If Popeye knew about kale, he’d never have bothered with spinach. This robust, dark leafy green is chock-full of nutrients like iron, vitamins A, C and K, fiber, antioxidants and is a great detoxifier (particularly for your liver).
Prized by the Mayans and Aztecs, this superfood is once again becoming a star in the modern-day diet. Add these to your diet to get a boost of fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium — and it’s also a complete protein that’s easy to add to salads and smoothies.
Your mother always told you to eat this vibrant, leafy green if you want to grow up big and strong. What she didn’t mention is that it’s also great for preventing prostate cancer, is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, is loaded with antioxidants and is a good source of protein.
Swiss chard grades highly among the ranks of nutrient-packed leafy greens, but the best part might be the taste. Kale can be tough, collards are heavy and some people hate spinach, Swiss chard tastes similar to the very neutral romaine lettuce. Best of all, it has all of the same nutrients as its brethren.
Collard greens don’t get the type of love that kale does, but they still bring the same nutrients to the table, like vitamins C and K. Collards also give you vitamin E, folate and manganese, and similarly, are known as a cancer-fighter.
Bee pollen is an incredible superfood that is considered to be one of the most complete foods you can eat. It is a richer source of protein than any animal source (percentage-wise) and it contains all of the essential amino acids as well. Throw in massive amount of enzymes (over 5,000), phytonutrients, vitamins (A, B, C and E), and a ton of minerals, and you’ll be giving your body a big boost. Some of those benefits include increased energy, muscle growth, and a stronger immune system.
Blueberries are great for the brain, as they help improve your memory, as well as prevent the onset of any cognitive problems that tend to come with age. The best part is that this popular fruit is commonly available in the frozen section, and most of its important antioxidants are preserved even through freezing.
Turmeric powder is a spice that’s often found in curries that has plenty of health benefits. It’s not only known for its yellow pigment; it also helps combat free radicals, is great for inflammation and protects against memory loss. Although it’s better recognized in its powder form, nowadays, a number of markets will carry the turmeric root as well, which looks very similar to ginger root.
Sure, it’ll make your breath stink, but otherwise, it’s worth it. This age-old superfood is renowned for giving your immune system a boost and warding off many types of cancer.
This tiny purple berry is packed with antioxidants that’ll help fend off cancer, heart disease and even aging. It’s one of the rare fruits that contains oleic acid, which is the same healthy fat that’s found in olive oil, and even has the ideal essential amino acid complex, which is integral to muscle regeneration.
Meet one of the newest berry superfoods on the block: lingonberries. They’re loaded with plant polyphenols, which means these tart little red berries contribute in a number of fashions. They can lower inflammation, fight staph infections, replace antioxidants, add red blood cells and increase liver enzymes.
Beets can be messy to work with, but those who go through pain get the gain at the end. Beets are a unique source of betalains, which is a phytonutrient that can combat tumors. Make sure you don’t throw away the beet greens, as they are high in lutein, which is related to and has similar benefits as vitamin A.
Black beans make this list because they’re a very underrated source of protein. One cup provides around 15 grams of protein, and the best part is that you don’t have to deal with any of the saturated fats that you might get from animal protein sources, like red meat.
Oats might seem like a boring breakfast option, but they’re a great choice for those who need to lower their cholesterol. Whole grain oats help do exactly that, and help with the maintenance of your blood-sugar levels. Just add some blueberries, cinnamon or honey to liven up the oats.
Avocado is another one of those paradoxical high-fat foods that’s still good for your body. That’s because it contains good fats, as well as oleic acid, lutein, folate, vitamin E and glutathione. All of those assist in deflecting heart disease and cancer.
Boost your mood by adding more walnuts to your diet. Not only do these guys have a healthy amount of zinc, manganese and copper, they’re also loaded with serotonin, which is a chemical in our brain directly tied to happiness and feeling good. As a matter of fact, walnuts have among the highest values of serotonin you can find.
Almonds are one of the most popular superfoods on this list that most people already consume. What could possibly be bad about a high-fat food that’s good for your heart? These guys are loaded with good fats which promote heart health and lower bad cholesterol. Almonds are also a quality source of manganese, vitamin E, magnesium and tryptophan.
Vegetarians and vegans have been up on quinoa for years, but now everyone else is catching up. It offers a great source of non-animal protein with about eight grams in one cup. It’s also a good source of fiber and iron.
Looking to lower your cholesterol? Here’s one option that’s not in pill form: pistachios. They’re stocked with phytosterols and soluble fiber, both of which have been shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol).
Red bell peppers often get overlooked as a superfood, but they’re loaded in their own right. There’s more than three times the daily recommended vitamin C intake per pepper, plus vitamin A, antioxidants and lycopene, which reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
If you’re feeling the onset of a cold, reach for this tropical fruit instead of an orange next time. One papaya has more than three times the daily recommended intake of vitamin C and is also stocked with flavonoids, vitamin B, potassium, magnesium and fiber. All in all, it’s good for the cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Small in size but large in returns, flax seeds are easy to add to salads, cereals and soups. They are best known for being a good source of fiber, which helps keep your exits smooth. But they’re also a good source for omega-3 fatty acid and lignans, which reduce breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
While the taste is sometimes hard to swallow, the juice extracted from wheatgrass has wonderful effects on the body. It does everything — stimulating the thyroid, boosting the red blood cell count, detoxifying the blood and gastrointestinal tract, fending off cancer and providing beneficial enzymes to the body.