Maybe you’re asking yourself now what a super food is. What makes a food super food?
There are specific factors which make a food super. One of the most important factors is nutrient density, which means, how much nutrient is “packed” in that specific food. These super foods are very high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats, essential fatty and amino acids.
Super foods turbo charge the system – especially when eaten on a regular basis! Our goal of consuming super foods is to load the body with as many nutrients as possible. These foods are rich in phytochemicals, which are special chemicals that have been noted to have disease-fighting properties. Phytochemicals can reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, or in some other way contribute to a person being healthier
Here is the list:
1. Berries (blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, goji berries)
Blueberries and berries in general are high in soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and slow the uptake of glucose, helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. They are full of Vitamins C and K. A very popular berry is the goji berry which has been estimated to contain 500 times more vitamin c than an orange. This Himalayan fruit contains all 18 amino acids (six times higher than bee pollen) as well as huge amounts of vitamin A, B1, B2, B6 and vitamin E. They contain more iron than steak and spinach and more beta carotene than carrots.
2. Leafy green vegetables
This includes spinach, kale, lettuce, broccoli and asparagus. Kale for example contains more iron than beef. Broccoli is thought to boost your immune system, protect your cells from being damaged by free radicals. Broccoli also contains beta carotene, energy producing vitamins B3 and B5, potassium and chromium, which help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Incorporate as much leafy greens as possible to your meals.
3. Whole grains/Oats
Whole grains help stabilize blood sugar and insulin and may protect against heart disease. They include all three parts of a grain kernel: the bran, germ and endosperm. Whole wheat flour, brown rice, barley and oatmeal are all whole grain foods. Oatmeal’s top benefit comes from its high soluble-fiber content, which helps lower cholesterol. Oatmeal is low-fat, high in protein and loaded with iron and other minerals. One cup of cooked oatmeal is only 166 calories.
Avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fat which our body needs (these are the good fats) and have a rich source of glutathione – a powerful antioxidant known to block over 30 different carcinogens (a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue). Avocados are also one of the most nutrient-dense foods; high in fiber, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium. It is a great food, it is filling, it tastes super good and does not contain a lot of calories.
5. Olive oil
Olive oil doesn’t get its reputation as a super food for no reason – olive oil is packed with healthy mono unsaturated fats that may actually lower your risk of heart disease; healthy fats can actually promote good cholesterol and help to regulate your blood sugar. It’s also anti-inflammatory and delicious, too. Studies also show that olive oil may also be linked to brain health and cancer prevention.
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet- this is what scientists say. Eggs are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients. A large egg contains only 77 calories, with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein with all 9 essential amino acids. It is rich in iron, phosphorous, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5 (among others). Eggs are a nutritious, protein rich food with a strong impact on satiety. Studies show that eating eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight.
7. Lentils/Beans/Chick Peas
Lentils and beans in general are a great source of satiating protein and fibre. A half-cup of lentils delivers 3.4 grams of resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that boosts metabolism and burns fat. It is a high-protein food such as meat, eggs, poultry and fish, so it’s the perfect food for vegetarians.
Bananas are slightly higher in energy than other fruits but the calories come mainly from carbohydrate; excellent for refuelling before, during or after exercise. All types of fruits and vegetables contain plant chemicals or phytochemicals known as antioxidants. These antioxidants protect cells in the body against damage from free radicals that can cause heart disease and cancer. According to Japanese Scientific Research, full ripe banana with dark patches on yellow skin produces a substance called TNF (Tumour Necrosis Factor) which has the ability to combat abnormal cells. The more darker patches it has the higher will be its immunity enhancement quality; Hence, the riper the banana the better the anti-cancer quality. Yellow skin banana with dark spots on it is 8x more effective in enhancing the property of white blood cells than green skin version. Eating 1-2 banana/s a day increases immunity.
9. Nuts/ (Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds)
All nuts are generally full of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Recent studies suggest that eating a small handful of nuts four times a week can help reduce heart disease and satisfy food cravings. Brazil nuts are one of the few good sources of selenium that may help protect against cancer, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
10. Green tea
Green tea has special health-giving properties because of the way it’s processed. The leaves of black tea are fermented, but the green version is steamed, which makes it rich in antioxidants. The caffeine in green tea acts as a mild stimulant and also supports brain health and memory. Longer term, it protects against Alzheimer’s. Green tea has zero calories, so flavored with some natural lemon juice can be the best refreshing summer drink. Green tea also supports brain health and memory.
This list could go on, but I wanted to point out these 10 foods, for now, and the concept of Superfoods! Try to implement these foods into your daily menu and stay healthy! 🙂