Superfood: a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. ~ The Oxford English Dictionary
Superfoods! (Do you picture some fruit or vegetable with flying around with a cape? No?)
The foods that you choose to eat now determine how you’re going to feel later. Stated simply, nutrient-dense foods fuel our mind and body. Processed foods, like microwaved meals and fast food, drains us.
Fresh, wholesome foods positively impact just about every biological process, including brain and heart function, bone health, lung health, kidney health… you name it.
Incorporating superfoods into our diet is one of the best choices you can make healthwise. Apart from being a fun word to say, superfoods are a real thing. And, they deliver incredible benefits to the human body.
As you go through this list of the ‘Top 10 Superfoods,’ you’ll notice that we’ve covered just about every category. Antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even chocolate!
We introduce you to the top 10 superfoods list:
Besides being absolutely delicious, almonds pack some serious nutritional punch. As with most other nuts, moderation is important. One serving, or about 20 almonds, is all you need.
Just one serving of almonds contains 14 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat and 6 grams of protein.
100 grams of fresh avocado contains 12 grams of healthy unsaturated fat. Contrary to asinine low-fat diet advice, monounsaturated fats are critical to health; they lower bad cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe (pronounced ‘rob’) is one of the most nutritionally balanced foods. It has a good amount of dietary fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium. It’s also a good source of vitamins A, C, and K.
Broccoli rabe also contains lutein, a powerful antioxidant that can lower inflammation, protect against Alzheimer’s, decrease the risk of hypertension, and slow the aging process.
Speaking of terrific antioxidant sources – blueberries are one of the best. Besides that, blueberries benefit skin health, aid weight loss, boost brainpower, fight cancer, combat aging, and support digestion.
Oh, and they’re delicious on pancakes.
Spinach is packed with vitamins A, and C. It’s also a good source of folate and magnesium – two critical building blocks of the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin.
Spinach also contains the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin (pronounced ‘zee-an-thin), which help protect against age-related vision disorders such as macular degeneration.
6. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. They’re also an excellent source of vitamins B6 and C, potassium and fiber.
Salmon is perhaps the healthiest freshwater fish we can eat. We all know that it’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of cancer, depression and heart disease. What you may not know is salmon also contains 50 percent RDA of niacin, which may lower the risk of memory loss and dementia.
Garlic is a potent anti-inflammatory that reduces bad cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It also strengthens the immune system and helps ward off bacterial and viral infections.
Just make sure not to overcook it. If garlic is exposed to high heat for longer than 10 minutes, it loses many of its nutritional benefits.
Lemons boost our immune system due to their high concentration of vitamin C (just one lemon meets your recommended daily amount.) Lemon also raises good cholesterol levels and is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Adding some lemon to your tea is a great way to get the benefits of both. Studies show that citrus may increase the absorption of antioxidants by as much as 80 percent.
10. Dark chocolate
Yes, dark chocolate is a superfood!
In fact, dark chocolate is one of the healthiest foods, period. Consider the nutrition label – a 100-gram bar of dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa) contains:
– 11 grams of fiber
– 89% RDA for copper
– 67% RDA for iron
– 58% RDA for magnesium
– 98% RDA for manganese
Oh, and the delicious treat boosts your brainpower too. Per a study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, eating cocoa-rich dark chocolate before a cognitively demanding task increased blood flow to the prefrontal cortex!
Bonus: More superfoods!
We couldn’t squeeze every superfood onto this list, so here are “the best of the rest”!
– Greek yogurt: chock-full of probiotics and protein.
– Kale: plenty of calcium, fiber, iron, and antioxidants.
– Oatmeal: rich in antioxidants and fiber.
– Beets: contain betalains, which help fight off degenerative disease.
– Apples: low calorie, rich in fiber, and reduce the risk of asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.