There are too many good foods to only spotlight ten. Often, even the most common foods can be forgotten in this world of holistic, anti-oxidant-rich, superfood nutrition - but never fear! Some of my all-time favorite superfoods are probably sitting right in your kitchen as we speak!
Take a look at some of the powerful nutrition hidden in these top ten everyday foods that make them absolute superfoods for your health.
1. Coconuts - Coconuts need some rebranding! They are a true superfood. Americans have the wrong perception of them, considering them high in unhealthy fats. Research was published a while ago on coconut oil studies, claiming they were bad for us. Actually the research was done on partially hydrogenated oils, which is a man-made, fake process affecting real food. How can something that the universe grows and provides for us to eat in its natural state be bad for us? Even virgin coconut butter and oil have plenty of saturated fat, but it’s actually a fairly healthy type of fat called lauric acid. Lauric acid has been shown to increase levels of good HDL cholesterols and lower levels of bad LDL. This particular type of oil/ fat is known to retard the growth of fungi, microbes, bacteria, viruses, etc.
2. Berries - Berries contain antioxidants that help reduce free-radical damage and cellular aging. Fresh or frozen, blueberries have sky-high levels of antioxidants, which combat the damage done by inflammation. Anthocyanins, the natural plant compounds that give blueberries their deep color, may have anti-diabetic effects, as well. And new research suggests blueberries might protect the heart muscle from damage.
3. Quinoa - Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa a complete plant protein, making it a good choice for vegans or vegetarians concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially high in the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese and a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this grain may be especially valuable for vegetarian and vegan athletes, as well as persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and heart disease.
4. Cruciferous Vegetables - Bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale belong to the “cruciferous” vegetable family. Eating a variety of these sulphur containing veggies is linked to lower risk for diseases like cancer and heart disease. They may also aid in detoxification.
5. Walnuts - One of the few plant sources of heart-healthy omega 3’s, walnuts are a great nut to add to snacks, parfaits, porridge, or cereal. A deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids has been linked to depression, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. A serving each day can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and provide ample amounts of antioxidants, selenium, magnesium and vitamin E.
6. Avocado - Avocados are loaded with anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fat. One of the benefits of monounsaturated fats is that it increases good cholesterol while decreasing bad cholesterol. They’re also high in lutein which is good for eye health. The high folate and potassium content also make them very heart healthy.
7. Seaweeds - If you suffer from migraines, insomnia, or muscle cramps, try adding sea vegetables like nori, wakame, or hijiki to your meals. These vegetable are high in magnesium, which help relax blood vessels. They’re also very alkaline and help reduce the body’s acidity.
8. Black Beans - Beans are high in fiber, which helps remove toxins and provides special support for digestive tract health. They're also high in antioxidants. The "protein-plus-fiber" combination in black beans and other legumes is also key to their blood sugar balance and blood sugar regulation.
9. Dark, Leafy Greens - Spinach, kale, and swiss chard are an excellent source of iron (especially important for women), vitamin A, and lutein for eye health. Best of all, omega-3s also reside in dark greens (including seaweed, which explains the high concentration in fish).
10. Alliums - Alliums, the botanical family that includes leeks, onions, and garlic, share many remarkable traits. They can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Research suggests they inhibit the growth of prostate, stomach, and colon cancer cells. They also have antibiotic properties, helping your immune system ward off germs.