Technically speaking, superfoods isn’t an actual food classification. It’s a phrase created by the sweet potato industry to move more sweet potatoes. Okay, fine, maybe that last part isn’t true. But what is true is that there are a range of foods out there — some of which may be in your kitchen right now — that are loaded with nutrients that can help boost your health!
We have a list of some of the top known “superfoods”, along with what they can do for your health. If you’re looking for a way to get more nutrients into your diet, adding a few of these to your meals or snacks is a great idea!
1. Dark Leafy Greens
This one casts a bit of a wide net. Dark leafy greens include kale, spinach, swiss chard, dandelion, and more.
Nutrient-wise, they also cast a wide net! They’re loaded with all sorts of vitamins and minerals including folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and fiber. They’re known as protectors against many health issues, as well as for their anti-inflammatory properties.
However, dark leafy greens tend to be bitter, so while some may enjoy them on their own, it’s best to get creative! Add them to soups, stir-fries, or smoothies to get the nutrients without the bitter taste!
Like dark leafy greens, berries are loaded with nutrients. But unlike dark leafy greens, they’re really tasty!
Berries are stuffed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Because of this, regular consumption of berries has been known to protect against certain health conditions, aid in certain treatments, and boost heart and brain health.
Here are some of the most common berries and what they include:
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, fibre, folic acid, manganese, and potassium. They also contain a significant amount of phytonutrients and flavonoids, which help make the strawberries bright red.
Blueberries are high in vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. They contain small amounts of vitamin E, vitamin B6, and copper. But what takes credit for most of their health benefits are anthocyanins — the main antioxidant compound in blueberries.
Raspberries have a small amount of many nutrients, but are especially rich in vitamin C and vitamin K. They are also high in several antioxidant compounds, as well as fiber and tannins, which can help manage blood sugar levels.
Blackberries are high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. They are also loaded with fiber while having a low-carb and low-calorie count!
You can incorporate berries into your diet in many ways. One is to just eat them as is, since they’re so delicious. But you can also make jam, add them to recipes, smoothies, put them atop cereal or oatmeal, and more!
3. Green Tea
Green tea is a lightly caffeinated beverage with a range of health benefits. Its dense antioxidant and polyphenolic properties are why it boasts such protective abilities.
It has also been shown to have anti-aging effects and to help with weight management in some cases.
Try swapping out that second cup of coffee for green tea, or use it to transition off of coffee altogether — that way you get a healthier kick, without the jitters.
Legumes are a variety of plant foods that include beans, soy, chickpeas, lentils, peas, and peanuts.
They’re loaded with B vitamins, protein, fiber, and minerals like iron. They can help with cardiovascular health, as well as weight management.
These can be a great meat replacement without losing the iron or protein. You can also have them as a snack or incorporate them into your lunch to help you feel full for longer!
5. Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats!
They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect against an array of health issues. And despite how dense they are, some have actually shown to promote weight loss.
Here are some common nuts and seeds:
Almonds are nutrient powerhouses! They’re high in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, and potassium. They’re also gluten-free and low on the glycemic index!
Cashews are rich in fiber, healthy fats, and protein. They’re also a good source of copper, magnesium, and manganese! Check out our blog on cashews — 9 Surprising Health Benefits Of Cashews!
Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are also a good source of protein and healthy fats. Along with that, they’re full of iron, calcium, B2, folate, and beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A.
Walnuts are full of protein and healthy fats. They’re a great source of omega-3, and contain biotin, manganese, molybdenum, vitamin E, and vitamin B6.
Incorporate these into your diet by simply snacking on them (try a trail mix!) or you can even look for recipes that are nut-based — like cashew cheese.
This one can be tricky, as there are a lot of yogurts on the market that aren’t as healthy as others. While some are packed with sugars and additives, others can be quite beneficial for your health.
A quality yogurt can be filled with probiotics that can boost your gut health, helping increase overall health!
This is true for those of us who don’t eat dairy as well. There are plenty of dairy-free yogurts on the market that are full of microorganisms that can give your microbiome a boost!
Have yogurt on its own, or add it to your smoothies, on top of granola or pancakes, or mix it in with some berries for an extra healthy snack!
Love it or hate it, garlic is great for your health! In fact, it’s been used medicinally throughout history due to its great health benefits.
Used in many dishes because of its distinct taste, garlic is a good source of manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium, and fiber.
Research shows that it can help with cardiovascular health along with supporting immune function.
Try finding sauce recipes that contain garlic, or dishes that have some garlic in them. Not only does it add flavor, it helps boost your health as well!
8. Olive Oil
Oils are typically looked down upon as being unhealthy. And that’s true in many cases. But olive oil is a natural oil that comes from the fruit of olive trees and has shown to be quite beneficial!
Along with being rich in antioxidants, olive oil has high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenolic compounds which can help keep the brain and heart healthy.
If your recipes call for oil, use olive oil if you’re already not. Or research the type of oil you’re using to make sure it contains good fats that are affecting your health positively.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for many ailments. Even today, it is used as a remedy against an upset stomach.
It is rich in antioxidants, namely gingerol, and has been shown to help reduce the risk of several health issues.
It is known to support a healthy heart, promote good digestion, alleviate joint discomfort, and more.
You can incorporate ginger into meals, drink ginger tea, or take ginger powder pills.
(PuraTHRIVE’s Curcumin Gold contains ginger oil with enhanced absorption — check it out here!)
Avocado is a fruit that can be a great addition to many dishes or salads. It is also the main ingredient in guacamole, which makes a great dip!
It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats — including monounsaturated fats, which is thought to be the source of many of its health benefits.
Studies have shown that regular consumption of avocados can help lower the risk of certain health issues, as well as boost metabolism.
A great way to enjoy avocado is to mash it up, mix in some spices (optional), and spread it on toast!
11. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes — or yams — are a root vegetable rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
They’re also a good source of carotenoids, an antioxidant that can help lower the risk of certain health issues. They have also been shown to help with blood sugar management and boost metabolism.
Try swapping out potatoes for sweet potatoes — whether that’s in a stew or as fries. If you’ve never tried them, yam fries are quite delicious!
There are over 10,000 edible types of mushrooms. However, you’ve probably noticed that your local grocery store carries 6 or 7 at most. But even still, these select mushrooms not only make a great addition to any recipe, they’re great for your health!
Depending on the type of mushroom, they can be rich in vitamin A, potassium, fiber, and several antioxidants not present in most other foods.
They’re also one of the only plant-based foods that contain vitamin D.
Add them to your stir-fries, soups, or salads for some great texture, flavor, and nutrients!
Seaweed contains multiple nutrients, including vitamin K, folate, iodine, and fiber.
Since it comes from the sea, it provides some beneficial antioxidants not as easily found in plants on land. These compounds can help lower the risk of several health conditions!
There are different ways to add seaweed to your diet. You can have dried seaweed and eat these like chips, or add them to sandwiches. You can also add seaweed to soups and salads. Sushi rolls are a popular dish that contains seaweed.
Also used as a health remedy for thousands of years, turmeric is a great addition to a lot of dishes due to its distinct flavor.
However, it also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This is largely due to its active compound — curcumin.
Curcumin has been heavily studied over the past few decades, with results showing that it may help alleviate joint discomfort and reduce the risk of many health issues.
The problem with turmeric, however, is its bioavailability. If you’re cooking with turmeric, you likely won’t be able to benefit from its properties due to a lack of absorption.
PuraTHRIVE saw this problem, and formulated a curcumin with enhanced bioavailability. PuraTHRIVE’s Micelle Liposomal Curcumin Gold is designed to be absorbed. Not only that, it contains ginger and DHA (an omega-3 great for brain and heart health!) for that extra health boost!
It tastes great and is made with all-natural ingredients here in the United States!
Want to see how it can help you?