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If You Only Eat 5 Superfoods, Eat These

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March 20, 2015

I pore over articles about superfoods, nutrients and vitamins to see which ones I would actually recommend to patients. I try and discern which ones are backed by science to determine the ones that are worth spending the time and money to eat.

I came up with my four favorites, which I have listed below.

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The superfoods I include in this list are all ones that are relatively inexpensive, making them easier to consume regularly (at least three times per week). You should eat these as part of a balanced whole food, plant-based diet. They are easy to sprinkle on greens, add to smoothies or to take in supplement form.

1. Turmeric/Curcumin

The active ingredient in curcumin (or turmeric) is well studied as an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer agent.

It's a promising treatment for Alzheimer's as well.

As we know, a huge portion of the immune system lies in the gut. Using curry powder or raw turmeric can boost it.

How To Eat: Add a 1/2 spoonful in hot water was a tea or added to your green (vegetable) juice.

2. Garlic

Garlic can lower blood pressure and treat colds. It can also reduce the risk of various cancers.

Garlic was re-popularized by Tim Ferriss who says it helped him "inhibit fat regain".

How To Eat: Raw is best, but if you can't fathom eating it raw, extracts are available.

3. Ground flax seeds

Flaxseeds can help with blood sugar control and potentially inhibit certain cancers, such as prostate and breast.

Additionally, they offer a good dose of soluble fiber.

How To Eat: Add 2-3 tablespoons to your daily smoothie or over a salad.

4. Chia seeds

One tablespoon of chia offers more calcium than a glass of milk. It's also full of antioxidants!

Rich in fiber, they are also great for weight loss.

How To Eat: My favorite way to eat them is soak them so they get a gel like consistency. Add two tablespoons soaked for 15 minutes to smoothies or you can drink it with water, stevia and lemon.

5. Spirulina

Spirulina is a great for immune support, protein, and as source of vegan omega-3s. The taste is a bit strong for lots of people, but the benefits, especially for plant-based eaters, are well worth it.

Green Chocolate Smoothie

Here's a quick and easy green "chocolate" smoothie that incorporates both chia and flax seeds.

Serves 2


  • 2 cups cold almond milk
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 kale leaf, medium
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (pre soaked)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder


Blend all ingredients in a high power blender until smooth.

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Amy Shah, M.D.
Amy Shah, M.D.

Dr. Amy Shah is a double board certified MD with training from Cornell, Columbia and Harvard Universities. She was named one of mindbodygreen's Top 100 Women In Wellness to Watch in 2015 and has been a guest on many national and local media shows. She helps busy people transform their health by reducing inflammation and eating more plants, utalizing the power of the microbiome to help digestion, natural hormone balance and food sensitivities. She is an expert on intermittent fasting for women and has a 2 week guided group program.

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