Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Today the fragile human body is bombarded with pollutants, both externally and internally.
Over the course of any given day you will take in countless chemicals through your skin, through your respiratory system, and into your digestive tract.
These chemicals can cause premature aging, feelings of fatigue, a host of medical conditions, and even cancer.
One of your body’s best defenses against this assault of unnatural products is not expensive medical procedures and treatments.
By incorporating some (or all) of the super foods listed below, you can reverse the signs of premature aging, and reduce your risk of serious ailments such as Type II diabetes or heart disease.
These don’t have to be costly “wonder” foods that can only be found at a mysterious health food store. These are common pantry staples that you may already have in your home.
If not, they are readily obtainable at your local supermarket. These super foods will help keep your body’s defenses in top working order.
They promote weight loss, healthy digestion, and anti-aging.
It is as simple as keeping this list handy and replacing commonly purchased processed foods with healthier options.
Below is a list of the most common, and nutritious, superfoods and why they are so super:
- Almonds: Almonds pack a mean nutrition punch. They give you energy and may help keep bad cholesterol in check.
- Apples: Why does an “apple a day keep the doctor away?” Because they are loaded with nutrients and vitamins that help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and promote healthy breathing.
- Apricots: One of the “world’s healthiest foods.” Apricots are rich in vitamins A and C, and they are a terrific source of potassium and fiber.
- Artichokes: Help lower cholesterol and contains powerful antioxidants like rutin, quercetin, anthocyanins, luteolin, silymarin, and cynarine.
- Asparagus: Packed with fiber, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and chromium. Asparagus helps flush toxins from the system.
- Bananas: The perfect “fast food.” A quick, calorie dense, on-the-go snack that is loaded with potassium.
- Beans/Lentils: When prepared from their dry form, beans and lentils are a healthy source of protein and fiber.
- Beets: Beets are rich in cancer-fighting properties. Beets are high in iron, low in calories, and stimulate blood flow throughout the body.
- Bell Peppers: Rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and contain phytochemicals, carotenoids, along with other anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Berries: Berries are high in antioxidants, which fight free radicals and protect the body from sun damage and cancer.
- Broccoli: Steamed, roasted, or raw, this cruciferous vegetable is loaded with calcium.
- Brussels Sprouts: One of the most hated vegetables of children around the world, brussels sprouts are a vitamin powerhouse. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and K as well as antioxidants.
- Buckwheat: Buckwheat is high in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese.
- Cabbage: Raw, slaw, or steamed cabbage is rich in vitamin C and fiber. Choose red or green varieties.
- Cantaloupe: A summer favorite, this melon is full of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and fiber.
- Cardamom: Antibacterial properties.
- Carob: this chocolate substitute has lots of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Try substituting carob for chocolate in recipes.
- Carrots: Eyesight and overall health promoting carotene, fiber, vitamins, and minerals can be found in carrots.
- Cauliflower: Rich in fiber, vitamin C, biotin, and folate.
- Cherries: This super fruit is chock-full of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals.
- Cilantro/Coriander: Spice up your salsa and guacamole with phytonutrients and minerals.
- Cinnamon: Rich in minerals and antioxidants.
- Cloves: Full of vitamins C and K, minerals, fiber, as well as eugenol, an antiseptic.
- Cod: Dense in protein, omega-3’s, and B vitamins.
- Collard greens: This “lucky” leafy green is full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.
- Corn: High in fiber which improves GI function. Fiber can also help prevent cancer. Also rich in vitamin B and vitamin E.
- Cranberries: Loaded with vitamins and phytonutrients. These promote urinary health.
- Cumin: Great in Mexican foods and rich in iron.
- Currants: Loaded with vitamin C and fiber. Dried black currants have 674 micrograms of copper per cup and 0.675 milligrams of manganese.
- Eggplant: Rich in minerals, fiber, and flavonoids.
- Eggs: Loaded with protein. Yolks are rich in B-complex choline, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and increase neurological function.
- Elderberries: Packed with vitamin C, elderberry is prized for its immune boosting power.
- Fennel: Full of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and phytochemicals.
- Figs: High in fiber, polyphenols, and antioxidants.
- Flaxseeds: An excellent vegan source of omega-3’s
- Garlic: Antibacterial and antifungal properties. The antibiotic and cleansing properties of garlic help treat acne. Garlic also contains allicin which fights hydroxyl radicals (OH), which helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
- Ginger: Helps soothe the digestive system. Good for nausea.
- Goji Berries: Rich in beta-carotene. Improves mental well-being, athletic performance, weight loss, and sleep quality.
- Grapefruit: Weight loss support, loaded with vitamin C.
- Grapes: Full of vitamin C, potassium, and anti-aging resveratrol.
- Guava: Loaded with vitamins C & A, fiber, and potassium.
- Hazelnuts: Excellent source of protein and folate.
- Honey: Healthy alternative to sugar as a sweetener. May help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal allergies when using local honey.
- Kale: Rich in vitamins, minerals, folate, phytochemicals, and lutein (great for vision support).
- Kiwi: Rich in vitamin C. Also helps lower blood pressure and fight cardiovascular disease.
- Lemons: Rich in vitamin C and flavonoids. Cleans bowels, treats scurvy, and has alkalizing properties to balance the body’s pH levels.
- Limes: Dense in phytochemicals and vitamin C. Aids in digestion.
- Maca: Known as the “fertility” supplement for both men and women, this Peruvian superfood increases women’s health and hormones, and is also rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Enhances mood and can treat blemishes.
- Mangoes: A delicious source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium.
- Maple Syrup: Another healthier alternative to white sugar. Loaded with manganese.
- Millet: Contains fiber and protein.
- Mint: Full of antioxidants and minerals. Add fresh mint to infused water or homemade tea.
- Molasses: Blackstrap molasses is rich in iron.
- Mushrooms: Rich in selenium and B vitamins.
- Oats: A great source of fiber. Make overnight oats for a quick and easy breakfast option.
- Olives & Olive Oil: A healthy fat.
- Onions: A powerful antioxidant.
- Oranges: Full of vitamin C and folate. Excellent for prenatal health.
- Oregano: Powerful antioxidant.
- Papaya: Rich in vitamins A and C.
- Parsley: Contains iodine.
- Passionfruit: Exotic source of vitamin C.
- Peanuts: This legume is rich in antioxidants.
- Pears: Full of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
- Pecans: Rich in thiamine, magnesium, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and oleic acid.
- Pepper, Black: Aids in digestion and has antibacterial properties.
- Pepper, Chili: High in vitamins A and C, potassium, iron, and capsaicin.
- Persimmon: This sweet fruit is a great source of vitamins A and C, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals.
- Pineapple: Rich in vitamins C and B6, manganese, and bromelain (and anti-inflammatory, also aids in digestion).
- Pistachios: High in fiber and protein.
- Plums/Prunes: High in fiber, vitamin K, and iron. Can relieve constipation.
- Pomegranates: Promotes heart health.
- Potatoes: Rich in potassium and antioxidants.
- Poultry: Great source of protein, niacin, and selenium.
- Pumpkin: Dense in fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and beta-carotenes.
- Pumpkin seeds: A vegan source of omega-3’s.
- Quinoa: This wonder grain has the highest protein content of any non-animal source.
- Raisins: Loaded with rheumatoid arthritis symptom-reducing boron.
- Raspberries: Rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
- Rice, Brown: A celiac-friendly source of fiber and minerals.
- Romaine Lettuce: Dense in vitamins A and C, folic acid, and minerals.
- Rosemary: This aromatic herb is rich in antioxidants.
- Rye: Rich in fiber and manganese (note: not celiac-safe).
- Salmon: Full of omega-3’s. Studies also indicate wild salmon contains bioactive peptides or small bioactive protein molecules that provide support for cartilage, insulin, and inflammation of the GI tract.
- Sardines: Full of omega-3’s.
- Sesame: Rich in lignans, which support colon and reproductive health.
- Shrimp: Excellent source of protein, selenium, vitamin B12, and omega-3’s.
- Spelt: Loaded with B vitamins, fiber, and protein.
- Spinach: Great source of vitamin K and iron.
- Sunflower Seeds: Rich in folate, vitamin E, and selenium. Selenium prevents cancer. Also great for cardiovascular health and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Sweet Potatoes: High in vitamin A and fiber. Also contains vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Sweet potatoes also contain iron for energy and magnesium for stress reduction.
- Swiss chard: High in vitamins A, C, and K.
- Tea: A great source of flavonoids. In general tea can help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and can lower cholesterol, increase mental alertness and aid in weight loss.
- Tomatoes: Rich in vitamin C and lycopene.
- Tumeric: Popular in Ayurvedic medicine. Used as an antibacterial. Tumeric combined with cauliflower has been shown to prevent prostate cancer as well as stop the growth of already existing prostate cancer. Tumeric also naturally detoxes the liver.
- Tuna: High in protein and omega-3’s
- Walnuts: Another vegan source of omega-3’s and B vitamins.
- Watermelon: High in lycopene. This water-based fruit fights dehydration and is high in vitamin A and vitamin C.
- Whole Wheat: Great source of antioxidants. Whole wheat (as opposed to refined varieties) helps control obesity. Controls metabolic syndrome and reduces chronic inflammation.
- Whey protein: High in muscle building amino acids.
- Yogurt: Yogurt contains probiotics (which literally means “for life”). Great source of protein, calcium, vitamin B2 and B12, magnesium, and potassium.
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