You are what you eat. If you consume food equivalent to a dumpster fire, you’re going to feel like a dumpster fire. Want to channel your inner Wonder Woman, Thor … or anyone else with superhuman strength? Your inner superhero needs superfoods. Superfoods are whole foods that contain a broad spectrum of micronutrients. Foods high in nutrients give those who consume them a load of benefits that range from fighting free radicals to lowering LDL cholesterol. Here are the top 10 superfoods you should be consuming.
What is a Superfood?
Classifying superfoods can be a bit confusing because there is no clear-cut definition as to what constitutes a “superfood.” Nutritionists and dieticians don’t recognize superfoods as a food group. Rather, the term “superfood” was coined by the wellness market.
Superfoods were created as a buzzword. Seeing this word on a label creates a perceived value on a product or brand. Therefore, it may entice a consumer to purchase it.
Aromatherapy is another example of this marketing tactic. Brands throw the word “aromatherapy” on lotions and body washes to let the consumer know that it’s a relaxing product that smells nice.
However, this ploy can be disingenuous because many of these products are created using artificial ingredients that may prove to do more damage than good. These types of products diminish the actual science behind aromatherapy in the eyes of many. True aromatherapy with organic essential oils is an actual form of therapy with credible science backing it.
Superfoods run the risk of suffering this same fate. Just because the wellness sector is marketing superfoods doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye to the foods this buzzword was based upon. Don’t fall for dietary powders or sugary protein bars with “superfoods” on the label. Instead, you should consume more of these superfoods in their whole form. Here is why.
Why Do We Need Superfoods?
Let’s be real with ourselves. The Standard American Diet (SAD) isn’t the healthiest food protocol to follow. Nuts and bolts, these dietary choices are high in:
- Omega-6 fatty acids
- LDL cholesterol
- Simple carbohydrates
- Saturated fats
- Artificial sugars
- Hormone-treated foods
- High-allergen ingredients (gluten and dairy)
On top of the poor food sources, how the food is prepared is another story. With the additives for preservation, deep-frying at restaurants, and synthetic colors added for appeal, the SAD is a recipe for disaster.
We need to counteract some of the damage we are doing to ourselves. Cue the Superfood Symbol in the sky. Superfoods are here to save the day!
By consuming a superfood, you are replenishing your body with a litany of nutrients that it’s deprived of during a typical meal. Minerals found in superfoods have a pivotal impact on the system as a whole. They can do anything from fighting off free radicals to helping the digestive system. Here are the top 10 superfoods you should be consuming.
One of the biggest obstacles in the SAD is our overconsumption of animal fats. Fatty animal meats such as beef and lamb are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. As a society, we are consuming too many omega-6s. Over time, excess omega-6 fatty acids cause the system to clog up, which may lead to insulin resistance and obesity.
Research indicates we need more omega-3 fatty acids in our system. In fact, the omega ratio should be 3:1 in favor of omega-3s. We can get more omega-3 fatty acids through plant-based options like nuts and seeds. However, lean protein such as salmon is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Are you a big beef foodie? If so, one serving of salmon may not be enough to help calibrate your scales. Balance the inequality of omegas out by supplementing with a high-quality fish oil supplement such as CogniDHA.
2. Dark Greens
We know there’s a lot of kale haters out there (BTW, just a little seasoning can go a long way in making kale delicious). If you don’t like kale, other dark greens could suffice as a quality superfood. So, in lieu of kale, try these dark greens out for size:
- Swiss chard
- Collard greens
- Turnip greens
Now that you have placed your kale bias to the side, here is why you need dark greens. The darker and leafier the green, the more nutrients they pack. In fact, one cup of swiss chard has 374% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin K. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for bone health and blood clotting.
You may have been hearing a lot about the benefits of CBD in the mainstream news lately. CBD is derived from the hemp plant. Hemp is a durable and versatile plant that offers us more than just this beneficial compound. Shockingly enough, hemp is a superfood source.
With the growing appreciation of hemp, we are becoming more educated on the dietary benefits of this plant. What many may not know is that hemp is a complete protein. It contains all 21 amino acids, including the nine essential ones we can’t create on our own. Suffice to say; hemp also helps balance out our omega ratio.
Cold-pressed hemp oil has a nutty note that lends itself splendidly to a cup of bulletproof coffee, salad dressing, or moisturizer for any DIY cosmetics makers out there. You can also purchase hemp seeds and toss them into salads, nut mixes, or on top of a baked chicken.
These little allium bulbs do more than just keep Dracula at bay. Garlic is also a potent detoxifier for heavy metals. One study was conducted on 117 workers in the car battery industry. The blood lead concentration of these workers was measured prior to and following the study.
After four weeks of supplementing with garlic three times a day, the blood lead concentration of the workers decreased 19% on average. Furthermore, subjects reported fewer bouts of headaches and exhibited lower blood pressure in their vitals.
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
How we cook our food can make or break the health benefits of our meal. For instance, using vegetable oil and corn oil is a poor dietary decision. These types of cooking oils tend to be hydrogenated.
This commercialized method leaves the oils highly-refined and less nutrient-dense. Plus, vegetable oils tend to be high in omega-6 fatty acids. We don’t need to add more omega-6s on top of omega-6s!
That is why we should opt for extra virgin olive oil. This popular oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. Studies confirm that those who follow the Mediterranean diet tend to have the highest life longevity.
For starters, extra virgin olive oil has less omega-6 fatty acids. Instead, 73% of this delicious oil contains oleic acid. Studies on oleic acid have found this pivotal nutrient to be a potent anti-inflammatory. Seeing as inflammation is the root of all disease, no wonder the Mediterranean diet has seen such miraculous results!
Speaking of anti-inflammatories, there may be no stronger one than turmeric. This Indian root is rich in a unique compound known as curcumin.
Studies on curcumin have found this compound to be an active antagonist of NF-κB activation. NF-κB is an inflammatory cytokine present in almost every terminal condition known to humankind.
Turmeric root can be grated into stews, sauces, or even lattes. To get even more of this antioxidant, it is good practice to supplement with turmeric. No matter how you consume turmeric, be sure you have lots of black pepper on hand. Studies have shown that BioPerine, a primary compound in black pepper increases the bioavailability of turmeric by 2,000%. Seeing as our body has a hard time absorbing curcumin, this makes black pepper essential. This fact is why our Turmeric Curcumin capsule is formulated with BioPerine.
Heard of Got Milk? Step it up a notch with Got Kefir? Kefir is a lot like yogurt, with a bit more benefits such as increased protein and vitamin B12.
Like yogurt, kefir contains live cultures. These probiotic bacteria help alter our gut microbiome. Probiotics are essential because they help keep inflammation, harmful bacteria, and other foreign substances from living in our gut. Our gut is sort of the control system of the whole operation. So, when our microbiome gets out of whack, so does our mood, weight, and skin.
8. Sweet Potato
Did somebody say probiotics? Seeing as probiotics are living critters, they also have to eat. We need to think of these beneficial bacteria like our babies. Whatever we consume, they consume, too. So, if we eat dumpster fire … you’re getting it now.
We need to eat food we can’t digest. Sounds crazy, right? However, for probiotics to thrive, they need to eat our indigestible fibers. So, we need to make sure these fibers have benefits for us as well. One of the best options is sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are known as complex carbs. We can’t break these foods down but our gut bacteria can. Feeding probiotic bacteria is beneficial to us because sweet potatoes have carbohydrates, which gives us energy. However, they also contain a litany of other useful compounds.
As you can tell by its color, sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A. This essential vitamin is a potent antioxidant, which is great for our skin. However, vitamin A also improves our eye health.
And they scoff at your avo toast. Well, scoff back. Avocados are not only delicious, but they pack the omega-3s we’ve been sorely missing.
However, there’s more to avocados than brunch and omegas. They are high in fat. In fact, 77% of its makeup consists of oleic acid, the beneficial acid found in extra virgin olive oil.
You know the adage about eating a banana to prevent runner’s cramp? Maybe you want to opt for avocado instead. Avocados have 14% of your daily recommended intake of potassium as compared to bananas, which is just 10%.
10. Green Tea
Before getting your next Mocha Frappuccino, maybe you should get a green tea instead. Green tea extract has tons of crystalline compounds known as catechin. Catechins are known to have robust antioxidant capabilities. Green tea has one of the most beneficial catechins, EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate). ECGC has shown in studies to be a viable competitor against the growth of free radicals.
Catechins have also proven to be antibacterial and antiviral. When cough and cold season comes up or the first sign of a sore throat, pour yourself a green tea. From there, grate a little turmeric into it. Top with some black pepper. You’ll have a great immune-boosting mocktail at your disposal.
Green tea also helps with focus. Studies suggest that instead of turning to coffee, which gives you the jitters, green tea may be the better option. Not only is the come down far less intense, but green tea also has the amino acid, L-Theanine. This amino acid facilitates the production of GABA, our inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps us combat anxious thoughts. This favorable effect is why we formulate Tranquilene with L-Theanine, among other all-natural ingredients shown to help improve mental state.
Supercharge with Superfoods
As you can see, we covered a lot of ground with these superfoods … and we only covered 10. There are so many other popular superfoods out there such as berries, kiwi, and pumpkin seeds. However, these are the 10 you need to add to your diet now!
What are your favorite superfoods? Share with us in the comments below!