Have you ever heard of a “superfood”? If you haven’t, allow us to introduce you to them: a superfood is a “normal” looking food that is actually packed with a disproportionate amount of health benefits. They’re not only awesome for keeping you healthy, but also for cutting in half what you need to eat. Why eat two or three times the amount of calories when you only need one food to satisfy the same nutrition value?
Here is a list of the best superfoods (in no particular order):
Kale has gotten quite famous recently. It’s one of the hottest “new” foods that all the “professionals” are pushing. The reason is simple: kale is absolutely loaded with antioxidants, some of which help improve your eyesight and even fight against cancer! It’s also the most nutrient dense food on the planet, with numerous vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. All of this is packed into this leafy green, which is only 33 calories per cup. Whether you have to include it in a salad or blend it into a smoothie, try your best to include kale in your diet.
Centuries ago, the Inca Empire considered quinoa sacred. We like to assume that it was because they knew about quinoa being a complete protein that contains every essential amino acid. Like kale, it is very nutrient dense – containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. It’s also gluten free and considered a whole grain.
Ditch the processed chocolate and start eating cacao instead. It contains more pros than chocolate and none of the cons. Cacao can be found in delicious little nibs, or as a powder you can mix into coffees, shakes, and any other drink you’d like. It’s a great aphrodisiac and releases anandamide which improves your mood. Cacao also has omega-6 fatty acids and a huge amount of antioxidants – even more than dark chocolate, which contains percentages of cacao. It provides natural energy, reduces bad cholesterol and lowers blood pressure. As if it needed to do more, it also reduces your appetite which helps burn fat AND is great for your cardiovascular system.
If only there were magic seeds that reduced your appetite and made you feel fuller, faster. Oh wait – there is! They’re called chia seeds and they’re filled with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, 5g of fiber, and 3g of protein (in just one tablespoon)! They’re a perfect addition to snacks like cereal or yogurt.
Whether or not you love the taste of broccoli, you can’t deny that it’s filled with great vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The tree-looking vegetable also contains a good amount of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body converts into vitamin A, that keeps our skin, eyes and immune system healthy. That’s not all! Broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange, plus it contains a great dose of fiber. Best of all, there’s only 30 calories in 1 cup!
Popeye’s favorite! Did you think broccoli had low calories? 1 cup of spinach has just 7 calories and provides benefits for every part of your body. Its phytonutrients protect cellular structure, the folate promotes a healthy cardiovascular system and its magnesium lowers high blood pressure, just to name a few things. Spinach is just as rich as broccoli in nutrients, and can be even easier to include in your diet!
If you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or simply want a great source of protein, hemp seeds are a must! These delicious seeds pack 10g of protein in only three tablespoons, and contain omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, making them incredibly nutritious! Oh, and we can’t forget to mention they have a bunch of vitamins and minerals as well.
Another powerful seed with many health benefits that has been eaten for thousands of years. Flax seeds are a great source of fiber and one of the richest in omega-3 fatty acids. They are the number one source of lignans which can lower your risk of osteoporosis and diseases such as heart disease. Amongst the many benefits are healthier skin and hair, weight loss, lower cholesterol, and better digestive health. Flax has also been key in numerous studies for its cancer fighting properties.
One of the healthiest spices you can eat, ginger contains powerful antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. This delicious spice works wonderfully to fight against the cold, flu, nausea, headaches, menstrual cramps, and other types of sicknesses. It also helps maintain healthy blood circulation which reduces chills and fevers. Try juicing ginger and avoid high fructose corn syrup drinks labeled “gingerale” as most don’t contain any actual ginger.
Another increasingly popular superfood, avocado is a highly nutritious source for good fats. The difference between avocado fat and other fats is that an avocado contains mostly monounsaturated fat. These are heart healthy fats necessary for a good well-being. They are also very high in fiber and have more potassium than a banana. Avocados are a great food for weight loss as well because of their high fiber and low carb content. As a bonus, this fruit can also help prevent cancer and lower your cholesterol level.
Take a look: health benefits of green tea