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OK, so technically there’s no such thing as a superfood. Sure, there are foods that pack a nutritional punch. A whole long list of foods that you should probably (definitely) be eating more of on a daily basis. But is there a food that’s going to change your life? Add years to your life expectancy? Turn you into a supermodel who can dead lift 400 pounds? Eh … not so much.
The health industry likes to throw around the word “superfood” whenever new science and research highlights more benefits of foods we’ve been eating forever. But, there are definitely some foods that warrant the title, exaggerated as it may be. These superfoods aren’t going to fix all your problems, but as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, they are a big piece of the optimal health and disease prevention puzzle.
Superfoods are foods that have a ton of nutritional value.
1. Take dark, leafy greens, for example.
Listen, kale gets a bad rap, but it’s not THAT bad. I happen to love kale! More than lettuce, even, which is just crunchy green water. Dark leafy greens like kale, arugula, and spinach are also packed with so much good stuff like folate, zinc, magnesium, iron, and fiber. So suck it up and eat more kale. Brought to you by Team Kale.
2. Eggs are a pretty super food, so they deserve a spot on our list of superfoods.
So, as if my kale stance was not polarizing enough, Imma hit you with another hot take: I actually hate eggs. I did Whole30 for quite a long time, and I am 100% egged out. Can’t stand the sight of them. BUT, I appreciate their superfoodness, and I love how they were like, HAHA BITCHES, WE’RE NOT BAD FOR YOU AFTER ALL! They’re an excellent source of protein, and full of goodies like vitamins A and B and iron. They also promote eye health with two cool-sounding antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein. EGGcellent (I’ll be here all night, tip your servers!).
3. Nuts and seeds: pretty super!
Side note: searching #nuts on IG is … eye-opening. But anywho, nuts and seeds are a great source of vegetarian protein, they’re rich in fiber, and they are full of healthy fats. Some nuts and seeds are also anti-inflammatory! Big buzz word but very important. Plus, they’re crunchy. Bad news: nuts and seeds in candy bars don’t count.
4. Garlic does more than keep vampires away.
Garlic is a good source of fiber, selenium, and vitamins C and B6. Plus it makes EVERYTHING taste better. It’s one of the most versatile superfoods! It’s been used for its medicinal properties for centuries, and is believed to have a positive effect on cholesterol, blood pressure, and immune function.
5. Need a sweet superfood? Have some berries!
Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries – all superfoods! Loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, these tiny little superfoods can be enjoyed in tons of different ways. Who doesn’t love berries?! I mean honestly.
6. Beans, beans, the magical food (literally).
Flatulence is a sign of gut health (I just made that up, but it could be true!), so get the gasses moving by adding more legumes to your diet. Legumes like beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts are a great source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin B, and minerals. They also make you feel full, which could help you avoid overeating and maintain a healthy weight!
7. Olive oil (this one is pretty obvious).
This natural oil is extracted from the fruit of olive trees, and has been touted as a superfood for centuries. It’s one of the main fat sources in a Mediterranean diet, and with high levels of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, it’s place on the list of superfoods is hard-earned and well-deserved.
FYI, this picture includes three, count ’em THREE, superfoods: ginger, kefir, and the gorgeous golden turmeric. I told you how amazing turmeric is, yes? ‘Tis true, friends. The active compound in turmeric is called curcumin, and it’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Studies have shown that it’s effective at preventing diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Superfood, indeed.
9. Piggybacking on that pretty picture: ginger definitely deserves a spot on the list of superfoods.
Looking to punch up a boring dish AND soak up some health benefits? Ginger is here for you. Anyone who’s ever been pregnant already knows that ginger is a fantastic morning sickness remedy. But did you know it can also reduce your risk of some chronic illnesses and cancers? Well, now you do.
10. Kefir might be unfamiliar to some of you, but trust, it’s a friend of your gut.
I don’t like yogurt, but I looooooove kefir. It’s thinner, very drinkable, and is even more beneficial than that other goop. It’s a fermented drink usually made from milk (although you can also find kefir water), and it’s packed with probiotics, protein, potassium, and vitamins. You can buy it, or make it, but either way, you should be drinking it.
This is just a taste of some of the superfoods you should be incorporating into your daily diet. Just a few changes here and there can be incredibly impactful!