DIET & NUTRITION
Superfoods are a special category of natural foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. These ten nutrient-rich foods are not only good for your health and well being, but they are easy to incorporate into your every day diet—and they may even help with certain medical conditions.
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
This can refer to anything from lettuce and spinach, to kale, parsley, or broccoli sprouts. Studies show that most people don’t eat nearly enough green leafy vegetables; think about adding some to a quick salad along with your other favorites!
Although wheat grass is a little less common than green leafy vegetables, the health benefits are well worth the hunt! Because it has sprouted from the rest of the grain, wheat grass doesn’t contain gluten. It promotes healthy blood, stimulates metabolism, and cleanses the system. It is most commonly juiced and ingested as a healthy drink.
3. Coconuts & Coconut Oil
Coconuts have one of the highest sources of electrolytes found anywhere in nature. The properties of their water are identical to those found in human blood plasma so they are put directly to use by your body. The oil in the coconut boosts your metabolism and is also shown to be an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal agent. Try coconut water instead of your pre or post-workout sports drink!
4. Goji Berries
These berries are very distinctively flavored and very delicious! They have over 500 times the amount of vitamin C as an orange and they are perfect for an on-the-go snack! They also are a great source of antioxidants, which have been shown to help reverse the aging process.
5. Bee Pollen
Bees are one of nature’s most incredible creatures and the pollen they produce is shown to have numerous health benefits. It has 5-7 times the amount of protein as beef and is great for providing the extra energy needed by athletes or those recovering from illness. Bee pollen is most often used as a topping over yogurt, granola, salad, or desserts—sprinkle some over your next meal to increase both your mental and physical capabilities.
Seaweed is the most nutritionally dense plant in the world; they have access to all the nutrients in the ocean and so contain an abundant source of minerals. All different types of seaweeds have been shown to purify and alkalize blood, boost weight loss, and contain high levels of calcium and antioxidants. Seaweed can be taken as a supplement or be bought whole and added to almost any meal!
7. Aloe Vera
You probably have noticed that aloe vera is a very common ingredient in skin product, especially as sunburn relief. But did you know that researchers have found over 75 healing compounds in aloe vera? The juices from the plant alkalize the digestive tract preventing over-acidity, a common cause of indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn, and ulcers.
Ginseng is an essential herb when handling stress. It is particularly beneficial when recovering from illness or surgery because it has restorative and anti-infection properties and promotes regeneration from stress and fatigue. Next time life gets hectic, try brewing a steaming cup of ginseng tea!
These berries are chock-full of nutrients that protect against rapid aging and cell damage. The antioxidants also may protect against cancer, Alzheimer’s, or dementia. They can be eaten in so many ways, too: try some with your morning yogurt, in a salad, or baked into some bread!
10. Black Beans
Just one cup of black beans contains 15 grams of protein without any of the artery-clogging saturated fat that is typically found in meat. They also contain high levels of fiber and energy-boosting iron. Maybe switch out some of your heavy steak dinners for a dish containing black beans instead!