There are many superfoods around, but I've identified ten of the best ones to make today's habit even easier. Starting today, eat one or more of these foods daily to supercharge your health.
1. Fermented Foods
Inside your intestines, or gut, live trillions of bacteria. They help fight infection, reduce cholesterol, manufacture B vitamins, detoxify the intestines, and more.
Fortunately, you can populate your gut with more of the good bacteria through diet by eating fermented foods. They increase good bacteria and stop any bad bacteria from doing damage. As an added bonus, the fermentation process increases the vitamin and mineral content of food —making fermented foods the ultimate superfoods.
2. Raw Cacao
Cacao contains more antioxidants than any plant food on earth. It's a cornucopia of natural compounds, including serotonin, endorphins, phenylethylamine, tryptophan, and anandamide, all of which have been shown to ease depression and create feelings of well-being and happiness. Extremely rich in antioxidants and minerals, cacao is known to increase the overall pumping action of the heart muscle and help alkalize the body.
3. Goji Berries
Used traditionally in Chinese medicine, goji berries can make your body glow because they allow your skin to absorb more oxygen. They help improve circulation and move bacteria and viruses out of the body, strengthening your immune system. Goji berries contain more iron than spinach, more beta-carotene than carrots, and more protein than whole wheat.
4. Chia Seeds
According to the USDA, just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds provide approximately 100 milligrams of bone-building calcium, 7.5 grams of dietary fiber, and 3 grams of protein. With the highest content of omega‑3 fatty acids of any plant food, chia seeds fight inflammation in the body, thereby reducing the chances of heart disease, Alzheimer's, and depression.
This nutrient-packed water alga gets its superpowers through photosynthesis and has all the protein, vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, and chlorophyll your body needs for near-perfect nutrition. This means it's terrific for building muscle, losing weight, and fighting disease.
The quality of hemp protein is exceptional, and it provides the perfect proportion of omega‑6 to omega‑3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation. The seeds are also full of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant in the body, and magnesium, which is needed for muscle growth.
Dried maca contains 59 percent carbohydrates, 8.5 percent fiber, and slightly more than 10.2 percent protein, making it a well-rounded, near-perfect food. Maca is also rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and iron. Add to that the vitamins B1, B2, and C, and you can easily understand what makes maca a superfood.
8. Golden Berries
As a traditional folk remedy, these little berries have been used to help with weight control, stronger immunity, and good organ health. Golden berries contain anti-inflammatory bioflavonoids and are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, both great for immunity.
The starring nutrients in quinoa include vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, potassium, and riboflavin, plus minerals like copper, zinc, magnesium, and folate, as well as the phytonutrients quercetin and kaempferol, which fight inflammation and disease. The reigning protein amino acid in quinoa is lysine, a nutrient not found in many other grains. This attribute puts quinoa on the level of milk when it comes to protein. Quinoa is low in fat, but it does contain omega‑3 fats.
The concentration of nutrition in these tiny fresh beans and seed tendrils can range between 300 and 1,200 percent more than their full-grown counterparts. Within a few days of germination, they develop a high nutritional value, becoming rich in protein and high in vitamins C and E and many of the B vitamins. They're also very low in fat and calories.
Power up with superfoods, and you'll give your body exactly what it needs, without fattening junk and additives. They are a simple, inexpensive way to supplement your diet, build your health, and feel energetic all day long.
Excerpt Permission Courtesy Little, Brown and Company. Copyright ©2015 by Food Babe LLC
Photo Credit: Shutterstock