A "superfood" is a food which has unusually high health benefits. To be considered a superfood it has to be high in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and other healthy nutrients. These elements help the body fight cell damage from free radicals, boosts the immune system and may reduce the risk of cancer and degenerative diseases. Many superfoods can be found right in your local supermarket. To locate some of the more exotic ones, you may have to pay a visit to a health food or gourmet shop. Some of the below super foods can be a bit pricy, but remember, it's a small price to pay for feeling groovy all day. Check out this super duper smoothie recipe for the morning after. She will love it too! My Sources: WebMD, David Wolfe, Wikipedia, Dr. Steven Pratt, Dr. Oz Bob Greene, Dr. Perricone, Zoe Firth, The Nibble, Executive Health's Good Health Report
This little round berry which looks like a grape packs a powerful punch. It’s one of the most nutritious foods in the world and has shown anticancer effects in in vitro lab tests. It can be bought in juice form and is often featured in smoothies.
Aloe Vera is a plant with wonderful healing and softening properties. It's common as a houseplant, because you can break off a piece and use the juicy pulp to soothe and heal cuts, burns and abrasions. It can also be taken orally to cleanse and heal the intestines and colon. It’s great stuff!!!
Anything in the "Allium Family"
Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots can all help the liver eliminate toxins and carcinogens.
Different varieties of apples have different phytonutrients, but they all have tons of antioxidants, including flavonoids and other polyphenols, and fiber.
Avocados have the same thing going for them that olive oil does: healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. These are the "good fats," and they appear to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate and antioxidants up the ante. And Pratt cites research showing that avocado helps the body absorb more nutrients from other foods -- the tomato in the same salad, for instance.
This can be used as a breakfast cereal, in soups and stews and as a rice substitute. Barley's also high in fiber, helping metabolize fats, cholesterol and carbohydrates.
Beans & Lentils
You can reduce cholesterol while beefing up on antioxidants, folic acid and potassium. Try kidney, black, navy, pinto, chickpeas, soybeans, peas and lentils.
Blueberries and raspberrries. Frozen do the trick as well as fresh.
Blueberries are very high in antioxidants, fiber, folic acid, and
vitamins C and E. They're also low in calories.
Bee pollen is an immune boosting nutritional supplement. It is
absorbed quickly into the blood and has been used by athletes for
strength, endurance, energy and speed. Bee pollen contains around
18 vitamins, 25 minerals and over 20 amino acids, It is extremely rich
in B vitamins, vitamins C, D, E, lecithin, cysteine and carotenes,
which are metabolic precursors of vitamin A.
Cacao, Raw Chocolate
Pronounced "ka-cow," cacao is the raw, un-cooked, form of chocolate as well as a potent antioxidant. Scientific investigation has shown that raw cacao contains over 100 chemical constituents, including amino acids, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, alkaloids, phospholipids, serotonin, tryptophan, protein and much much more.
Flax Seed Oil is high in omega-3 oils and is impressive in the prevention of heart disease and atherosclerosis.
Goji berries contain 18 kinds of amino acids (on par with bee pollen) and contain all 8 essential amino acids (such as isoleucine and tryptophan). Goji berries contain up to 21 trace minerals (the main ones being zinc, iron, copper, calcium, germanium, selenium, and phosphorus). Goji berries also contain vitamins B1, B2, B6, and vitamin E. Mature fruits contain about 11 mg of iron per 100 grams, beta-sisterol (an anti-inflammatory agent), linoleic acid (a fatty acid), sesquiterpenoids (cyperone, solavetivone), tetraterpenoids (zeaxanthin, physalin), and betaine (0.1%). Goji berries contain polysaccharides which fortify the immune system.
Green foods like wheat and barley grasses can be bought in powder, tablet or juice form, and offer greater levels of nutrients than green leafy vegetables. They also help cholesterol, blood pressure and immune response.
Honey is the richest source of healing enzymes which increase reflexes and mental alertness.
Both bell and chili peppers contain antioxidants, have twice the Vitamin C as citrus fruit and work as great fat burners.
Maca is a superfood-herb with an outstanding ability to increase energy, endurance and strength.
Nuts & Seeds
Grab your nuts!—walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia and pistachio nuts contain Omega 3 fats, which are great for your heart. Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds are best.
Has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, Pomegranate juice contains the highest antioxidant capacity compared to other juices, red wine and tea.
Pronounced "keen-wah". Quinoa is a complete protein in a "seed" form. It is a good source of fibre and great source of complex carbohydrates.
Numerous varieties of sprouts are great with any meal. They're a great source of protein and Vitamin C. Try adding them to any dish and your immune system will get a boost.
Yogurt and Kefir
These cultured foods contain healthful bacteria that aid immune function, and the calcium helps burn fat. Try using them as a base for a smoothie.
OTHER AMAZING FOODS INCLUDE
Contains vitamins C, A, Beta Carotene and Fiber.
2 carrots every other day provide enough beta carotene to reduce stroke risk by half for men who already have symptoms of heart disease
Contains vitamins A and C, folic acid and magnesium which help control cancer, reduce heart disease and stroke risk, blocks free radicals and may help prevent osteoporosis.
Contain beta-glucan, which stimulates immune system. Shitake, enoki, zhuling and reishi all have anti-cancer and antiviral effects
Contain lycopenes - an antioxidant more potent than vitamin C. Stimulates immune function and may slow degenerative diseases
Contains ellagic acid, which contains anti-cancer properties.
Papaya, Pineapple & Kiwi
High amounts of enzymes that help combat everything from autoimmune diseases, allergies, and cancer to AIDS.
Contains bioflavonoids that aid the immune system.
Contains vitamin C which helps your body fight cancers (lung, cervical, esophagus & stomach). Rich in bioflavonoids.
Fresh apricots are high in beta-carotene. Also contains vitamin C and fiber.
Rich in magnesium (helps protect circulatory system), potassium and slowly-absorbed sugars. Good source of pectin (a soluble fiber). Prevents radical swings in blood sugar.
Green tea contains polyphenols, which may reduce heart disease, cancer and stroke risk.
Soybeans & Tofu
Lowers "bad" LDL cholesterol levels in bloodstream which reduces heart disease risk. Studies have shown that people who regularly eat soy products have reduced risk or lower rates of prostate, colon, lung, rectal and stomach cancers.
Contains omega-3 oils to fight heart disease. Contains calcium, magnesium, protein and B-vitamins.
Oat bran lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. May reduce risk of colon cancer. Oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Content excerpted from the Executive Health's Good Health Report