What foods are healthy and taste good? If a food is nutritionally dense it means that the food has high levels of essential vitamins and dietary minerals that we know are required by human beings. That includes vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K and so on, and also dietary minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and so on. But these things are found in many different foods already. All foods contain at least some of the vitamins and minerals in varying quantities, so what’s so special about superfoods?
They big difference is that superfoods have an unusually high level of nutrients for their size, when compared to other normal foods. As an example, cucumbers are mostly (90% or so) made up of just water, so to benefit from any significant levels of nutrients from a cucumber you’d have to eat an awful lot of them!
With superfoods you can eat a mouthful and it will provide a large dose of nutrients, sometimes providing your entire recommended daily allowance (or more) for individual vitamins or minerals all in one go. Now that’s super! Very few foods contain such high levels of nutrients in such small amounts, and that’s why superfoods are so healthy. They can provide nutrition like you’ve never seen before.
Meet the Super Foods
Below is a list of the more common, easily obtained super foods that we can easily find in our stores most months of the year. To find out more about the functions of certain vitamins and minerals, you can go to the handy vitamin and mineral chart.
They are a great source of calcium – containing four times more calcium than milk, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and vitamin E and are Almonds high in protein and fiber . They also contain monounsaturated fats which help prevent heart disease. Eat them raw to maximize their super food goodness.
To me, apples are an amazing super food that my whole family loves. They contain quercetin which is a phytonutrient that helps prevent damage to LDL (good) cholesterol, keeping the arteries healthy thus lowering the risk of heart disease. They also contain pectin which is a soluble fiber which helps so lower the bad HDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Pectin also binds with heavy metals such as lead in the body and removes them from the gut.
Beans are an incredible super food high in antioxidants and a great source of soluble fiber which traps bile that contains cholesterol in the digestive tract and removes it from the body before it is absorbed. They are high in protein and incredibly low in fat and can help lower cholesterol.
Beans help keep blood sugar stable which is beneficial to those with diabetes. Beans are also known to reduce the risk of cancer – especially breast cancer. They contain calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium and folic acid (folate).
They contain incredibly high amounts of antioxidants including a flavonoid called anthocyanins which combat the effects of toxins and pollution and are thought to have anti-ageing properties. Blueberries also contain ellegic acid which is a phytonutrient thought to prevent abnormal cellular changes.
They are also anti-inflammatory, reduce allergic reactions and keep capillaries healthy which is great if you bruise easily or have varicose veins. Blueberries help strengthen the immune system and are a great source of vitamin C and fiber.
Broccoli contains more vitamin C than oranges and is high in beta-carotene and potassium which help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Is an amazing super food that contains anti-cancer substances, especially helping to prevent gastric cancers, breast cancer and stomach ulcers. Broccoli increases the body’s resistance to illness and aids the body’s detox capability.
It is rich in glucosinolates which seem to detoxify all sorts of toxins including carcinogens, which are substances that can trigger cancer. Studies have shown that eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, radish, turnip, cress, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi and mustard three times a week can lower your risk of colon cancer by up to 60 percent!
Cinnamon is great at stabilising blood sugar levels and studies have shown that just ½ teaspoon of cinnamon a day can lower the bad LDL cholesterol level in the blood. It has even been proven that cinnamon can help relieve arthritis pain and is a great source of fiber, calcium, iron and manganese.
Flaxseeds are the best plant source of Omega 3 fatty acids which reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and inflammatory diseases. It is excellent brain food and contains high levels of a phytonutrient called lignin which helps improve cholesterol.
This super food contains powerful antioxidants and has amazing cancer-fighting properties. Garlic lowers cholesterol and prevents the deposits on artery walls – called atherosclerosis. It also thins the blood which is a safer, healthier alternative to taking an aspirin every day which can cause bleeding in the stomach.
It is a brilliant immune-system booster and encourages the growth of cells that attack cancer cells.
This delicious super food is a fantastic immune system builder. It is high in antioxidants which protect our bodies against free radicals. Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. Raw honey is the best as the processing of honey often removes the phytochemicals found in the honey and propolis.
Kiwis are great because they contain more vitamin C than oranges and are also an excellent source of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin E. Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidant vitamins that protect us against free radicals. protecting us from all sorts of diseases ranging from cancer to cardiovascular problems and obesity.
They are also high in fiber which helps control blood sugar, lower blood cholesterol levels and protects us against intestinal cancers and heart disease.
Low Fat Yoghurt
Has a higher calcium value than other dairy products and also contains protein and potassium. Many are enriched with probiotics which improve the balance of bacteria in the gut.
Oats are a wonderful whole grain super food. A bowl of oats is the best way to start the day – especially if you have heart disease or diabetes. Oats are high in fiber, antioxidants, manganese, selenium, vitamin B1, magnesium, phosphorous and protein.
Can help reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke as it is high in monounsaturated fat.
Onions have cancer-fighting properties due to the Sulphur compounds and quercetin. Quercetin is a flavonoid which boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation and promotes detoxification. Onions as well as leeks and garlic can lower the risk of breast, stomach, lung and esophageal cancers.
They contain a flavonoid called hesperidin which protects against heart disease, infections, inflammation and cancers. They also contain potassium, folic acid (folate) and lots of pectin which lowers cholesterol.
Reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol. Pomegranate juice is becoming very popular and has shown to increase blood flow to the heart. A study has shown that people who drink the juice have more oxygen going to their heart during exercise.
Pumpkins are high in beta-carotene and are the best source of a powerful cancer fighter called alpha carotene. They also contain high levels of Vitamins C, E and B5, potassium, calcium and fiber. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc and essential fatty acids.
Quinoa is one of the best super foods we can get. It is high in protein – which is great for vegetarians – as well as being high in fiber, iron, zinc, vitamin E and selenium which helps control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Salmon Is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is essential for brain and heart health. Omega 3 fatty acids also protect against cancers and relieving diseases such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Soy contains lot of soluble fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, as well as disease-fighting phytonutrients that can help reduce the risk of cancers.
They are high in vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium and potassium.
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants called Phyto phenols that protects cells from free radical damage. Studies have shown that people who drink more tea have higher bone density, thus tea can help prevent osteoporosis.
Cooking the tomatoes ensures that the lycopene is more easily absorbed in the body, increasing its effectiveness. Tomatoes are also high in potassium, beta carotene and vitamin C.
They are high in essential fatty acids – especially omega 3 fats – which are crucial for heart health. A quarter cup of walnuts provides 90 percent of the daily value for omega 3 fats. Studies have shown that eating a handful of nuts five times a week reduces the risk of heart attack by between 15 and 50 percent. Walnuts are also a great source of vitamin B6, manganese and copper.
Some amazing super smoothie ideas!
Green smoothies are very simple to make, as all you do is take your favorite greens and blend them together into a smoothie. These smoothies are generally bitter, but you can neutralize the bitterness by adding some sweet fruit, or the juice of lemons. You can also add a bit of sea salt, which also helps to take away the bitterness.
Fruit smoothies are usually a hit with everyone, as they are naturally sweet. They are also quite refreshing and nourishing to help curb food cravings. Therefore, they are a great alternative to any snack, or even a meal.
To make fruit smoothies, simply take your favorite fruits and berries and blend them together for a nutritious smoothie. You can also add nuts and seeds for a natural nutty flavor. Avocados and coconut oil are also excellent additions to any fruit smoothie, as they can help to enhance the flavor as well as provide you with a rich texture.
Hot smoothies are a great substitute for those who enjoy hot drinks. They are a great alternative for those who are trying to quit coffee, as they too are hot drinks that you can sip in the same way that you would a cup of coffee. Thus, the only thing missing is the high amount of caffeine.
To make the hot smoothies, all you need is some hot water and your favorite superfood powder such as raw cacao, maca, acai and ashwagandha. You can also add a natural sweetener, as well as some coconut oil for a rich and creamy texture. And instead of just using hot water, you can also use tea, or warm nut milk.
Perfect blenders for making smoothies
- Chefman Countertop + Travel Dynamic Blending System 12-Piece Set
- Ninja Blender with , 72 Oz Total Crushing Pitcher and (2) 16 Oz Cups for Frozen Drinks and Smoothies