"Superfood" is a buzzword that is often thrown around in the wellness world. The truth is so many natural foods are “superfoods” because they provide our bodies with so many different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to sustain, well, our lives. If you are looking to change your diet to find a healthier lifestyle than opt for more natural and organic foods when you shop. Changing your diet to include superfoods can help with energy levels, skin clarity, weight loss, and so much more. Try to avoid processed goods and definitely indulge in many or, even better, all of these 10 ultra healthy and delicious superfoods freshly packaged straight from Mother Nature:
Chock full of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and fiber, berries are an excellent addition to any diet. For antioxidant benefits, opt for strawberries whose powers prove wonderful benefits on your skin. According to Health.com, their antioxidant density helps to repair skin damage from the environment, such as UV rays and pollution. Strawberries are also loaded with Vitamin C, which is noted with reducing wrinkles and skin dryness. Also bursting with antioxidants, studies have shown blueberries may help the brain with memory and learning. Eating Well sites raspberries as offering the most fiber to help keep your digestive tract clean and healthy. Raspberries also boast a specific compound with anti-cancer properties.
Legumes (such as beans, peas, and lentils) are an excellent source of plant-based iron, a mineral that moves oxygen from the lungs to the cells throughout the body. Also, according to Fitness Magazine, eating a serving of legumes four times per week can even lower your risk of heart disease by 22% and may help to reduce your risk of breast cancer as well. Not only that, but Health.com states that beans are excellent friends if you’re looking to drop pounds. Not only do you expend energy to digest the beans, but there is a protein present in legumes that signals to the hunger center of your brain that you’re satisfied so that you don't find yourself overeating.
Nuts are truly nature’s super-snack. Teeming with heart healthy unsaturated fats, Eating Well says that those who eat nuts may add two and a half years to their lifespan. Walnuts may be the healthiest of the nut family, as Fitness Magazine says they have the most omega-3 fatty acids, which may help to reduce cholesterol. Omega-3s have also been proven to improve moods and battle cancer. Health.com also states that walnuts are digested slowly which contributes to overall mood stability and stress toleration.
Overflowing with Vitamin C, citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, etc.) are incredible superfoods to add into your diet. Crucial for producing white blood cells and antibodies that fight infection, Vitamin C is also a very powerful antioxidant. According to Eating Well, oranges are super high in fiber and folate along with Vitamin C and help to protect cells from free-radical damage. Oranges also help to produce collagen, which firms the skin. But oranges aren’t the only miracle citrus, Fitness Magazine says that just one lemon has more than 100% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. This amazing vitamin can play a key role in helping to increase HDL cholesterol levels (the “good” cholesterol) and strengthening your bones. Citrus can even act as an anti-inflammatory and may work to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.
Surprised this superfood is on the list? Both potatoes and sweet potatoes are vitamin packed and cancer-fighting foods. High in Vitamin A, these superfoods keep your eyes, bones, and immune system in tip-top condition. Potatoes and sweet potatoes alike also provide antioxidant benefits fighting off disease-promoting free radicals. Fitness Magazine says that one red potato includes 66 micro-grams of folate that promotes cell building, and one sweet potato has about eight times your daily dose of needed Vitamin A, which helps to fight cancer and boost immunity. Think potatoes are your starchy enemies? Think again.
Yogurt is heavily concentrated in the “good” bacteria necessary for a healthy gut. Due to its gut stabilizing properties, Eating Well says that adding yogurt to your diet can diminish the incidence of age-related intestinal illness. Furthermore, yogurt is high in calcium to help keep your bones healthy and prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Consuming just one cup of yogurt per day offers your body almost half of the recommended daily intake of calcium and also provides you with phosphorus, potassium, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and protein.
We’ve all heard the adage about avocados containing “good” fats. But it really is true. Not all fats are bad for you. In fact, the body needs fats to survive. And avocado is likely the best place for you to get it. Avocados are so high in healthy fats, one study even proved that eating avocados can lower your cholesterol by up to 22%. Fitness Magazine claims that one avocado contains more than half of your recommended daily fiber dose and 40% of your daily needed folate. All of these rich nutrients from avocados may even help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
A powerful disease fighter, garlic should be the spice and flavor enhancer of choice in your cooking. The disease fighting properties of garlic can help to inhibit the growth of bacteria, including the super harmful E. coli. According to Fitness Magazine, garlic works as a potent anti-inflammatory by harvesting the powers of allicin, a compound found in the herb, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood-pressure levels. Garlic is such a powerful herb that it even works to ward off vampires ;)
Little kids might look twice at this green superfood before gagging if they knew all of its incredible benefits. Broccoli is chock full of Vitamins C, A, and K as well as folate. Fitness Magazine sites one medium-sized stalk of broccoli as containing more than 100% of your daily needed Vitamin K dose (a vitamin that helps with bone health) and almost 100% of your daily Vitamin C intake. Eating Well says that broccoli also contains a great dose of “sulforaphane, a type of isothiocyanate that is thought to thwart cancer by helping to stimulate the body’s detoxifying enzymes.”
It is no wonder that Popeye had so much strength from his superfood of choice: spinach. Although spinach may not give you the power to walk through bricks, it really is an incredibly healthy food. Mind Body Green categorizes spinach as having an astounding nutritional density score of 86.43. Overflowing with nutrients like Vitamins A, C, E, and K, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, adding spinach to your diet boasts a plethora of healthy benefits. Fitness Magazine states that recent research found spinach to be one of the most effective cancer-fighting vegetables out there.