Most people think that the term ‘Superfoods’ is a marketing gimmick.
I do agree but not completely.
In today’s time, majority of food available in a wrapper/box and comes with an ingredient list. They are also processed and refined.
When you process and refine something, you strip off the nutrients from them.
And when you add preservatives and other natural additives, you are adding something that is foreign to the human body which can potentially harmful for you.
So keeping this in mind, we can define Superfood this way:
“A food that that has no ingredient list but is the ingredient itself”
“A food that does not come in a wrapper or a box!”
Do you agree with me?
Let me know in the comment below or head over to our free community of Fabians.
I have listed Top 10 Superfoodsthat I eat almost on a daily basis.
Here I will list 31 more superfoods that I include in my diet as well.
Yes, I have a list of 40–50 superfoods, that I feel most of you should include in your diet on a regular basis.
I will list them all in one place, soon enough and will update this answer when I do so!
Till then, enjoy the following list of superfoods and yeah don’t forget to go through this listas well!
Here we go:
1-EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Fatsin diet are highly controversial, and have been misquoted for years. A lot of us have grown up with the notion that ‘all fats are bad’.
As I always say some fats are bad whereas some are really good, and extra virgin olive oil comes in the latter group. It is high in nutrients like Vitamin E and K, with 100gms giving us 72% and 75% of the RDA, respectively.
- It is good for heart health, as it helps reduce both diastolic and systolic blood pressure levels. It maintains the cholesterol levels in our body, and some research has also shown improvement in the functioning of arteries.
- A polyphenol named Oleocanthal, has the potential to minimize the cognitive decline that is associated with age. It also aids in mental illnesses like depression. A recent study also proved that people who consumed olive oil had 40% less risk of stroke.
- It helps in calcium absorption, thus aiding in bone strength, and is a key player in preventing osteoporosis.
- Other benefits include controlling obesity, type-2 diabetes and oxidative stress. Few researchers have also validated its effect against cancer, but a strong conclusion hasn’t been reached yet.
If you’re looking to switch your vegetable oils to a healthier alternative, extra virgin olive oil is a wonderful option.
However, make sure to do you research and get good brands, as a lot of fraudulent activities have been discovered in the recent past, where the oil composition was altered and always go for the extra virgin variety even though they are more expensive but are very less refined and much better for your health.
Unlike, ghee or coconut oil, which is very stable at high temperatures, extra virgin olive oil is best when used over salads and ideal for you to dip your bread in. But occasionally, if you want to do some shallow frying like cook your eggs in, olive oil will do!
Also known as Salvia Hispanica, Chia seeds have gained reputation to be very healthy. It is a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, and is rich in protein, fibre, and various micronutrients.
Research has shown that Chia Seeds are a rich source of antioxidants, due to the presence of phenolic compounds like Myricetin and Quercetin.
- Helps fight cancer, arthritis and autoimmune diseases.
- Exhibits cardio protective functions by redistributing lipids away from visceral fat.
- Fibre increases the amount of friendly bacteria in our intestine, which is crucial for overall gut health and metabolism.
- High in nutrients like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium that are important for bone health.
- Can help Type-2 Diabetes patients. A study was conducted on 20 diabetes patients, and it was found that consumption of 37g of Chia Seeds everyday helped in reducing their blood pressure, inflammation and a risk factor Vwf.
I personally like adding Chia seeds to my smoothies, yoghurt and Oats as a topping, but it is also advised to soak chia seeds overnight in water and drink it in the morning as a ritual for good benefits!
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish – particularly fatty fish – at least twice a week on the grounds that omega-3 fatty acids benefit the hearts of healthy people as well as those who already have cardiovascular disease or have a high risk of getting it.
Three types of omega-3s
Three types of omega-3s are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are all members of the polyunsaturated family (PUFA), and
They are considered essential because your body is unable to make them on its own. They play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development.
Now, let’s take a look at some studies linking the consumption of omega-3 with good health.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and might help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive and behavioural function, such as brain performance and memory.
In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk of developing vision and nerve problems.
Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings, depression, and poor circulation.
It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, while most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.
The typical American diet tends to contain 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, which many nutritionally oriented physicians consider to be way too high on the omega-6 side.
Dietary sources of omega-3
Typical recommendations are 0.3 to 0.5 grams per day of EPA+DHA and 0.8 to 1.1 grams per day of α-linolenic acid.
These recommendations can be fulfilled by following the AHA dietary guidelines of eating two servings of fish per week with an emphasis on fatty fish such as salmon and herring.
Plant food such as flaxseeds and walnuts contain an omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid. It is easier for fish to convert alpha-linolenic acid from algae and other sea plants into EPA and DHA; humans can only do so to a very limited degree.
Although ALA is not harmful, you’ll ideally want to include the animal-based form in your diet as well. For those individuals who do not eat fish, have limited access to a variety of fish, or cannot afford to buy fish regularly, a fish oil supplement must be considered.
I have personally been consuming krill oil on a daily basis for the past few years, and my health has never been better.
Almonds need no introduction – they are already so popular and are widely consumed. It is rich in healthy fats, fiber, protein, Vitamin E, Manganese and Magnesium, and contains traces of phosphorus, copper and Vitamin B2.
- Loaded with antioxidants, which are majorly found in the brown skin. It reduces oxidative stress and damage.
- It is rich in Vitamin E, which is a fat soluble vitamin. It protects the cell membranes, and protects the cells from oxidative damage. Some studies have also related Vitamin E content with lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Help with blood sugar control. Almonds are rich in magnesium, which is essential for over 300 processes in our body. Magnesium deficiency has been identified as a cause of insulin resistance and blood sugar. Magnesium also helps in lowering blood pressure levels
- Almonds lowers LDL cholesterol, and also prevents LDL oxidation, which is often a major contributor to various cardiovascular problems.
- Since almonds contain a decent amount of carbs, protein and fats, it promotes satiety, thus reducing caloric intake, which can have a lot of benefits for fat loss and obesity control.
I like having 5-10 almonds everyday as a snack. I also prefer adding crush almonds on top of my oatmeal and smoothies. However you consume it, make sure you don’t discard the skin as it contains a whole lot of nutritional value too!
5–PANEER (Cottage Cheese)
Cottage Cheese (or Paneer) is formed when Casein, a milk protein reacts to acids like lime or vinegar and coagulates. It is a good source of protein, and is often consumed majorly by vegetarian bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts.
It also contains many nutrients like calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, selenium, zinc and vitamin D, A.
- It is rich in B-complex vitamins which are necessary for many vital functions of our body. It contains folate which is necessary for pregnant mothers as it aids in foetal development and in producing red blood cells.
- The potassium in paneer helps maintain the fluid balance in our body. Since potassium neutralized the effect of high sodium in our body, it lowers blood pressure and the contraction of blood vessels, thus reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Significant amounts of phosphorus and magnesium help prevent indigestion. It prevents constipation due to the laxative effect. Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar levels, and improves our immunity.
- Cottage cheese is a good source of calcium, which is required for strengthening our teeth and bones, and also ensures proper nerve functioning and healthy heart muscles.
Here are some calorie-friendly, mouth-watering recipes using Cottage Cheese (Paneer): https://indianketodiet.in/5-classic-paneer-keto-recipes-for-the-foodie-in-you/
It can be easily bought in shops, but its best to make it at home, from raw cows milk as most store bought cottage cheese is made from pasteurized milk, with added addictive and god knows what!
Kale the green superfood is one of the best vegetables you can consume.
Its loaded with Vitamin k1, vitamin a,
it has a lot of antioxidant compounds like
Sulforaphane which if you can recall has an ability to fight cancer. Sulforaphane as a Promising Molecule for Fighting Cancer
Lutein, Zeaxanthin antioxidant compounds are great for eye health, plus as I just mentioned its loaded with vitamin a beta-carotene which is also great for eye health.
Kale, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories
Flavonoids such as kaempferol and quercetin are anti-viral, anti-depressants and help by reducing free radicals which slows down ageing process. Chemistry and Biological Activities of Flavonoids: An Overview
Just like broccoli and spinach you can add it to your salads and eat them with eggs and chicken.
Kefir also is known as buttermilk or commonly known as Lassi.
Kefir can be derived from coconut or milk like goats sheep or cows milk.
Here I will discuss kefir from cows milk.
Kefir has the highest probiotic content in the world . https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/milk-kefir/milk-kefir-grains-composition-bacteria-yeast/
Studies have shown that probiotics can inhibit the growth of various harmful bacteria, including Salmonella E. coli 
Safety Characterization and Antimicrobial Properties of Kefir-Isolated Lactobacillus kefiri
Kefir is also a great source of Vitamin K2 and calcium and therefore its great for bone health
Becuase of its probiotic content it’s excellent for people suffering from IBS and other intestinal issues. A systematic review and meta-analysis: probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.
You can either make Kefir at home by putting starters culture in raw cows milk.
There are many youtube videos which teach you how, else you can buy store bought but to get the maximum benefits make sure its made from organic raw cows milk.
My daily fat quota easily gets extinguished by eating whole eggs, coconut oil and nuts.
Avocados are something that I do eat, but not very regularly.
Honestly, speaking I am not really fond of its taste, but usually, when I increase my calories to over 3000 when I am doing a clean bulk, I do put a medium avocado including its seed in my protein smoothie.
Let look at some of the amazing benefits of this unique fruit.
Why I say unique is because of its one of the few fruits which are high in healthy fats than sugar.
It does have 5-7g of sugar, but most of it is in fibre form so the net carb is no more than 1-2 grams which is excellent if you are following a low carb or a keto diet.
The top nutrients that avocado has are vitamin k, folate, potassium, vitamin b5 and b6.
Avocados are very high in monounsaturated fatty acids, particularly oleic acid…
Oleic acid is a form of monounsaturated fatty acid with exceptional benefits. Dietary intake of fatty acids and serum C-reactive protein in Japanese.Mediterranean dietary traditions for the molecular treatment of human cancer: anti-oncogenic actions of the main olive oil’s monounsaturated fatty … – PubMed – NCBI
It reduces inflammation and cancer risk.
This type of acid which is also found in extra virgin olive oil makes the oil stable at high temperatures.
Although I will do still recommend coconut oil or ghee for cooking.
Avocados have more potassium than a banana, an are loaded with fibre 7g of fibre for every 100gms.
Most of you are severely deficient in fibre.
Average intake is close to 12g which is nowhere close to 25g needed for females and 40g needed for men.
Eating a fruit like avocado makes it easy to eat enough fibre.
Fibre is linked with decreased risk of many chronic ailments plus it dramatically improves digestion and promotes regular bowel movements.
Avocados are also linked with reduced cholesterol and triglycerides lowering one’s risk of heart disease.   Substitution of high monounsaturated fatty acid avocado for mixed dietary fats during an energy-restricted diet: effects on weight loss, serum lipi… – PubMed – NCBI
HOW TO include this fruit in your diet :
You can include it in your salad or blend it into your smoothie like I do.
Garlic one of my favourite foods as it’s loaded with nutrients.
I am really amazed as to what it can do to your cold or flu.
Whenever I have a cold or flu, I chew garlic cloves and man, I do get fine like in a day or max two. I am serious about this.
Studies also support the fact… Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey.Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: a randomized, d… – PubMed – NCBI
This is not just a one-time occurrence, but it has been confirmed by my clients who I suggest this treatment.
Garlic is loaded with nutrients like
Garlic also helps in lowering blood sugar, this is due to the compound called allicin Garlic supplementation prevents oxidative DNA damage in essential hypertension.
Garlic also helps in reducing cholesterol levels and can help prevent Alzheimer diseases and dementia.  Garlic as a lipid lowering agent–a meta-analysis.Garlic reduces dementia and heart-disease risk.
The best to eat a lot of garlic is to buy it in the peeled form.
It may result in a minor loss of nutrients, but I am ok with it because this way its very easy to include lots of it while cooking.
Peeling garlic has always been a pain for me.
Then whenever I eat out, especially fish I order something with a lot of garlic in it…like this steamed fish…garlic has a tangy taste which I love…although my wife hates it because of how my breath smells after that…haha…
Cons of marrying a health and fitness guy…:)
Ginger has a long history of use in traditional and alternative medicine. I read about it a lot when I was doing my Doctor of Naturopathy.
It has been used by Veds (a name given to Ayurveda /natural medicine doctors), to help people with digestive issues, to fight flu and common colds etc.
Gingerol is the main compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties…
It’s anti-inflammatory with anti-oxidant benefits health benefits of ginger are immense.
Its natural remedy for nausea. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting-helps with bloating and indigestion. Effect of ginger on gastric motility and symptoms of functional dyspepsia
It boosts the immune system and help with colds and flu.
The best way to include ginger is to have ginger tea…and include it as part of your cooking process.
Did you know that Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire (in modern day Peru)? They believed it was sacred and has often been referred to as the “The Mother of Grains” in their literature.
And rightfully so, this pseudo-grain has high nutritional value as it is rich in proteins, fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals (like quercetin and kaempferol) and has all essential amino acids in adequate amounts.
With 8g of protein per cup, Quinoa is a wonderful choice for all vegetarians and vegans who struggle to hit their protein goals in the day and it has the highest fibre content of all when compared with other grains, and and it is gluten free. Lets look at some of more benefits of Quinoa:
-Has low Glycemic Index, which is good for blood sugar control. However, it is relatively high in carbs, so make sure to consume it in moderation if you are following a low-carb diet.
-Beneficial effects on metabolic health.
-Very high in antioxidants. In a popular study where the antioxidant levels of 10 cereals (including 3 pseudo-grains and two legumes) were measured, Quinoa had the highest content.
-It also improves ones cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.
Earlier, it was not consumed due to lack of availability and sky-high costs. Nowadays, organic quinoa is available in a lot of cities and is much affordable for the normal crowd.
I use Quinoa as a substitute for rice/chapatti in my lunch. I eat it along with a generous serving of vegetables and lentils.
You can also use it as a replacement for oatmeal and toss it in your smoothie.
If you are feeling ambitious, then you can devote 10-15 min and make a Quinoa energy bar. You can find the recipe on the link provided in the superfood manual.
The health benefits of sweet potato go beyond what many people don’t realize. They will taste even sweeter when you listen to the benefits that I am just about to tell you. This complex carb source is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and fibre.
- Rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene, anthocyanin, and storage proteins (like sporamins) that help with digestive tract problems.
- Sweet Potatoes contain phytonutrients like Fibrinogen that are responsible for blood clotting and coagulation. It helps secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules (like cytokines), and has shown to lessen health problems like multiple sclerosis.
- It acts against heart attacks, and cancer related cells due to Vitamin B6, Vitamin C.
- It supports healthy immune system, and builds healthy bones. The magnesium present in it is necessary for healthy artery, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, and acts as an anti-stress mineral.
A fact: Around 70% of the population in developing countries like India, are deficient in Magnesium.
It is a very versatile food option. Can be roasted, steamed, baked, and grilled. Some even puree them as a base for soups.
The best way to include sweet potatoes in your diet is by making a decision to completing replacing potatoes with sweet potatoes.
Potatoes although not that bad, but stand no where near its sweet cousin when it comes to nutrient per calories.
There are dozens of ways you can make sweet potatoes, just google for recipes and you will come across many sites providing you with amazing sweet potatoes dishes.
Sources: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-reasons-to-love-sweet-potatoes.html, https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bassey_Antia2/publication/26564209_Nutritive_and_Anti-Nutritive_Evaluation_of_Sweet_Potatoes_Ipomoea_batatas_Leaves/links/02e7e53751f1791c3d000000.pdf
Rice is a staple food in many diets, and it is found in different varieties – black, white, basmati, sticky (glutinous) and brown rice, which is one of the most debated and researched types of rice.
It is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamine, niacin, Vitamin B6 and one cooked cup of brown rice gives about 88% of our total manganese intake. It is also high in fiber and is gluten-free.
- Manganese plays a role in chemical processes, like synthesis of nutrients. It is also involved in bone formation, regulating blood pressure and hormone balancing.
- It is a gentle laxative that prevents gastrointestinal diseases and aids in alleviating diabetes.
- It also contains phytic acid, which is a good antioxidant and anti-cancer nutrient.
- It is a low Glycemic Index (GI) food, thus reducing risk of type-2 diabetes. GI provides a relative ranking of how different carbohydrate sources affect blood glucose levels.
Brown Rice can be used as a substitute of rice and wheat in your meals.
Whole, organic foods are rich in micro, macro and phytonutrients and have numerous health promoting properties. However, while processing, essential nutrients, omega-3 and saturated fats are removed.
Lastly, I strongly recommend one thing that literally is applicable for any superfoods discussed.
Quality matters. Organic matters. Unprocessed variety matters.
Sources:http://www.nutribrownrice.com/korean/images/Brown_Rice-Healthiest_Food.pdf, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002822310005249, https://www.livescience.com/50461-brown-rice-health-benefits-nutrition-facts.html
Did you know that Papayas are also called PawPaws? That’s a really funny name for a fruit, in my opinion. Also, Christopher Columbus called it “the fruit of the angels” because it tasted so good.
It is a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, Vitamin C, A, B9, and is rich in carotenoids, which is an antioxidant. What’s more, these antioxidants are better absorbed from papaya than in any fruit or vegetable. It contains an enzyme called Papain that is used to tenderize meat.
- Can reduce oxidative stress. In a study conducted on a group of elderly people, papaya was able to reduce the symptoms of prediabetes, hypothyroidism and liver disease. This reduction of oxidative stress has been attributed to the presence of lycopene, which is a type of carotenoid that removes excess iron from our body.
- It has anti-cancer properties, reduces inflammation, and has been shown to improve heart health, due to the presence of Vitamin C and lycopene. It boosts the production of HDL, which is “good” cholesterol for our body.
- The enzyme Papain, is proven to boost metabolism and improve digestion. In fact, in the tropical tribal areas, Papaya is considered as a cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
- It also improves skin health. A lot of women include papaya in their homemade face masks. It tightens the skin, and lessens the effects of aging.
It is a very versatile fruit, get creative with it, and eat Papaya on a regular basis for good health.
Myths on Bananas go as far as history can date back to. “It will make you fat, or gain weight” is what 90% of the people say. But that is not true, my friends. Never attribute weight gain to a particular whole food, its excess eating that’s the devil.
Bananas is rich in fibre and antioxidants. It also contains Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, and Carbohydrates. Due to its high fibre content, a medium sized banana (which contains about 100 calories) helps you stay full for longer, thus reducing unnecessary binging.
- Bananas are rich in Pectin (which gives flesh its form) and Resistant Starch, which moderate blood sugar levels and suppress appetite. Bananas also have a very low Glycemic Index (GI), around 30-40, which may sound surprising for many people. However, if a banana has ripped the glycemic index increases to slightly more than 50.
- They help in overall digestion. Dietary fibre has numerous benefits, with better metabolism being one of them. Resistant Starch escapes digestion and is used by the gut bacteria in our large intestine for food. This reduces inflammation and improves overall gut health. Some studies have shown that consumption of pectin helps reduce risk of colon cancer.
- It contains antioxidants that reduce the number of free radicals in our system, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases, cancer and other health problems.
- Some studies suggest that unripe bananas may improve insulin sensitivity of our body.
All in all, remove all myths from your head.
Bananas don’t make you fat. In fact, it is one of my favourite pick for oats and smoothies.
You can also enjoy it as a whole. It is so versatile, you can include it in your pancakes, desserts and so much more. Also, for increased resistance starch, you can make a curry out of raw bananas, which is a famous delicacy in South of India.
Did you know that cucumbers are made up of 95% water? It is extremely good for your health, and is the perfect snack to stay hydrated in summers. With Vitamin, B, K, C, copper, potassium, and manganese, they are enriched in nutrients.
- Contain Polyphenols that help reduce risk of certain chronic diseases.
- Due to the presence of an anti-inflammatory substance called fisetin, cucumbers play a crucial role in brain health. It has been proven to be effective in memory improvement, protecting nerve cells, and has shown positive results for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Cucumbers contain certain polyphenols called lignans that may reduce the risk of breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate cancer. Another phytonutrient found in cucumber also has anti-cancer properties.
- It fights inflammation, manages stress (due to the presence of Vitamin B) and supports digestive health due to high water content.
- It contains soluble fibre that take longer to digest, and reduces hunger, thus helping with fat loss.
Cucumbers are one of the most desired snack options for millions around the world. One cup of sliced cucumber contains just 20 calories, yet make for a filling and healthy snack.
This popular and healthy tropical fruit is loaded with nutrients, antioxidants and enzymes, like Carbs, Vitamin B, B6, Thiamin, Folate, Magnesium, Copper, and Potassium. It is extremely rich in Vitamin C and Manganese, by providing 130% and 76% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) respectively.
- It contains antioxidants like phenolic acids and flavonoids. Most of these antioxidants are ‘bound’, resulting in longevity and capability to survive harsh conditions.
- Can Ease Digestion. A group of enzymes called bromelain are involved in protein synthesis, which aids in easy digestion. This is found to be incredibly helpful for people with pancreatic diseases.
- Bromelain has also been found to relieve short-term symptoms of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis and rheumatoid. However, its long-term benefits are still unclear.
- Has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. It also boosts immunity.
Pineapple is a very easy fruit to incorporate in one’s diet. It can be added to your yogurts, smoothies, and salads. Few like to include pineapple with their meat, for lunch and dinner.
Here is a calorie-friendly pizza recipe using pineapples. Give it a try, you will want to make it every day: http://brookelark.com/blog/2017/5/17/paleo-pineapple-pizza-gluten-free
Nutritionists all over the world recommend the consumption of beets few times in a week due to its commendable health benefits.
They are low in calories, but contain a bit of almost all the vitamins and minerals that our body needs. A 200 gram serving of beet contains just 85 calories, and is loaded with Folate, Vitamin C, Manganese, Phosphorus, Iron, Potassium, and Magnesium. It also contains inorganic nitrates that offer a lot of health benefits.
- Helps maintain blood pressure. This is due to the nitrates in beets that gets converted to nitric oxide, which aids in dilating blood vessels.
- Dietary nitrates also improve one’s athletic performance. They affect the performance of mitochondria, which is called the power-house of our body and is responsible for producing energy in our cells.
- Some research has suggested presence of anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties in beets, but the evidence in fairly limited.
- Improves digestion due to the presence of dietary fibers. According to studies, fibers can help prevent conditions like constipation, inflammatory bowel and diverticulitis. This dietary fiber also reduces the risk of diseases like colon cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
However, it is also slightly high in carb content, so if you are trying to maintain a low-carb diet, make sure to consume beets wisely.
You can make a soup, add it to your salads, juice it and even make a stir fry. A pro tip: Beet leaves are healthy too, so don’t discard them. You can add them to your vegetable juice, or cook it like spinach.
Packaged table salt is devoid of minerals and is bleached to get that sparkling while colour.
Sea salts are becoming more impure as the oceans are filled with toxins from industries. Real salt is too hard to find. That’s where Himalayan salt is helpful.
It is easily available and much affordable to the common man as compared to celtic and real salt.
Himalayan salt is pure from the environmental toxins and also contains 84 trace minerals. I even have a Himalayan Lamp on my work desk:
An ionic energy is also released when it is mixed in water, which is health for our body.
A lot of naturopathy enthusiasts start their day with a teaspoon of Himalayan salt in water, and also call it the elixir of life! It has numerous health benefits, including:
a) Balancing the p H level of our body
b) Relaxes muscle cramps
c) Helps balance blood sugar and hormone levels
d) Improves sleep quality
e) Supports thyroid and adrenal functions
f) It helps in detoxification, as the ionic energy helps release toxins out of skin and tissues.
g) Himalayan Salt is added to boiling water to clear up our sinuses and regulate hydration in our vessels.
h) It also provides strength to the body due to the minerals. It helps relieve arthritis, broken bones, muscle tear and even mental tiredness. Yes, a Himalayan salt steam bath is known to be a wonderful stress reliever and is popular in a lot of spas.
Since I got to know about the advantages of consuming onions every day, I have stopped minding the waterfall of tears while cutting them!
Haha, moving on. It predominantly contains antioxidants, chromium, and Vitamin A,C among other nutrients. It contains flavonoids and alkenyl cysteine sulphoxides (ASCOs)
- The phytochemicals present in onions help improve immunity, reduce inflammation and heal infections.
- It contains chromium that assists in regulating blood sugar.
- Raw onion also helps lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in our body.
- It contains flavonoids and alkenyl cysteine sulphoxides (ASCOs) which aid in antiplatelet, antithrombotic, antiasthmatic and antibiotic activities.
- It is rich in a compound called quercetin that has anti-carcinogenic properties. It prevents the spread of the cancer nodes throughout the body.
There are literally 1000 ways to add onions to your diet. It can be consumed raw, and also cooked with gravies and other dishes. Also, do eat the green part as it is rich in Vitamin C.
Did you know that tomato is the berry of a plant native to South America? It is technically a fruit, but is categorized as a vegetable. It is rich in many antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin K1, potassium, folate and Vitamin K. It also contains 95% water, and fibre.
- According to studies, an antioxidant lycopene has been linked with reduced risk of heart diseases and cancer.
- It contains beta-carotene, which gets converted to Vitamin A in the body.
- A flavonoid Naringenin has anti-inflammatory properties. Another compound Chlorogenic Acid has been successful in lowering blood pressure.
- Tomatoes are also beneficial for skin health. It is considered to be an effective remedy for skin burns.
There was a massive case study conducted by few researchers few years back on the adulteration techniques used on tomatoes.
Tomatoes are generally harvested and transported when they are still green and immature. Artificial ethylene gas is used to give it that bright red color, which might be harmful.
Therefore, it is advisable to buy fresh tomatoes from farmers markets and local vegetable vendors.
Peas, or Pisum Sativum, is a popular and equally nutritious vegetable. Technically, green peas is a part of the legumes family (along with lentils, chickpeas and peanuts), but have been sold as a vegetable over the years.
It high in carbs, starch, protein, Vitamin A,K,C, Thiamine, Folate, Manganese, Iron and Phosphorus.
- Green peas is regarded as one of the best sources of protein and fibre, thus slowing digestion and promoting fullness. It helps majorly in appetite control.
- It is a low GI food thus regulating blood sugar levels. This is because the fiber slows the rate of carb digestion, which prevents the sudden spike in sugar levels.
- Green peas also contains carotenoids, flavonols, Vitamin C, antioxidants that have been proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Experiment with the preparation methods of peas. You can boil, ferment and even sprout them. Add it your curries and salads!
Mushrooms come in different sizes, shape and colours. Even though most of them are poisonous, the non-toxic ones are healthy and equally tasty. In spite of being a fungi, they are still referred to as vegetables for cooking purposes.
You can’t possibly go wrong with eating mushrooms. They’re low-sodium, low-calorie, fat and cholesterol free, and are loaded with minerals, fiber and vitamins.
- They are a rich source of an antioxidant called selenium, that protects our body from the radicals that are attributed to cancer and heart related problems.
- Mushrooms are rich in all dietary fibres, especially beta glucan. It has been proven to be effective for improving cholesterol and boosting heart health. In one study, 30 people with different symptoms of diabetes were given mushrooms, and their insulin levels got better.
- Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, and contain traces of other B-complex vitamins.
- It is rich in copper that is responsible for making the red blood cells in our body. Copper and potassium help in maintaining healthy nerve function. Potassium is also crucial for heart function.
There are so many mushrooms you can consume- shiitake, crimini, enoki, maitake, Portobello and button, to name a few. But make sure you buy them from proper supermarkets and grocers.
I really love having mushroom stir fry with garlic. I stumbled upon this vegan mushroom risotto recipe recently, and it is delicious. You should give it a try – http://www.cearaskitchen.com/vegan-mushroom-risotto-healthy-glutenfree/
Sources:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2010.01859.x, https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/are-mushrooms-good-for-you#1, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-mushrooms
Our next superfood belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, and is often neglected by a lot of people. It is called a “powerhouse” due to the wide array of nutrients and health benefits it offers.
It is a low-calorie food, and contains fiber, Vitamin C, K, B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, and Phosphorus. In just 100 grams of cauliflower, you get about 80% of the RDA of Vitamin C, and about 10% of fiber.
- It is a good source of fiber which helps in reducing inflammation, improving gut health, obesity prevention, and risk of heart diseases and cancer.
- Cauliflower contains sulforaphane that has been proven to kill cancer stem cells, thus slowing tumor growth. A lot of researchers believe that eliminating the stem cells might be a cure to controlling cancer. Combining cauliflower with curcumin (a key compound in turmeric) has shown positive results for prostate cancer.
- Sulforaphane also helps in alleviating heart health. It is linked with improved DNA methylation, which helps in proper cellular functioning and gene expression, especially in the arteries.
- It is a good source of Choline, popularly known for its role in brain development. It boosts learning, improves our cognitive functioning and might diminish age-related memory decline.
Cauliflower is very versatile and can be cooked in various ways. My favourite recipe is a Chinese-style cauliflower fried rice, you should definitely give it a try (https://pinchofyum.com/15-minute-cauliflower-fried-rice)
A lot of people consume Yogurt just because it’s a fad, but its time educate ourselves on the prime health benefits of this superfood! It is made from the fermentation of milk, and gives us a good dose of animal protein. It is also rich in calcium, vitamin, B2, B12, potassium and magnesium.
- It is rich in probiotics, which are healthy bacteria found in our gut. It boosts our metabolism, maintains good gut health and promotes healthy digestion. It may also help with conditions like, constipation, diarrhoea, colon cancer, bowel disease, and lactose intolerance.
- The “active cultures” in yogurt prevents vaginal infections. In a particular study, the vaginal Ph of women who consumed yogurt regularly dropped from 6 to 4, thus reducing yeast cultivation.
- It helps prevent osteoporosis, which is caused due to weak bones. Since yogurt is high in calcium and other minerals, it has beneficial effects on the bone mass, and skeletal mass for all age groups. Yogurt also has added vitamin D, which is also beneficial for bone growth.
There are so many types of yogurt – low-fat, Greek, kefir and Skyr – but Greek Yogurt has garnered a lot of attention over the years. It is made by straining regular yogurt to remove the extra whey, thus making it rich in protein.
Yogurt is a wonderful snack option to curb your cravings, you can also add it to your smoothies for that extra creaminess. Either way, make sure to include it in your diet!
Chickpeas, also called as Garbanzo Beans, have become a chief ingredient in culinary experiences across the world. Be it Hummus from Lebanon, or Indian-style Chickpeas Curry, it is definite favourite among masses. It is rich in carbs, Manganese, Folate, and contains a decent amount of fiber, protein, Iron, Copper and Phosphorus.
- Chickpeas is a good source of plant-protein, thus making it very beneficial for those who avoid animal-based products. According to few studies, the protein quality of chickpeas is better since it contains all essential amino acid, but one – methionine.
- It is high in fiber, low in energy density and glycemic load, which are all desired for weight control. Since the GI is low, it helps maintain blood glucose levels, thus reducing risk of diabetes and other insulin-related health problems, like PCOS and endometriosis.
- Consumption of chickpeas produces butyrate, which is a short chain fatty acid. It suppresses cell formation, which may reduce the risk of cancers. Saponins, Folate, and other phytochemicals present in chickpeas inhibit the proliferation of the tumor cells.
- Potassium Vitamin C and B6, and high fiber promote good heart health. They help lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol in our body.
- It helps maintain bone strength, due to the benefits of calcium, phosphate manganese, zinc and Vitamin K found in chickpeas. Both calcium and phosphate are required in adequate proportions to ensure proper bone mineralization.
I personally consume a lot of chickpeas. Carrots with a homemade Hummus Dip has to be one of my favorite evening snacks (Recipe: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/five-minute-hummus-recipe).
I also like adding chickpeas to my stir fries and salads. All in all, it is definitely a staple in my kitchen.
Grass-fed protein is considered to be the most nutrient-dense proteins, with a notable micro and macro-nutrient profile.
Due to the mass requirement of meat, normal production centres give the poultry genetically modified compounds, and antibiotics.
The conditions are filthy, the animals are sick and are injected with hormones for accelerated growth.
But grass-fed poultry is kept in a cleaner environment, and is organic. A lot of people steer away from grass-fed meat due to its high price tag, but that shift is definitely worth it.
Moreover, it has less fat, more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and vitamin C, E.
- Low in calories and fat content because their diet is natural. Grain-fed poultry is subjected to a lot of stress, and release cortisol which leads to fattier meat.
- It has 3 to 5 times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has advanced antioxidant properties and is effective against some forms of cancer. It also has beta-carotene, which is associated with reduced heart diseases.
- 3.Grass-fed meat is highly recommended for people following ketogenic diet (low carb, high fat), and it can drastically improve blood glucose levels.
- 4.Reduced Risk of Food Poisoning. Over the past few years, the number of reported cases of food allergies have been on a rise. Since grass-fed beef is grown organically, it is a wonderful nontoxic alternative.
It might be slightly overpriced but that’s only because of the low demand.
With more people shifting to organic foods, the rates will automatically start to decline. It is good to switch to such healthier alternatives and spend a bit more, while cost-cutting on junk food and other unnecessary expenditures.
28- MACADAMIA NUTS
Did you know that Macadamia Nuts are often referred to as the ‘tastiest nut’? Yes, more savouring than hazelnuts.
Macadamia Nuts – along with ghee, coconut oil and other saturated fats – have gotten a bad rap due to their high fat content. All of that is a big myth. Anyways, these nuts contain health-promoting nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, Vitamin A, iron, folate, thiamine, niacin and riboflavin.
- It is cholesterol-free, and thus lowers the risk of heart related diseases. It is a major source of flavonoids that prevent oxidative stress. These nuts contain monounsaturated fats like oleic acid and palmitoleic acid, which lower the bad cholesterol levels.
- Palmitoleic acid is a major cursor for healthy brain function. It aids in the development of healthy neurotransmitters. Macadamia nuts contain omega-9 which are associated with increased memory and alleviation of anxiety, depression and panic. It is a proven benefit for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
- It is anti-inflammatory due to high concentrations of oleic acid. Studies suggest that the nut’s inhibitory effect and low toxicity can be helpful for arthritis and other problems.
- These nuts contain essential fatty acids and Vitamin B1 that improve eyesight. Macadamias contain phosphorus that strengthens our bones, and aids in mineralization.
Please note that macademia notes are not widely available and not as popular as walnuts and almonds are plus they are a tad bit more expensive than the latter ones. I personally had them only few times every in my life and have gorged on mostly walnuts and almonds and sometimes cashews and even raisins.
Humans found honey 8000 years ago, and haven’t stopped using it since then.
This superfood is not only sweet and delicious but is also packed with countless health benefits.
It is a main component of Ayurveda and naturopathy, and is also used as a replacement for sugar by many fitness enthusiasts.
It contains carbs, sodium, riboflavin, Vitamin C, Iron, and water.
- Honey controls the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and boosts the good cholesterol levels in our body. And despite being overly sweet, 1-2 tablespoons in a day is ideal for diabetes patients.
- It contains antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that is useful for gastric problems. It contains a compound called methylglyoxal which fights germs and bad bacteria in your digestive tract. It also protects our body from infections.
- It controls nausea and prevents vomiting. Add lemon juice and raw honey to a glass of lukewarm water to get relief. You can also try apple cider vinegar.
- It promotes sleep, alleviates asthmatic problems, and reduces sugar cravings which aid in fat loss in the longer run.
There are endless benefits of honey four our health, and skin as well. It is a chief component of all age-old Indian home remedies. It is definitely a safe alternative to sugar, but excess of everything is bad, so make sure you don’t overconsume honey as well!
The “Queen of Herbs”, Tulsi, or Holy Basil is native to Southeast Asia, and its importance can be found in ancient Indian scriptures, as it was used as a medicine for many conditions.
It is considered to be as a tonic for the body, and mind. It is a religious plant in Hinduism, and is often kept inside the house for sanctity.
It is highly recommended for therapeutic cure as it contains Vitamins A and C, chlorophyll, iron, zinc and calcium.
- The whole Tulsi Plant is considered to be an adaptogen, which helps our body adapt to stress better. It has pharmacological properties that helps our mind cope up with induced stress and panic. It has chemical properties compared to drugs administered for depression.
- It is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory. This all-in-one herb is also used to cure and protect surgical wounds. It is effective against infections such as keloids, ulcers, and even acne.
- It may help alleviate the symptoms associated with diabetes, like hypertension, cholesterol, hyperinsulinemia, and weight gain. It contains an oil – eugenol that lowers stress-induced cholesterol levels.
- It protects our stomach, by naturally decreasing the acid, increasing mucus secretion and cells, and extending the life span of mucus cells. It is an effective remedy for peptic ulcer.
I like drinking Tulsi tea on a regular basis. I also wash its leaves thoroughly and eat them fresh, it has a nourishing, mint-like flavour.
A word of caution, if you’re already on some medication, it is best to consult your doctor before consuming Tulsi as it might have adverse effects upon reaction with the drug.
The king of spices is not just a flavour enhancer, but offers numerous health benefits while adding a unique taste profile to our food. The fruit of the black pepper plant is used as both a spice and medicine. The chemical piperine is responsible for the spiciness in black pepper.
It is rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, iron, potassium, phosphorus and vitamins like C, K, B6, and riboflavin. It also has a high amount of dietary fiber with moderate ratio of carb and protein.
- It improves digestion. Regular consumption of pepper increases the hydrochloric acid secretion in our stomach, leading to better digestion. It also helps improve gastrointestinal conditions.
- It aids with fat loss. The outer layer of black pepper pods aids in the breakdown of fat cells. Thus, it is a good way to help you shed fat naturally, while eating flavourful food.
- It provides relief from a lot of respiratory problems like sinusitis and congestion. It helps break the mucus depositions in our tract.
- The rich depository of antioxidants found in black pepper reduce the risk of heart diseases, nervous issues and cancer. It also assuages the symptoms of aging like cognitive impairment and degeneration, due to the presence of piperine.
- It is an effective for skin-care, and helps to cure vitiligo. Research has also shown a positive response in patients with skin cancer after administering a recommended dose of black pepper daily.
- It enhances the bioavailability of other food items, as it helps in transporting the nutrients from other herbs to different parts of the body. It makes the nutrients more readily accessible to our system.
It is advised to buy fresh black pepper pods from spice markets and grind them on our own for full benefit and freshness. Adding a pinch of black pepper to all our meals will help in improving our overall health and well-being.
I may have missed some more nutritious foods that I regularly include in my diet and ask my clients as well!
Once I update a complete list of close to 50 superfoods that one should include in their diet on regular basis, I will update the link here.
If you have read till here, give yourself a pat on your back:) You are seriously keen on optimizing your diet!
You can definitely find more info on my website.
Let me know what you think about these superfoods in the comments below!