The term superfoods is a popular buzzword in our modern culture. The media and marketing icons use it and it’s found even on cosmetic labels. Take Avacado Oil for example which is an ingredient found in many beauty products. This trend is hot and many studies, papers, and reports from academics, suppliers and business experts use the terms ‘superfood,’ ‘superfruit,’ or ‘supergrain.’
Select any image to see its source. Scroll down for an infographic about ‘Greens.’
Interesting Facts About Superfoods and our Healthy Bodies
What are Superfoods?
Superfoods are fresh foods that are packed with high-density nutrients per volume. There are many common foods that fall into this category, however, there are also a variety of exotic, less well-known superfoods. Let’s go through a small selection of superfoods (some of my favorites) and see what they are, their benefits, and other essential facts.
Having recently lost 70 pounds on a Paleo diet, I will recommend those superfoods that are also considered acceptable Paleo food. These Paleo superfoods are the best of what our Mother Earth has to offer along with nutrient-packed and antioxidant benefits.
Organic eggs are packed full of Vitamin D, Omega-3 fats, and amino acids. Furthermore, free-range eggs, when compared to factory farm eggs, are found to be more beneficial to healthy bodies for the following reasons.
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- Two times more omega-3 fatty acids
- Three times more vitamin E
- Seven times more beta-carotene
Tip o’ the Hat to Mother Earth News
Salmon greatest benefit is that it is a wonderful source of Omega-3 fats. The list of benefits for salmon include:
- Strong cardiovascular health.
- Cognition increased.
- Bone and joint protection.
- Healthier skin.
- Improved vision.
- More efficient metabolism.
In addition, together with Omega-3 and the trace mineral selenium, salmon provides defense against colon, prostate, and breast cancer. Moreover, omega-3 also helps reduce depression. Now, that’s something we all need.
Beef (grass-fed preferably)
On a Paleo diet, meat is a crucial element. But it is very important to buy healthy meat. When you eat grass fed meat instead of grain fed, the benefits are a much healthier mass of omega 3 to omega 6 fats and also a high-level of beta-carotene which is also referred to as vitamin A.
Grass-fed beef is sometimes referred to as Grass-finished beef and comes from cattle raised on a grass forage diet their entire lives. For decades we’ve been sold meat from animals that spend their lives in a feedlots being fed rotten potatoes and grain among other things.
Never-the-less, we are a carnivorous species with a bowel system that reflects that fact. However, there are humane ways of raising livestock and there are equally humane ways of ending their lives when it’s time.
Look for locally grown meat first. It’s the centralization of our markets and commodities that cause prices to keep going up with no end in sight. If we all start buying locally, we not only support our local economy, we are each taking one step closer to localizing our economy which is a great aspiration.
Unfortunately, grass-fed or free-range meat is more expensive at this time in our society. If it’s out of your price range, shop for the freshest cuts of meat at your local grocery store until you are able to do better.
These precious berries are packed with nutrients our healthy bodies need. They contain antioxidants (carotenoids), flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, selenium, zinc and phosphorus. Wow! That’s a super powerful food by any estimation.
Additionally, the lovely blueberry contains a plant compound called anthocyanin. This gives blueberries both their blue color and holds the secret to many of their health benefits. Do you know that it only takes one cup of blueberries to get the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C? How easy is that?
I LOVE coconut oil. It helps improve our digestive system and also aids in the prevention of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The saturated fats in Coconut Oil have antimicrobial agents that help with the myriad of bacteria, fungi, and parasites that sometimes cause indigestion.
Add a decadent, yet mild flavor to your favorite foods and recipes with organic, cold-pressed, and never refined coconut oil that is just the way nature intended. This coconut oil is ethically sourced from a small farm in the Philippines and is made from only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients.
But that’s not all it does. Some also use it topically to help burns heal with minimal scarring. Others use it as a de-frizzing agent for hair and as a moisturizing treatment for skin. Remember when using coconut oil topically that a little bit goes a long, long way.
Kiwifruit also goes by the name Chinese gooseberry. It is a natural blood thinner and helps with the absorption of iron in our bodies which helps prevent anemia. This is because it contains iron which is required by our bodies to produce red blood cells.
Kiwifruit is yet another food that is nutrient-dense, which means high in nutrients and low in calories. Good stuff. The perks of this fruit include healthy skin tone and texture, lower blood pressure and prevention of heart disease and stroke.
Some studies indicate that eating cherries reduces the risk of colorectal, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and lung cancer. That’s good news for people who smoked at any time during their lifetime. Of course, they are also a fabulous source of vitamin C, vitamin A, dietary fiber and potassium.
These delicious cherries are also a great source of minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. Potassium is good for heart and blood pressure. Moreover, the cherry seed is a concentration of ‘prussic acid’ that is in modern medicine which serves to relieve a sore throat, chest, and stomach pain.
Love that dark chocolate with all its antioxidants and wonderful flavor! But, I think we are all aware that the sugar included in our modern ‘candy bars’ is poisonous to our bodies.
The benefits we derive from dark chocolate are many. To begin, chocolate contains antioxidants that include vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Flavonoids and polyphenols are two groups of antioxidants you find in chocolate in large concentrations.
Terrific Tip: The key to chocolate shopping is to select the highest percentage of cocoa with the lowest amount of sugar to get the most benefit from your chocolate experience.
Garlic contains a sulfur compound that eliminates viruses and also deters even common colds. It is also dense with antioxidants and includes antiviral and antibiotic properties. When added to food, garlic soothes psoriasis and lessens the effect of a high sugar diet.
Used with other ingredients, garlic is an antifungal solution that successfully combats athlete’s foot. The anti-fungal ingredient in Garlic is ‘ajoene’ which comes from the Spanish word “ajo” and is effective for fungal infections.
Terrific Tip: For a foot soak to help you get rid of fungus, follow these steps.
- Find a basin for your feet and fill it with water.
- Drop in a garlic clove and some olive oil.
- Next, add either lemon juice or vinegar to increase the antifungal properties.
This category of superfoods is probably the one you hear the most about. We’ve all read about the wonderful perks of a super-green diet. They are literally a treasure trove of vitamins.
In this society, there are way too many avenues for poor eating habits. As a result, we find our bodies dependant on sugar and other quick-fix substances in our processed foods. So naturally, greens don’t appeal to most of us. However, when you eat them more often, you do start to like them. Then, you start to actually crave them. I promise!
But, do you know what I learned at a personal level? It took about two weeks to wean myself from excess sugar and carbs before I lost my craving for them. I replaced them with lots of fresh and frozen vegetables and protein. Now, salads packed with greens are a daily event for me. Here is a great infographic that illustrates the incredible benefits of greens.