There’s a phrase we’ve all heard: “you are what you eat.”
So when I hear the term “superfoods,” my mind conjures up thoughts of Popeye eating his can of spinach and gaining instant super strength. And spinach is considered a superfood but it won’t exactly give you that instant oomph to beat up the bad guy. What spinach and other superfoods can do is help you be healthier, feel better, and boost your daily intake. Lori Taylor, author of The Produce Mom describes superfoods as, “Foods that are nutrient dense…that are rich in phytochemicals and they have very few negative properties.”
Basically, these are the “Popeyes” of the food world packing a large punch in a small package. So I’ve put together a list of eight top superfoods for you to go out and try. Let me know how you like them and if your surfing sees a nice improvement.
1. Apples – An apple a day is perhaps one of the most delicious prescriptions ever made. Apples are a powerful source of antioxidants–including polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamin C–as well as a good source of fiber and potassium. There are only 47 calories in an average-sized apple. The apple skin alone provides two to six times the antioxidant activity of the apple flesh alone so it is important to eat the skin to obtain the full health benefits of apples.
2. Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are loaded with alpha and beta carotene that the body converts to active vitamin A. Plus, it has vitamin C and B6, potassium, manganese, lutein and zeaxanthin. Active vitamin A helps keep your eyes, bones, and immune system healthy while the rest operate as antioxidants cleaning up free radicals that otherwise could bring on diseases. The Center for Science in the Public Interest call it one of the most nutritious vegetables in the land.
3. Spinach – Since we talked about it earlier. Spinach is a good source of folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that helps produce DNA which is important for making new cells. It’s also teeming with vitamins A, C, E and K and it provides fiber, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Popeye knew what he was doing after all.
4. Acai – Amherst College reported acai berries can increase energy levels, help the body stay healthy, improve circulation, slow the aging process and promote weight loss. All that plus more is provided by the antioxidants, omega fats 3, 6 and 9, amino acids, proteins, iron, phosphorus and phyonutrients in the tiny berry. And those are only some of the benefits and nutrients.
5. Bee Pollen – Bee pollen is 40% protein in the form of free amino acids which means that body can immediately utilize it without having to break anything down. It also contains nearly all nutrients required by humans which has prompted some to call it nature’s most completely nourishing food.
6. Papaya – Papaya contains an enzyme called papian, which naturally breaks down proteins and cleans the digestive system. Eating papaya regularly will help maintain healthy digestion as well as being another good source of folate.
7. Seaweed – This one might sound funny but seaweed are among the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet. They can contain up to ten times more calcium than milk and eight times as much as beef. The chemical composition of seaweed is so close to human blood plasma that perhaps their greatest benefit is regulating and purifying our blood system.
8. Coconut Water – Coconut water is one of the highest sources of electrolytes in nature. Electrolytes are ionized salts in our cells that transport energy throughout the body. Coconut water is a much better alternative to commercial sports drinks laden with artificial sugars and colors. The molecular structure of coconut water is identical to human blood plasma which means that it is immediately recognized by the body and put to good use. Drinking the juice from a coconut is like giving your body an instant blood transfusion. In fact, this was common practice during World War II in the Pacific where both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water, siphoned directly from the coconut, to give emergency transfusions to wounded soldiers.
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