Oh don’t worry, this isn’t the patented ‘eat salad’ talk. Let’s be realistic here, we all love a salad every now and again. But, we are also in need of sustaining foods that offer more than green leaves. Superfoods take on many shapes, sizes, and varieties.
What makes a superfood so special? It is the make-up of that food and its ability to provide health benefits to your body. The best news for the general public is that superfoods are actually pretty darn tasty. So stereotypes aside, let’s dive into 8 of the best superfoods on the planet!
We all know that apples are healthy. ‘An apple a day…’ Yea, we have heard it. The benefits that we can get from apples go far beyond what you probably know. Apples are in the top 5% when it comes to natural anti-oxidant composition. Anti-oxidants are the fancy compounds that we need to fight the aging process. They also aide in eliminating ‘free radicals’, or cells in the body that have decided to do the wrong thing, i.e. cancers, infections, and diseases. They contain a rich amount of vitamins that help the immune system and the brain. An apple a day may just save your life!
There isn’t a more plentiful food on the face of the Earth than nuts. There are over 50 different types of nuts available to the average consumer. These ‘fruits’ are packed with protein that aide your body in energy regulation and muscle growth. They have a strong make-up of fiber, which works to eliminate bad cholesterol. Nuts play a central role in your overall heart health; a consistent diet that has nuts built in can lower your risk of developing heart disease.
Who puts a spice on a superfood list? Ginger is the superfood that is one of the best-kept secrets in the world. It has long been used for medicinal purposes in ancient civilizations. Today, it is mainly used to add a sweet flavor to many foods. Ginger contains a powerful compound called Gingerol, which is responsible for much of the power behind this subtle superfood. There are many anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories in ginger. It is even regularly used to treat morning sickness and general nausea. No wonder the Gingerbread Man has been around for so long.
Oranges are one of the most purchased fruits worldwide. They are packed full of powerful nutrients and vitamins that have major benefits to our health. The most notable vitamin that oranges have is vitamin C. An astounding 52 MG’s are found in an average sized orange. Vitamin C is the essential vitamin that promotes immune system health. We are better able to fend off infections and pathogens when our immune system is operating at an optimal level. Eating oranges can almost single-handedly maintain and nourish your immune system on a daily basis.
Blueberries are another anti-oxidant superfood. They have a unique anti-oxidant called anthocyanin. This anti-oxidant is responsible for the unique blue color of a blueberry. It has been shown to prevent early signs of aging, such as wrinkles, cataracts, and age spots. The compounds in blueberries have a tremendous potential to benefit the brain as well, with some studies showing that they can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. There are numerous other benefits that blueberries offer such as eye health, cognitive function, digestive regulation, and even cancer prevention. Go ahead, have that blueberry pie.
Salmon is the king when it comes to Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are fatty acids that play a central role in to preventing heart disease and blood disorders. Beyond that, it is one of the best tasting foods that money can buy! Who doesn’t like a freshly cooked salmon? In addition to its rich Omega 3 composition, it is a great source for protein. Salmon can provide almost 20% of your daily need in potassium, which works to prevent stroke and control blood pressure. Wild salmon is the best source for all of these nutrients, so get your pole ready!
That’s right, the most popular breakfast ingredient worldwide is on the list. Eggs are one of the most powerful sources of protein on the planet. Pound for pound, there isn’t a food that is even close to matching the protein composition of an egg. A recent study showed that children who consume an egg at least once per day have a reduced risk of stunted growth and early health disorders.
Sweet potatoes have seen a sharp rise in popularity in recent decades. They can now be prepared in dozens of ways that are sure to make them appealing to even the toughest food critic. They are packed with vitamin B and vitamin C. They contain a good amount of potassium, as well as a high amount of fiber. This superfood can chip away at a large percentage of your daily nutritional need. It packs a powerful punch, as all of these nutrients can be absorbed while ingesting just 115 calories per potato.
We all get fed up with the typical ‘eat healthy’ talk. Most of us enjoy a great tasting meal over a bland, leafy dish. The best news about most superfoods is that they can be incorporated into existing recipes to fill your daily need of nutrients. So while you should still try to avoid that double cheeseburger and large French fries, you don’t necessarily have to become a grasshopper either!