There is a ton of talk about super-foods out there.
While the phrase “superfood” is basically a bunch of hogwash, there are still definitely some special foods out there that are packed with nutrition and others benefits for your health.
This list is not all inclusive, and there are TONS of healthy foods out there that are probably better than some of the food choices you make on a regular basis, but this article will give you a handful of the best foods out there for your health.
This fruit is loaded with B vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin K, and avocados have about 35% more potassium than bananas. Avocado is low in carbohydrates, and it is an excellent source of fiber and monounsaturated fats. In several studies avocado has shown powerful cholesterol lowering properties: lowering total cholesterol by an average of 17%. In some studies avocado has also shown powerful antibacterial properties inside and outside the body that can help fight infection and inflammation.
Loaded with vitamins A, C, E -and high in Vitamin K and B6- this fruit is a nutritional dream come true (and it tastes amazing too!). The mango is also showing some promise in lab studies where the high antioxidant capacity of the flesh and skin is believed to help fight off various disease.
One serving of strawberries packs 136% of your RDA of vitamin C, along with 13% of your daily fiber needs; couple this with 21% of your RDA of manganese (a powerful antioxidant and essential mineral), a healthy amount of potassium and magnesium -along with their anti-inflammatory properties- and you have a nutritional goldmine for everyone!
There was a reason Popeye gobbled this natural energy booster down when he needed a pick me up: one serving of spinach contains: 59% of your daily vitamin A, 49% of your folic acid needs, 34% of your vitamin C, 10% of your calcium, 21% of your iron, 13% of your vitamin E, and a whopping 460% of your vitamin K. Add in 2 grams of fiber, and only 23 calories and you have a dieter’s best friend.
One serving of carrots contains 106% of your RDA of vitamin A (a powerful antioxidant), high fiber content , healthy levels of the B Vitamins, and about as much potassium as a banana per weight. Plus, they are one of the tastiest veggies!
Kale is considered by many to be one the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet per calorie. Kale is loaded with vitamins A,C, and K; kale also contains high amounts of B vitamins, manganese, copper, iron, calcium, and potassium.
Blueberries have high levels of vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Blueberries receive their super food status mostly for their high levels of antioxidants, as they have ranked among the highest of foods when measured for antioxidant capacity. Blueberries have also shown promise by possessing anti-cancer properties and also by helping to lower cholesterol. Blueberries are an excellent source of soluble fiber which aids in lowering cholesterol and also promotes colon and digestive health.
One serving of broccoli contains over 100% of your vitamin C and K; it is also a good source of: fiber, the B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. Broccoli is another food that has shown promise as a cancer fighter; men who consumed broccoli regularly throughout life show lower levels of prostate cancer when compared to those who pushed away this green veggie at the dinner table.
9. Sweet potato
Sweet potato is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. These spuds also pack a significant amount of the B Vitamins, and should be a staple source of carbohydrates for any healthy eater. Due to their high fiber content and carbohydrate composition, sweet potatoes have a much lower glycemic-index than the regular potato: meaning that they provide a more steady stream of energy as opposed to a spike in the bloodstream.
Bananas are a great source of potassium, magnesium, manganese, the B vitamins, and vitamin C. Bananas are also one of the most calorie dense fruits and can be used as an excellent tool to help you refuel after workouts. Bananas also have almost everything the body loses during exercise (potassium, magnesium, carbohydrate) and they are convenient and affordable.
11. Black Beans
Beans are an excellent source of: potassium, fiber, iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. Black beans are one of the highest fiber foods per serving available: they provide about 20% of your daily fiber needs in just one serving; they are also one of the best sources of plant protein, and when coupled with rice (preferably brown rice) they create a complete protein.
Pronounced (keen-wah) quinoa is an excellent source of fiber, and high in carbohydrates for sustained energy. One serving provides over 30% of your RDA of : thiamine, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc. Quinoa is considered one of the ancient grains. The mayan warriors consumed this grain mixed with pork fat before battle and called them War balls.
Two whole eggs provide 12 grams of protein, along with about 20% RDA of vitamin A, a host of the B vitamins (including 48% RDA of B12), 15% RDA vitamin D, about 10% RDA of zinc and iron, and 25% RDA of phosphorous. *Please ignore the outdated studies that would suggest throwing away the yolk because of high dietary cholesterol: almost allof the more recent studies on eggs indicate that dietary cholesterol has very little effect upon blood lipid levels.
14. Grass fed Beef
Grass fed beef is far superior to conventional grain or corn fed beef in many ways. Just a few of the benefits of grass fed beef are: higher CLA content (a fatty acid that helps burn fat, and is also a potent cancer fighter), better omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio, more vitamin A, more vitamin E, and lower in fat. Beef is packed with Iron, B vitamins (including 110% RDA of vitamin B12), magnesium, phosphorous, and provides 66% RDA of zinc. While every dinner plate doesn’t need red meat, making red meat part of your weekly diet is not a bad choice.
Okay, I know this isn’t really a food but that doesn’t deter me from mentioning it. Your body could survive for weeks, sometime even months if suddenly cut off from food, but even the most fit person would likely succumb to dehydration after 3-4 days without water. Water is required for almost every single process in your body and it’s importance cannot be over-stressed. It is recommended that people drink at least 0.5oz of water per lb of body weight: this means a 150lb male would need to take in a minimum of 75oz of water per day. It is also good to drink at least 16oz of extra water before exercise to ensure proper hydration.