First of all, “what are super foods?!”
Superfoods list are very extensive on the internet therefore making this list highly subjective. However, Superfoods are mainly plant based with some fish and dairy containing no added sugars, provide multiple disease fighting nutrients and allow you to consume larger portions without overdose on calories.
Avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fat 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. Also, if you’re looking to banish wrinkles then stock up as they are packed with antioxidants and good fats, which help in your fight against the frown.
Yes it might leave you with bad breath, but it’s a small price to pay when garlic tops the National Cancer Institute’s list as a potential cancer-preventive food. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food that protects against heart disease, reduces blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels. It also has vitamins C and B6, manganese, and selenium.
These are a potent antioxidant. Blueberries are said to help with memory loss and they contain flavonoids which can help eradicate dangerous free radicals which can cause damage to cell walls and DNA. They also contain anthocyanosides which are beneficial in the prevention of all types of cancer. Blueberry extracts have also been reported to have anti-inflammatory characteristics and help prevent contagious bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder, urethra and gut. Impressive.
This exotic berry from Amazon was named by nutritionist Nicholas Perricone as one of the greatest foods in the world. They are packed full of antioxidants which can help combat premature aging and contain something called monounsaturated oleic acid, which helps omega-3 fish oils penetrate the cell membrane.
Also known as wolfberries, 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. Gram for gram they are packed with more iron than steak and spinach, and more beta carotene and vitamin C than carrots and oranges, respectively.
The Food Standards Agency recommends one portion a week so add salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards, kippers and fresh tuna (not canned) to your shopping list. Oily fish is important because it’s rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are especially useful in warding off heart disease. Most oily fish contains protein, zinc, selenium, vitamins A and D, and some B vitamins. Omega 3-rich seafood might help slow down macular degeneration (a common cause of age-related blindness), protect against the build up of cholesterol on the artery walls which can cause heart damage, and help reduce the impact of arthritis.
All types of beans (kidney, chickpeas, soybeans, dried peas and lentils) are low in fat and have anti-ageing properties but these small red beans have one of the highest antioxidant ratings among superfoods. Typically used in Japanese cooking adzuki beans are a good source of carbohydrates, folate, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese and zinc.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and it’s this that gives tomatoes their superfood status. Lycopene is what gives them their red colour it helps absorb the damaging free radicals that can harm our cells. Tomatoes are packed full of vitamins including vitamins A, C and E and contain potassium and other mineral salts. Not only does their high water content make them refreshing, but they’re low in calories too. It is thought tomatoes help ward against prostate breast cancers and stomach cancers as well as age-related macular degeneration.
Quinoa (pronounced ‘Keen-wah’) is known as a super grain, but it is closely related to spinach. It is gluten-free, high in amino acids, protein, vitamin B6, B1, B2, B3, and potassium. Plus it is a great source of copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, and folate. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, so useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. It is considered a complete protein because it contains all eight of the essential amino acids we need for tissue development and contains almost twice as much fibre as most other grains.
Packed with folic acid, vitamin C and carotenoids (the colourful plant pigments some of which the body can turn into vitamin A), broccoli is thought to boost your immune system, protect your cells from being damaged by free radicals and improve reproductive health. Broccoli also contains beta carotene, energy producing vitamins B3 and B5, potassium and chromium , which help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Any foods I missed on your list? Let me know and include the benefits, I love hearing about them!