The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” has been used repeatedly throughout homes around the world for the past 150 years. It is one of the most recognizable expressions and with good reason; an apple packs a serious nutritional punch. While it is hard to rely solely on a daily serving of earth’s forbidden fruit to keep you out of the doctor’s office, there are a large variety of superfoods that, when eaten regularly, should do the trick.
Superfoods, by nature, are typically plant based, calorie sparse and nutrient dense foods that keep the human body functioning at its best. These superfoods are so rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols that they needed their own special category to set them apart. There is a long list of superfoods, but here are a few that can get you started eating on the right track.
A single avocado, or alligator pear as some like to call it, is a powerhouse of nutrients and an excellent source of protein. With 20 vitamins and minerals, this super fruit surpasses almost all others as one of the most important foods one can eat. Not only do avocados contain vitamin K, folate, antithetic acid, vitamin B6 and Vitamin C, but they also contain twice the potassium of a banana, making them a great snack anytime. The components of this superfood have been known to fight off cancer, stabilize blood sugar levels, improve eyesight and even help aid in weight loss.
Used as the main source of protein by ancient Aztec civilizations, this intense superfood is gaining popularity due to its powerful protein content, incredible versatility and potent vitamin concentration. This spiral blue-green algae, which grows in lakes around the world, can be added to your breakfast smoothie to get the morning started off right. Aside from providing 1/3 of the protein you need daily, spirulina also has been known to boost energy, ward off illness and remove toxins from your body.
Don’t jump for joy just yet, while cacao is the main ingredient in the chocolate bars you love, it is only ranked among the superfoods when eaten in its raw, unaltered form. Whether consumed as beans, nibs or powder, unprocessed Cacao provides more antioxidants than any other food on the planet, 40 times that of blueberries. Moreover, It is an amazing source of calcium, magnesium (the vitamin most lacking among people in the western world), and iron. Raw cacao is the highest plant based source of iron in the world, providing 7.5 mg per 100 grams, more than both lamb and spinach. This amazing superfood acts as an antidepressant, natural mood changer and a healthy source of vitamins and minerals that might be hard to find in the average western diet.
While you may have heard recent campaigns to save the bees, their benefit goes far beyond their ability to pollinate and fertilize the world. Bee pollen, the granules formed when bees do their work, is one of the most important superfoods available. This naturally complete substance has more than five times the protein found in beef and it has a number of allergy fighting properties that can help reduce ailments like hay fever and sinusitis. However, the benefits don’t just stop there; bee pollen is also known to reduce the signs of aging, boost energy levels and increase both mental and physical capabilities.
This superfood contains over 75 healing compounds that work wonders on the human body. While it is most commonly known for its external healing properties, such as in its use in burn relief, bruises and eczema, it also is an extremely potent superfood, that when consumed can prevent indigestion, acid reflux and heartburn. Add this superfood to your smoothies, lemonade or even a decadent dessert. You’ll barely notice the flavor, but you’ll definitely feel the difference.
What’s your favorite superfood? Comment below.