Foods become classified as superfoods when they possess traits which provide greater health benefits than other foods. This can be in the form of high amounts of vitamins and minerals, but often other factors play an even larger role. Many of the foods we currently classify as superfoods are extremely high in antioxidants which appear to play an essential role in helping our bodies fight off disease, reduce the risks of cardiovascular problems, and even stop the growth of cancer.
Here are top 25 superfoods for you to consider
The Acai Berry has become one of the world’s most recognized superfoods due to massive marketing efforts in recent years. The acai berry is packed with anothocyanins, proanthcyanidins, and flavonoids. These phytochemicals are high in antioxidant properties and provide anti-inflammatory properties also. The powerful antioxidant properties aid in the reduction of cell membrane damage and DNA degradation which can be caused be free radicals in the body.
Adding just a small amount of acai to your diet on a daily basis can help increase your overall health due to the high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ready for a tasty treat from the nut family? A handful of almonds weighing only 100 grams give you 581 calories of power packed energy, but more importantly it is a slow release source of energy instead of the rapid blast of energy you get from foods high in sugar content.
An apple a day keeps more than the doctor away. One large apple equals 30% of your daily fiber needs. All of that fiber helps to fill up your stomach. Apples are crammed with antioxidants, have lots of vitamins, phytonutrients and potassium. Always eat the skin with the flesh as most of the nutritional value is concentrated in the skin. Apple skin contains four times more antioxidant potency than the entire flesh of the apple. Apples are good for the heart and the lungs.
Arugula is packed with nutrients and has a very low calorie count. Arugula is perfect if you are on a low carbohydrate diet as two cups only add up to 1.5 g of carbohydrates. 5.Avocado Avocado is overflowing with the best omega 3’s you can find in their natural state and can add 20 vitamins and minerals per serving. They are one of the best alkalizing foods around and are rich in vitamin E which aids in healthy skin, lush hair and is a great anti-wrinkle weapon.
Bananas belong on the superfoods list for several reasons, the main reason being they are so versatile in the kitchen. Introducing your kids to superfoods is made easier when you have bananas to sweeten the deal.
The high levels of B vitamins, good protein quantity, and high amounts of dietary fiber make this an ideal grain to add to your diet. Another important aspect of barley is the amino acid profile. Barley contains 8 separate amino acids. This amino profile helps aid in muscle recovery from exercise.
Grass Barley grass is an essential superfood due to the extremely high levels of dietary fiber, organic sodium, and over 30 other vitamins and minerals present in it. Barley grass has many similar properties to fresh green spinach but is more concentrated. The amount of dietary fiber is higher and even iron, which spinach is famous for, is more concentrated in barley grass.
Beans have been called the “poor man’s meat” and as westerners we eat far too much meat and can easily replace half the protein we get from it with beans.
+=Tea Black tea has been shown to play a role in reducing cardiovascular disease events. This is even true for patients with existing coronary artery disease. In a study done at Boston University it was shown that black tea reduces and even can reverse endothelial vasomotor dysfunction. Black tea is also filled with antioxidants which can be beneficial in reducing cancer risk, reducing chronic disease, and even reducing the effects of aging.
These delicious black fruits provide your body with great amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fair amount of dietary fiber. These little berries are one of the most flavorful fruits you can find.
Recent studies have been showing indications that blueberries can aid in cognitive ability, reduce brain damage following a stroke, and may even aid in battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Raw Recent research has found compounds in broccoli that prevented tumors development but also reduced existing tumors dramatically. Broccoli is moderately anti-inflammatory and has a very low glycemic index level. It is packed with many of the vitamins including vitamin k and is a great source of copper and zinc. Broccoli is a great filler food, which fills up your stomach while being low in calories and saturated fat. Eat broccoli several times a week to boost your immune system. Being a nutrient dense food broccoli is also good for eye health.
Buckwheat is best for those who are gluten sensitive. It can replace grain products and provide you with similar benefits to cereals which cause problems. This grain replacement is overloaded with powerful minerals our body needs to function properly. The amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, and iron are amazing. Magnesium helps to relax your blood vessels increasing blood flow. When paired with the cleansing action of the high amounts of dietary fiber buckwheat becomes an important superfood for heart and cardiovascular health.
Cacao includes a series of nutrients and chemicals which increase our natural levels of serotonin for a short period of time. Increased serotonin levels can cause improvement in our mood, reduce our appetite, improve sleep patterns, and aid the streamlining of other brain functions.
These little nuts are high in dietary fiber, protein, iron, zinc, and many other important minerals and vitamins. Even the high fat content is not a negative since the fat is the perfect blend which helps to battle high cholesterol and blood lipids. The only real negative in cashews is their high calorie count.
This spicy pepper packs an amazing density of vitamin A, C, E, and Iron in a very tiny serving. The real magic of cayenne is found in the capsaicin which produces the powerful heat which this pepper produces.
Chia is high in unsaturated fats with high levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 in almost a perfect balance. These two fatty acids play an important role in reducing inflammation and helping to maintain proper cholesterol levels.
The real power of coconut milk and coconut oil can be found in what it does for heart health and the digestive system. The fat content, specifically medium chain fatty acids, can cause your cholesterol profile to improve. The other common use of coconut milk is to help with ulcers, stomach problems, and even kidney stones for certain types of stones.
Cranberries are under almost constant study for their effect on UTI (Urinary Tract Infections). The studies primarily focus on women, but can have beneficial effects for men, also.
A cucumber is 96% water. The cucumber can thus play an important role in keeping your body fully hydrated. Cucumbers should be an essential food for anyone on a diet. They provide an easy to eat snack which is high in water, low in calories, and has no negative effects. You can snack on cucumbers almost endlessly and not have to worry about hurting your diet.
Cucumbers are high in antioxidants but there is a bit of a catch. Many of the antioxidants are present in the skin, but the internal fruit. It is highly recommended you wash and slice your cucumbers with the peeling intact. Even if you are going to use your cucumbers in juicer include the peels.
Dark chocolate has achieved the status of being a superfood due to the high levels of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other phytochemical combinations which are very healthy. A few of the claimed benefits of dark chocolate include reducing inflammation due to colitis, improved heart health, improved brain function, increased skin quality, and an improvement in mood.
These tiny seeds contain an unbelievable amount of B Vitamins, high amounts of important minerals, and provide good quantities of both protein and dietary fiber. Even the high fat content is a benefit since the fats are concentrated in Omega-3 and Omega-6 which aid in reducing cholesterol, heart diseases, and some studies even indicate it is beneficial in warding off Alzheimer’s disease.
24. Goji Berries
Goji berries are one of the highest providers of vitamin A you are going to find in a natural food. Vitamin A is suspected of playing a major role in reducing the effects of aging and helping our bodies to utilize other nutrients more efficiently. These small berries, also known as wolfberries, are one of the richest sources of antioxidants in a natural form. Antioxidants play an important role in maintaining cell membrane strength and protecting our DNA from damage from free radicals. This in turn reduces our risks of cancer and many other age related diseases.
25. Green Tea
Green tea has a powerful punch of antioxidants which is nearly impossible to match with any other low calorie drink. The fact that a steaming cup of green tea is completely calorie free is an even bigger benefit. The high concentration of antioxidants in green tea teamed with the caffeine has been under intensive study in both human and animal studies and the results are very promising. There is evidence indicating consuming green tea can reduce the onset or severity of cancer, heart disease, and helps in the battle against obesity. These powerful benefits are all coming from a steaming little cup of green tea which tastes delicious and helps you relax. Can a food get any more super than that?