Superfoods to supercharge your health can improve your energy levels, boost your immune system, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and even help you lose weight.
But what are they? And how do they work? Read on to find out more about the top 17 Superfoods to Supercharge Your Health that will make a difference in your health and well-being.
Superfoods to supercharge your health
Superfoods are foods that are rich in nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and other beneficial compounds. These superfoods will do more than just fill you up; they’ll give you the energy and vitality to get through your day and improve your health over time. Here are seven superfoods that will supercharge your health.
One cup of blueberries offers 4 grams of fiber, which supports digestion and helps regulate blood sugar. Blueberries are also one of the highest antioxidant-containing foods in existence. The anthocyanins found in blueberries support brain health. Consuming these berries has been linked to lower rates of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss among adults over 60 years old.
Also, as an added bonus: blueberries’ brilliant color comes from potent antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been shown to protect against cognitive decline by preventing free radical damage to mitochondria in our brains. Studies suggest that regularly consuming anthocyanin-rich foods like blueberries may decrease memory impairment related to aging.
Eating just 1.5 ounces of blueberries each day can make a significant difference in your cognitive health. These berries are also a rich source of manganese, which supports healthy bones and connective tissue and may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels already within a normal range. Studies show that both total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol can be lowered by consuming adequate amounts of manganese on a daily basis.
Gojis have been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy by Chinese people. The berries contain high amounts of antioxidants called polyphenols which protect against free radicals. Free radicals damage cells within our body causing them to age prematurely.
Antioxidants also prevent cell mutations from occurring so we don’t get diseases like cancer or diabetes. Studies show that goji berry extract has anti-cancer properties and may be able to slow down tumor growth. It is believed that this effect could be due to its ability to block certain enzymes involved in DNA synthesis. This means it stops new cells from forming which is how tumors grow.
Another key benefit of goji berries is that they are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the body to form collagen, which is a main structural protein in the body. It is also important for maintaining healthy skin, teeth, bones, and cartilage. Goji berries are one of the richest sources of vitamin C available and just one serving provides over 20% of the recommended daily intake.
In addition, studies suggest that goji berries may increase insulin sensitivity meaning blood sugar levels stay normal. Insulin resistance occurs when there isn’t enough insulin available to transport glucose into muscle tissue where it’s needed. As a result, excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream leading to type 2 diabetes. Research suggests that consuming goji berries regularly might help lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Acai berries come from acacias trees native to Brazil. These small red fruits are packed full of nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, B6, folic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and fiber.
They’re particularly rich in anthocyanins – powerful antioxidant compounds found naturally in blueberries, blackcurrants, and raspberries. Anthocyanin extracts have shown promise in helping fight inflammation linked to conditions such as arthritis and asthma.
One study showed that taking 500mg per day reduced joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. Another trial suggested that eating 100g of acai berries daily lowered cholesterol levels by 5%. Other research shows that regular consumption of acai berries helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Research has shown that dark chocolate—specifically, cocoa powder—can lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. But what does it mean when a food is labeled dark? It simply means cocoa content is more than 50% of its weight. Cocoa contains flavonoids called phenolic acids, which are believed to be responsible for their positive effects on cardiovascular health.
One study showed an average decrease in bad cholesterol levels of 16%. (It also goes without saying that a little bit of dark chocolate won’t make up for an otherwise unhealthy diet.) If you want to reap health benefits from your sweet tooth, look for at least 70% cocoa in your bar or chips; quality may vary by brand.
Look for cocoa powder with at least 70% cocoa content. If you’re trying to lose weight, opt for unsweetened varieties and use sparingly. You can add a small amount of cocoa powder to coffee or tea, but avoid baking recipes with it unless you want a brownie rather than cake.
Popeye wasn’t far off when he raved about spinach’s health benefits. The leafy green contains a host of nutrients, including vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Eating spinach has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. One cup cooked provides a third of your daily requirement for vitamin K—an essential nutrient involved in blood clotting and nerve function. Use it in smoothies or raw alongside other greens for high-powered salads.
You can also try spinach as a wrap or sandwich filler—it adds flavor, texture, and nutrients. You can sauté spinach with garlic, onions, or olive oil as part of an omelet or frittata. When steamed, it’s a tasty side dish; toss it with roasted vegetables for an easy and nutritious side dish. Toss wilted spinach into soups for added texture and nutrients.
You can also use spinach to replace lettuce in a sandwich or wrap. Add fresh, raw spinach to sandwiches and wraps for extra fiber and nutrients. Combine spinach with other greens such as kale or arugula—and even add carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and sprouts for extra flavor and crunch.
Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for heart health and brain function. Wild salmon is higher in these nutrients than its farmed counterparts. Eating wild salmon three times a week (or more) could lower your risk of heart disease and inflammation, according to research in Prostaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids.
It also helps keep your brain functioning properly as you age. A 2014 study published in Archives of Neurology found that people who ate at least two servings of salmon per week had a 60 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia compared to those who didn’t eat salmon. Research from Harvard Medical School shows eating fish could also help prevent memory loss in older adults.
For example, a 2013 study published in Neurology found eating fish more than once per week was associated with slower mental decline in older adults. Wild salmon is also a great source of vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and immune function. A 3-ounce serving of wild salmon provides approximately 15 percent of your daily value of vitamin D, according to Harvard Medical School. Wild salmon has more protein than farmed varieties, making it a good option for weight loss.
Leafy greens like spinach and kale are among some of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Kale is a great example of a superfood. It is jam-packed with beta carotene, which helps protect your eyesight, lutein, which can lower your risk for cataracts and other eye diseases, vitamin C, which can strengthen your immune system and cancer-fighting agents like anthocyanins.
Eat at least one or two servings of leafy greens every day to supercharge your health. You’ll reap all sorts of health benefits by adding these superfoods to your diet.
These seven vitamins help build strong bones: B6, B12, Calcium, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc.
Although leafy greens are generally considered to be low in calories, you should still eat them in moderation. One cup of raw spinach has approximately 7 calories and 0 grams of fat.
Kale and collards are two superfoods that work together beautifully when combined into one dish. Both kale and collards are members of the cabbage family and they share similar nutritional profiles. Collards are slightly sweeter than kale and are usually cooked longer while kale is milder tasting and cooks faster. Either way, both greens offer plenty of nutrition.
Kale contains lots of beta-carotene which converts to Vitamin A in your system. It also offers folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, sulfur, zinc, and fiber.
Collard leaves are higher in vitamin K, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B7, vitamin B8, vitamin B9, vitamin B12, biotin, choline, chromium, copper, iron, molybdenum, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sulfur, vanadium, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin F, vitamin G, vitamin H, vitamin J, vitamin P, vitamin Q, vitamin R, vitamin S, vitamin T, vitamin U, vitamin V, vitamin W, vitamin X, vitamin Y, vitamin Z, and zink.
Quinoa is a gluten-free seed (technically, it’s a pseudo-grain) that you can enjoy like rice or use in place of pasta. It’s easy to prepare and makes a great base for salads and stir-fries. Just be sure to rinse it thoroughly before cooking because traces of saponin can make your mouth feel funny after eating it.
There are lots of other foods you can add to your diet to supercharge your health. While it’s possible to take supplements, some nutrients can only be absorbed when consumed in their natural form. For example, resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant found in red wine and red grapes. Grape seed extract also contains high levels of resveratrol, so adding grape juice or dried grapes to your diet may offer similar benefits.
Almonds are one of nature’s most nutritious foods. Rich in protein, vitamin D, folate, monounsaturated fats, and minerals like selenium, almonds provide essential building blocks for strong bones and teeth. Eating just two handfuls of raw unsalted almonds each week provides all the recommended dietary allowance for adults.
According to experts, almond oil contains some of the highest concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids compared to any other food source. Omega 3 oils are vital because they play a key role in maintaining good cardiovascular function, boosting brain power, and protecting eyesight. Raw almonds are also great sources of fiber, making them beneficial for digestive health.
Avocados are delicious tropical fruit is grown mainly in Mexico, Central America, and South Africa. High in fat but low in calories, avocados contain lots of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, plus vitamins K & C, folate, biotin, and plenty of fiber.
Add avocado slices to your salads for added creaminess; mash them on sandwiches instead of bread for extra crunch; use them in guacamole recipes, or enjoy them sliced over fish dishes. If you can find ripe ones, try adding diced avocado to soups and stews for more flavor.
Beans are loaded with plant-based proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Packed with soluble and insoluble fibers, beans keep your digestion moving smoothly while filling you up without weighing you down.
Fiber keeps your gut bacteria happy too, promoting intestinal wellness and keeping bloating away. Try different kinds of beans: adzuki, cannellini, chickpeas, lentils, navy, pinto, soybeans, white kidney, and yellow split peas. And remember to soak dried beans before cooking them to make sure they cook evenly.
Broccoli is not only tasty, but it’s also extremely versatile! It works well sautéed, steamed, stir-fried, roasted, boiled, grilled, baked…the list goes on. Broccoli is chockfull of Vitamin C, which boosts immunity and protects against infections. It also contains sulforaphane, a compound that gives broccoli its cancer-fighting properties.
Sulforaphane activates detoxifying enzymes called glutathione S transferases, which help neutralize carcinogens within cells. Studies show that people who regularly consume cruciferous vegetables – those containing sulforaphane – tend to develop fewer tumors than others. Researchers believe this is why Asians typically live longer than Americans despite having diets higher in meat and saturated fat.
Eaten raw, broccoli is even better for you since it retains more of its anti-cancer benefits. A recent study found that eating just one serving of cooked broccoli daily reduces breast cancer risk by 30 percent. That’s enough reason to add some broccoli to your diet today.
Brown rice is packed with nutrients like magnesium, manganese, vitamin B1, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. These minerals play important roles in maintaining healthy bones, teeth, and blood vessels. They’re essential for energy production and metabolism, helping us absorb calcium and other vital nutrients.
Brown rice is considered a whole grain because it still maintains most of its bran layer after processing. Whole grains have all three parts of the wheat kernel intact including the germ, endosperm, and bran layers. Eating brown rice helps lower cholesterol levels and reduce risks of diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and stroke.
One medium-sized bowl of uncooked brown rice provides approximately 50% of the recommended daily allowance of potassium, 20% of protein, 15% of dietary fiber, 10% of niacin, 8% of thiamine, 7% of riboflavin, 6% of pantothenic acid, 5% of copper, 4% of selenium, 3% of phosphorous, 2% of iodine, 2% of zinc, 2% of magnesium, and 0.3% of sodium.
Chia seeds are tiny blackish-brown seeds that grow inside cactus flowers. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, proteins, carbohydrates, chlorophyll, tannins, saponins, flavonoids, glycosides, mucilage, polysaccharide, sterols, alkaloids, carotenes, coumarins, phenolic compounds, triterpenes, lignans, terpene alcohols, volatile oils, and fats.
Chia seeds can easily replace eggs or flaxseed meals in baking recipes. They make great additions to smoothies, salads, soups, oatmeal, yogurt, dips, granola bars, muffins, pancakes, waffles, bread, cookies, cakes, pies, pasta dishes, sauces, dressings, and much more. You’ll find them sold ground, cracked, whole, sprouted, frozen, dried, canned, and bottled. Look for organic varieties if possible.
Flaxseeds are rich sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for heart health, brain function, skincare, joint support, and immune function. Fiber keeps you full between meals so you don’t overeat.
Flaxseeds provide 11 grams per tablespoon. The oil from flaxseeds has been used as an additive in food products such as salad dressing, mayonnaise, margarine, and ice cream. Flaxseeds are often added to cereals, crackers, bread, pasta, snacks, beverages, desserts, spreads, condiments, toppings, nut butter, yogurts, cheeses, meats, fish, poultry, veggie burgers, pizza crusts, etc.
Hemp seeds are high in protein, complete protein, a good source of unsaturated fats, low in calories, and very nutritious. They are loaded with many valuable phytochemicals, especially gamma-linolenic acid. GLA is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that plays a role in reducing inflammation, promoting cell growth, and protecting the body’s tissues.
In addition to being anti-inflammatory, GLA promotes tissue repair and healing. Research shows that hemp seed oil supports normal cellular functions, improves digestion, relieves pain, eases arthritis symptoms, enhances mental clarity, increases stamina, lowers stress hormones, fights depression, prevents premature aging, and strengthens hair, nails, and muscles.
Benefits of eating SuperfoodsBenefits of eating Superfoods by Gearuptofit
- Superfoods are packed with nutrients.
- Superfoods give you more energy and mental clarity.
- You don’t have to eat as much food, which means you’ll be eating fewer calories and carbs.
- You’ll feel healthier, happier, and more energized.
- Feel better about yourself knowing that you’re eating healthy foods.
- Increase your energy levels without having to rely on caffeine or sugar for a boost.
In summary, there’s no doubt about it: eating healthy will improve your life! But how do we know what constitutes “healthy”? What does “super” mean? How do I get started on my journey toward better living?
The first step towards improving your diet is knowing where to start. This article provides some basic information regarding the benefits of consuming certain types of superfoods that will help you supercharge your health. However, before beginning any new dietary plan, we advise you to consult your doctor to ensure that this plan is right for you.
Alex is a passionate fitness enthusiast dedicated to helping people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. He encourages small – sustainable changes over drastic transformations and works with people to create customized wellness plans. His mission is to help others benefit from the most effective methods available, sharing tips, strategies, and health & fitness tools on Gearuptofit.com to inspire people to live their best lives.