes which are associated with cognitive behaviour and thinking.
- Betalains and cancer – The vibrant colour in beetroot comes from an antioxidant called betalain. These betalains have been shown to help protect against cancer due to their free radical scavenging abilities, and they can also help to destroy the unstable cells which could lead to cancer in the first place.
- Immune supporter – Beetroot contains good amounts of vitamin C – which we all know is great for the immune system, but as an antioxidant, vitamin C also scavenges the free radicals in the body. This makes it an impressive anti-ager due to the fact it also helps with the production of collagen; a compound akin to gold dust in the anti aging world, and keeps skin youthful, vibrant and plump.
- Supports the liver – Another substance in beetroot called betaine helps reduce and prevent deposits of fat in the liver. This substance also plays a role in helping protect the liver from the bombardment of toxins that it is exposed to daily.
- Can help reduce bad cholesterol – due to its high amounts of phytonutrients and flavonoids, which are all great for lowering bad cholesterol when eaten on a daily basis.
Points to Remember about Beetroot
- Beetroot can turn your urine and stools red; but do not be alarmed by this as it’s actually perfectly harmless.
- If you have low blood pressure then beetroot juice may lower it further, but only if drunk regularly, so again, don’t panic about it too much.
- Do not drink beetroot if you are prone to calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Almonds are a great low GI snack, packed with fiber, protein, and other antioxidants that work together to give you a boost of energy. They are the most nutritionally dense of all the nuts, and are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron and potassium. They are also an easily transportable, non perishable snack that can be kept anywhere.
Another amazing nut is the walnut, which too offers superior benefits due to it’s unique oils and antioxidants.
Other almond benefits:-
- Beneficial to the heart – Almonds healthy monounsaturated fats help reduce bad cholesterol.
- Can help you lose weight – Snacking on almonds in moderation, and instead of other junk foods, automatically ups your intake of protein and fiber, therefore making you feel fuller and more satiated. They will also stabilise your blood sugar thus stopping that urge for sugary junk foods. Another plus point for almonds (and in fact ALL nuts in general) is about 10-15% of their calories are not even absorbed! So yet another reason to make them one of your go to weight loss snacks.
- Help control blood sugar – because of their low carbohydrate, high fat, protein and magnesium ratio this makes them the perfect blood sugar balancing snack for diabetics… or anybody!
Garlic is full of a sulfur containing compound called allicin, which is prized for its antibacterial properties and many other nutrients including vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, sodium, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.
It also offers triple protection as an anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal all in one. If you don’t like the taste of garlic then you really should consider taking supplements, as you just can’t afford not to have these fantastic benefits in your life.
Other garlic benefits:-
- Anti aging – Garlic purifies the blood and flushes out your system to give you a healthy glow. It also helps protects the skin from the free radicals AND slows down the depletion of precious collagen.
- Can kill cold and flu viruses dead – Garlic can kill these viruses, and stop them from even getting a hold on you in the first place. I have taken a 2000 mg garlic supplement for the last 5 years and I have never had a cold, flu or virus in that time, and prior to doing this I regularly caught colds all through the winter months. It’s best to buy a garlic supplement that isn’t actually odourless (unless it is specially formulated), as it is the smell that means it still has all its active compounds intact. Just take it before a meal or bedtime if you are worried about vampire repelling garlic breath.
- Is highly anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral – Garlic has been used for the last 7000 years in the treatment of fungal, bacterial and parasite infections; so nobody can say that it’s not thoroughly tried and tested!
Points to Remember about Garlic
- If you are asthmatic you should consult your doctor before either eating large quantities, or supplementing with garlic.
- You should stop garlic supplements one week before an operation.
GREEN SUPER FOOD POWDER
I couldn’t finish this list without mentioning adding a very important detoxifying food to your healthy eating plan. If you cannot get enough of the above superfoods into your everyday diet, OR if want to boost your antioxidant intake even further, then you should be using some kind of green superfood such as chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, or barley grass. Remember, HIGH antioxidant intake on a daily basis is the key to health and anti aging, and sometimes it’s just not always possible to get enough in.
Green super food powders will not only ensure you keep your body detoxifying itself adequately from all the hundreds of chemicals, fumes, fertilisers, and other environmental toxins it is bombarded with every day, but they will also help to keep you in fat burning mode.
Yep, that’s just another awesome fact about these nutrient dense powders: when your body can safety eliminate toxins (many toxins end up being stored into your fat cells for safe keeping) then these cells will begin to shrink, which means you will shrink too. Check out my reviews of the best superfood powder products and most highly trusted brands on Amazon.
If you’re going to go down the superfood powder route, then you should ideally take a mix of ALL the powerful green super food powders in one, such as Dr. Schulzes superfood. This is a botanical organic blend of lots of algaes and includes spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae, wheatgrass, seaweed, beetroot, cherry, spinach, rosehips, and much more. You feel this amazing green beauty working within about 20 MINUTES (truly you do – I use it most days when I feel that afternoon slump coming on) – you will notice an energy boost and see a glow in your skin and eyes . Therefore, you can only imagine the good it’s doing on the inside if it’s doing all this on the outside.
Tip: Unless you’re sick or recovering from an operation then you probably do not need as much as it says on the jar. I find I get the above mentioned benefits from 2 heaped teaspoons in water or juice, which also makes it last longer as it’s not cheap.
Thankyou for reading this article; I hope I have convinced you to add more superfoods to your diet. I’m excited for you to feel the astounding benefits that I have, and would love to hear how well they have worked for you. Please feel free to drop me a line and let me know.
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