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A superfoods list is handy for people looking to bump up their health without turning to fads. Nutritionally speaking, no single food will bring you the ultimate benefits. However, eating multiple different superfoods on our list will help you become healthier and stronger.
But which food can be labeled ‘super’?
Which food is the definitive opposite?
Read on to find out more.
15 Superfoods that Really Save the Day
While the term superfoods may have you picturing kale zooming around in a red cape, it really is just a handy way to refer to extremely healthy food. People have coined this term to describe foods that have many nutritional benefits and low amount of side effects. The red cape may be imaginary, but superfoods' aren't going away anytime soon. Top scientists and nutritionists propose these 15 superfoods that you should eat – just remember that taking one won’t help as much as eating all of them and having them in your life regularly will.
Our list of superfoods:
- Dark leafy greens because they contain folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber. Some dark leafy greens you should eat are kale, swiss chard, collard greens, turnip greens and spinach.
- Berries because they have vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Some of the berries you should eat are raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries.
- Green tea is great because it has antioxidants, polyphenolic compounds and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Eggs are healthy because they have vitamins B, choline, selenium, vitamin A, phosphorus and potassium as well as protein.
- Legumes are plant foods including beans, soy, lentils, peas, peanuts and alfalfa. These foods are rich in vitamins B, minerals, protein and fiber.
- Seeds and nuts are often rich in fiber, protein and good fats. They have antioxidants, as well. Eat pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews and other nuts. When it comes to seeds you should eat all kinds of seeds, specifically sunflower and pumpkin seeds and so on.
- Yogurt is a superfoods list staple because it has proteins, calcium, vitamins, probiotics and even potassium.
- Garlic is a plant rich in vitamins, selenium, fiber, manganese and so on.
- Olive oil is a natural oil rich in good fatty acids and polyphenolic compounds.
- Ginger comes from the root of a flower plant and it’s used for medicinal purposes and as a flavor enhancer. It’s full of antioxidants which is why it’s considered a superfood.
- Turmeric is a spice related to ginger and used for medicinal purposes and cooking. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which is why it’s effective.
- Salmon is highly nutritious and full of good fats, protein, vitamins B, potassium, selenium and so on.
- Avocado is a nutritious fruit which includes fiber, vitamins, minerals and good fats.
- Sweet potato is a vegetable loaded with potassium, fiber and vitamins as well as antioxidants.
- Mushrooms are full of vitamins, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. You should eat button, portobello, shiitake, crimini and oyster mushrooms.
Basically, always look for natural and organic groceries that don't have much processing before it arrived on your table.
What Classifies a Food as “Superfood”
You have most likely read a lot about superfoods. There are new superfoods added to the list often and the list is always growing. But most people aren’t aware of what makes a superfood.
Why does a food receive this title?
What makes it so much better than all of the other foods?
The answer is usually in the high amount of nutrients and healing properties that these foods contain. This term isn’t official but the world treats it as such since these foods are so great at helping people live a healthy life and remedy various elements.
Any food containing high levels of:
- Healthy fats
can help people with various illnesses and problems. While some foods are simply healthy like fruits, vegetables, fish, spices, herbs and so on, only select few members of each group make the list of superfoods.
What makes a superfood?
For one, it’s nutrients because any superfood has to contain many nutrients and a wide range of them. It also needs to contain more good properties than bad. Many healthy foods are can also be full of negative properties. Superfoods also need to be free of chemicals, artificial ingredients, food dyes, and toxins.
Superfoods also need some immune system improvement properties, prevent diseases or cure some ailments.
So, superfoods truly needs to be super to make the list.
Healthiest Snacks That Can Help You Lose Weight
Sometimes people don’t have time for full meals and they end up eating junk foods. However, a much better solution is to have some healthy snacks handy so that you can always remain healthy and even lose some weight along the way. Here are the best snacks you can eat:
- Mixed nuts
- Red bell pepper with guacamole
- Greek yogurt with some berries of your choice
- Apple slices and some peanut butter
- Cottage seeds with some flax seeds and cinnamon
- Celery sticks and cream cheese
- Kale Chips
- Dark chocolate and almonds
- Cucumber slices and hummus
- A piece of fruit
- Cherry tomatoes and some mozzarella
- Chia seed pudding
- Hard boiled eggs
- Baby carrots with blue cheese dressing
- Some cheese
- Healthy beef jerky or beef sticks
- Whey protein shake
- Canned salmon or sardines
- Marinated artichoke hearts
- Pear slices and ricotta cheese
- Dried coconut
- Turkey roll-ups
- Spicy avocado
- Ricotta cheese with cocoa powder
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Cantaloupe slices wrapped in prosciutto
- Leftovers of some healthy meal
What are the Most Unhealthy Foods to Avoid?
While some foods are super healthy, some are the very opposite of that.
But how do you know which foods to avoid?
What are the most unhealthy foods to avoid?
Here is a list of foods you should definitely stay away from.
All sugary drinks – drink water or herbal tea instead.
Pizzas – Even though we love it, it’s best to avoid it as much as possible. Try to satisfy the craving with chopped veggies and marinara. You can also cut down on excess fat and processed ingredients by making pizza at home with healthy ingredients.
White bread – Eat whole grain bread instead, it's less processed and retains more nutrients.
Most fruit juices – Mistakenly thought to be healthy, they are really not because they contain a large amount of sugar (some even as much as sodas). Drink blueberry and pomegranate juice as well as huge amount of water.
Industrial vegetable oils – Extremely bad, better to use healthier fats like coconut or olive oil.
Margarine – Swap out for butter. Margarine is a highly processed food.
Pastries, cakes or cookies – Even though they are delicious and most of us can’t imagine life without them, they are really unhealthy.
French fries and potato chips – Potatoes are healthy in general but fried in high temperatures, they go really bad. High in calories and full of carcinogenic properties, you should avoid them.
Gluten free junk food – Even though they claim that there is no gluten, junk food is still junk and nutrient-lacking.
Low-fat yogurt – They are low in fat but really high in sugar to make up for that. Choose regular yogurt, it’s extremely healthy.
Ice cream – While most people love it, it’s full of sugar and calories. Try yogurt with fruit or gelato. You might be pleasantly surprised to know that gelatoe often has less calories, sugar, and fat than regular ice cream.
Candy bars – High in sugar and refined wheat flour as well as fats.
Processed meats – It’s full of toxins and possibly carcinogenic materials, so better go for unprocessed meat or meat cured without added nitrates. Look for meats cured in celery salt or extract.
Processed cheese – While regular cheese is healthy, processed cheese is very bad for you and you should avoid it. It's commonly called anything other than just cheese. For example you'll see something like pasturized cheese product, prepared cheese product, or cheese food on the label.
All fast food – It’s all mostly junk food.
High-calorie coffee drinks – Coffee can be healthy but coffee drinks have many calories because of added sugar and fat.
Anything high in sugar, fats, refined grains, vegetable oils and so on.
Best rule of thumb is that you should avoid foods that have extremely long ingredient lists. The less processed, the less added ingredients, the better.
The Most Nutrient-Dense Foods You Could Possibly Have
Since you can’t eat more food in a day than your stomach can handle, you need to make sure that the food you do take is healthy and full of nutrients.
But how to achieve that?
Which foods are the best for your body?
Here is our list of the most nutrient dense foods in the world:
- Egg yolk
- Dark chocolate
All of these foods are considered superfoods and nutrient dense because they contain a large volume of vitamins, minerals, protein and so on per 100 grams. Eating them brings more benefits to your body than eating any other does. You could help any issues that you might have, make your skin, hair and nails look better and healthier, have more energy and feel better overall.
However, you should avoid all junk foods as much as possible since they bring no benefits to your body or health and have numerous side effects and dangers. They add to your weight gain – in fact, often they are the main culprit for that. Replace them with some vegetables, snack on fruit or seeds. Replace sweets with almonds, dark chocolate or sweets made from healthy ingredients. Enjoy water rather than sweetened drinks. Remember, the more organic and natural, the better for you.
What are some of your favorite superfoods on the list? Tell us which ones really save the day down in the comments!