The term “superfoods” certainly gets a lot of airtime these days; in fact, it’s hard to have a conversation about healthy living and balanced diets without also mentioning these foods that seems to have super powers. But there’s a reason we’re all talking about them, and eating them. These power foods have the ability to do magical things to our energy, our organs, our skin, even our brains. According to Pauline Hanuise, a certified Holistic Recovery & Health Coach, “superfoods are basically foods that are much richer in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, electrolytes and phytonutrients, but also much poorer in calories than any other usual foods. They nourish your body on a very deep level.” And because they have potential to drastically improve your health in more ways than one, it’s important you know about, and eat, as many super foods as you can.
You already know that goji berries, kale, blueberries and salmon are good for you. And if you’re smart, you probably eat them on a regular basis, which means your menu options are getting a little boring. If you want to kick up your superfood routine a little bit, here are 10 superfoods that you might not know are so super, but you should definitely incorporate into your diet and your life, starting right…about…now.
1. Cacao If you love chocolate, you’ll be a big fan of this superfood. Cacao powder contains flavonoids, which can help lower blood pressure and encourage a healthy heart by improving blood flow throughout your body, and to your heart. Plus, it’s delicious and lower in calories than milk chocolate. You can use raw cacao in a wide variety of recipes ranging from granola bars to truffles to smoothies.
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2. Chia Seeds As Time magazine reports, chia seeds are super because they are “packed with 10g of fiber and nearly 5g of protein per ounce (just under 3 tablespoons)…[and] the seeds are also a good source of calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids and phosphorous.” Add them to muffins, use them to make pudding or mix them into your juice or smoothie.
3. Seaweed You eat seaweed in sushi, but that’s probably it. This member of the algae family is really good for you. According to Huff Post, it’s packed with “vitamins A and C, and is also a source of calcium” plus it contains iodine, an important nutrient that’s hard to find in almost any other food. Iodine is critically important to maintaining a healthy thyroid” so make sure you order that extra seaweed salad next time you’re going out for Japanese food.
4. Kefir Similar to yogurt, kefir is loaded with probiotics, which aid in digestion, though kefir is thought to be a more potent source of these microorganisms. It’s also high in calcium, protein, phosphorus and it’s low in calories. And good news, if you are lactose intolerant you can still drink kefir, as most people who have a hard time digesting milk have been able to consume kefir.
5. Wheat Germ Just 2 tablespoons of wheat germ are loaded with fiber, protein, vitamin E and selenium, a nutrient that boosts your immune system. Plus, it’s packed with B vitamins like folate and thiamin, which promote a healthy heart. As to how you eat wheat germ, you can sprinkle it over oatmeal, on top of yogurt, on cereal or use it in your favorite smoothie recipes.
6. Kiwi This delicious, green, exotic, fruit has more than just super favor, it’s also packing some super powers for your health. Kiwi has been shown to help asthma-related wheezing, and new research suggests “eating kiwi on a daily basis was linked to substantial improvements to both sleep quality and sleep quantity.”
7. Brazil Nuts Just one of these nuts can give you more than enough of the mineral selenium, which boosts your immune system and has been shown to help prevent cancer, including bon, prostate and breast cancer. They also happen to taste delicious, but even if they didn’t, preventing cancer seems like a good enough reason to add these super nuts to your daily diet.
8. Turmeric This bright yellow spice has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine for many years. It is potent (but safe) and can aid in a wide range of ailments including jaundice, menstrual pains, digestive diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and more.
9. Dried Tart Cherries Raisins and dried cranberries already make their way to your daily snack rotation, but what about dried cherries? These tart fruits are loaded with vitamin A and C, plus they have high levels of copper, which aids in collagen production to keep tissues strong. They can also help control blood sugar, reduce insulin and lower cholesterol.
10. Camu Camu This fruit has extremely high concentration of vitamin C—boasting more of this vitamin than rose hips, citrus peels and even acai berries. Camu camu is also a good source of manganese and copper, and it has high water content, so if you’re ever dehydrated this fruit is a great choice to snack on.