The Oxford dictionary defines super food as “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “a super nutrient-dense food, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and or phytonutrients.
Quite simply any WHOLE FOOD which provides you with variety of nutrients can be called a super food.
Lets look at some of the top superfoods that one should include in their diet on daily basis :
Coconut oil: Coconut oil is approximately 94% saturated fat. ( did you know saturated fat was wrongly demonised? ) Its mostly saturated fatty acid ( mainly lauric acid) which is antimicrobial antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal and can kill pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi. I personally have started to cook my eggs in it and have overall increased my consumption from coconut and coconut related products to few hundred calories a day and my health has never been better. I consume Dr Mercola extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil.
Free-range organic whole eggs: I love the scene in the movie ‘Rocky’, when Sylvester Stallone breaks six raw-whole eggs in a jar and drinks it in one go! Sadly, in last decade or so, egg yolks have been criticised and condemned severely. Well, I personally believe food should be eaten as nature has intended. They are tasty as well as nutritious. Whole eggs contain about 6 grams of high quality protein.
Eggs are also a rich source of vitamins, including A, E and K and a range of B vitamins such as B12(energy), riboflavin and folic acid. Eggs also contain all eight essential amino acids needed for optimal muscle recovery and building valuable minerals like calcium, zinc and iron. Worried about the yolk? (soon, I will write an article on why egg yolk is good for you). Eggs contain cholesterol but it is generally accepted that dietary cholesterol does not raise blood cholesterol levels.
Nuts: Walnuts— Walnuts contains vitamin E, folate, omega-3 fatty acids ( ALA) and antioxidants. Research has show than eating walnuts can support brain health, reduce oxidative stress and reduce cardiovascular risk.
Almonds— Almonds are my favourite, you can find them in my travel bag and eating a handful could mean satiety for at least few hours which means avoidance of unhealthy foods and hence increasing anyone’s chance of losing weight successfully. Almonds are loaded with anti-oxidants which are largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin. Don’t peel off the skin!
In the end, they are high in calories, just don’t simply go NUTS eating them.
Whole cows milk & whole cows milk products (yogurt, buttermilk, cheese): Yes you heard it right! Whole full fat cows milk and products. If you read my blog regularly you must be aware that I recommend at generous amount of healthy fat intake. More fast in your diet increases your testosterone, growth hormones and keep you optimal healthy. Raw cows milk has got CLA (Conjugated Linoelic acid ). CLA is an anti-catabolite and is a powerful immune enhancer. CLA can counteracts mitochondrial dysfunction and enhance antioxidant capacity, and as a result, improve muscle mass and strength.
Yogurt and buttermilk ( called lassi in india ) has healthy probiotics which can increase protein utilization. Make these products part of your muscle building diet and build muscles like you have never before. Milk is truly a wonder-food, and deserves a comprehensive article to explain its awesome benefits especially the role it plays with muscle building. Stay tuned.
Ghee: There are immense benefits of ghee— a form of clarified butter. Its mainstay in indian household as main cooking oil. Its very stable even at high temperatures and doesn’t go rancid. Its rich in vitamin A, E and CLA if its sourced from grass fed cows. Ghee is also rich in butyric acid ( a short chain fatty acid ) which can decrease inflammation and help improve digestive system.
Vegetables: Raw vegetables provide our body with vitamins, minerals, fibre and phyto-nutrients. Virtually every health authority recommends at least 5 to 6 servings daily. In order to achieve this daily quota one must eat at least a big bowl of salads with two of their meals. Further emphasis should be given to eat a significant amount of green vegetables almost daily. For example broccoli is a superstar vegetable. Athletes and bodybuilders swear by it. And yes, its my personal favourite too. I eat at least 1kg every week either through vegetable juicing or with my meals.
Broccoli contains several unique anti-oxidants and compounds that can aid in clearing excessive oestrogen (which encourages higher testosterone levels and increases muscle growth) and toxins from the body not limited to fighting cancer. It helps you to burn stubborn fat. This powerful vegetable is also a good source of vitamin C, which supports the immune system, also has zinc which plays a major role in protein synthesis.
So there you go, these are the superfoods that I include in my diet everyday. What about you? Would you like to add anything to the list? Let me know in the comments below!