Okay, so “official” here means that these 10 Superfoods were represented on nearly every Superfoods list I found across the board, as well as listed as top favorites by nutritionists and health experts. I’ve compiled them here for you so you can put this list on your refrigerator so you remember to pick these super-healthy items at the grocery store on your next trip or at your local farmer’s market. Incorporating some or all of these foods into your diet, via soups, smoothies, as garnishes, snacks or bases for entire meals is an excellent way to be sure that you’re supplying your body with vitamins, nutrients and minerals, and that you’re getting plenty of fiber, age defying healing properties and cancer-fighting compounds.
Surprise, surprise: Kale takes first place on the list, since it’s loaded with fiber, antioxidants, detoxifying compounds, minerals, iron and protein. There are a couple of different varieties of Kale, and the darker the leaf, the more nutritionally dense it is, so go for Red Leaf kale or Lacinato, aka Dino, kale, if available. For maximum healthiness, consume it raw by blending it into smoothies or using it as a base for a salad. Sometimes raw kale can be difficult to stomach since it’s so fibrous, so massaging it with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and salt before throwing it in a salad is a great way to partially break it down so it’s easier to digest.
#2: Blueberries are also full of antioxidants, and you know with that super rich color they’re bound to be good for you. They’ve been proven to help fight cancer, reduce inflammation, prevent memory loss and maybe even help lower cholesterol. Rich in Vitamins C, K and other nutrients, they’re easy to throw into a smoothie, fresh or frozen, as your daily antioxidant boost. Pick them fresh in the summer and freeze them by the pound, and you’ll be good to go all year!
#3: Broccoli (which is part of the cabbage family) is loaded with protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene, phosphorus, vitamins (especially C and A) and colon-cancer-fighting compounds. Tastes so good lightly steamed (remember- the more you cook a vegetable, the fewer nutritional benefits it will retain, so stop cooking these puppies as soon as they get bright green, about 5 minutes) with some lemon juice and salt sprinkled on top, or lightly stir fry with other veggies like carrots, mushrooms and garlic for a tasty garnish for rice or quinoa. Keep in mind too that broccoli sprouts contain most of the same health benefits as full-grown broccoli plants, and are much more versatile – great on a sandwich or salad.
#4: Quinoa is one of those miracle foods I discovered only recently and now can’t get enough. It’s a grain and if you’re having a hard time wondering how you can incorporate it into your diet, just think of it as a rice alternative – a great base for cold salads or hot meals. It’s a complete protein, meaning it supplies our bodies with all 9 essential amino acids all ready for digestion, and is also high in minerals, fiber and iron.
#5: Garlic: have you ever felt a cold coming on and eaten a couple raw cloves of garlic to keep it at bay? Sounds crazy, but it’s a real thing – garlic contains a compound called “allicin” that not only fights the common cold virus, but also blood clots, bacteria, cancer, high blood pressure and parasites. It’s true – you cannot go wrong with fitting garlic into your diet every day, especially in the winter when we’re all so prone to coughs and sneezes. But a word to the wise: if you’re going garlic crazy, keep a box of mints handy at all times.
#6: Tumeric. I know- a spice can be a superfood? But believe me, buy some bulk at the supermarket and start sprinkling it everywhere you can – not only does it taste great, but it contains lots of circuminoids, which are compounds that have been proven to help the body fight things like Altzheimers, cancer, viral infections and cataracts.
#7: Salmon makes the cut but be sure to seek out the wild-caught fish over the farm-raised ones, which are raised on limited diets and don’t have nearly the nutritional bounty that salmon caught in their natural habitats do. Salmon is high in protein, potassium, selenium, antioxidants and the ever-important Omega-3s and is even associated with decreased risk of depression and cognitive deficiency in older people. Plus fish oil is famous for supporting eye health, skin health and hair health – so eat up and get that healthy luster!
#8: Yogurt! Our intestines contain a vibrant colonies of healthy bacteria that help to process and digest food, and yogurt supports these good-bacteria colonies by being rich in probiotics, therefore contributing to our immune system and digestive health overall. Incorporate it daily by throwing a dollop into smoothies, eating it in the morning with some granola and fresh fruit on top, or even using it in place of mayonnaise in tuna (for this I like to use non-fat Greek yogurt).
#9: Nuts: Almonds, pecans and walnuts especially. Chop them up and sprinkle them on salads, blend them into smoothies, or carry a mixed bag around for midday snacking. They get a bad rap for being fatty but they’re actually full of good saturated fats that support heart health and fight coronary disease, plus Omega-3s, Vitamin E, and fiber. If they’re feeling expensive, try buying them in bulk!
#10: Eggs are one of the most nutritionally dense protein sources available, so be sure to have them a few times a week – but remember to include the yolks, which is where most of the vitamins and minerals live! Eggs are high in choline, which has been shown to slow down cholesterol accumulation and that improves overall cardiovascular health. Look for pasture-raised or cage-free eggs, which will have an overall higher nutritional content thanks to the chickens’ natural diet.
There’s the list – so eat up and be well!
Author: Tata Harper Team
The team at Tata Harper Skincare is passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.