What are superfoods?
Aren't all foods super? They provide fuel and calories to keep you alive, which is super, isn't it? Unfortunately the answer to that question is no.
Because our food supply has been over-run with highly processed frankenfoods, the health community had to coin their own term to differentiate foods that should comprise the majority of your diet, from foods that should make up the minority of your diet (ideally less than 20%).
The broad definition of superfoods includes all raw fruits, vegetables and herbs that provide a wide spectrum of nutrients to the body in their natural form with no added junk (i.e., antibiotics, sugar, hydrogenated oil, chemical enhancers, artificial colors, etc.).
However, not all superfoods are created equal and some provide your body with way more nutrition than your typical apple or head of lettuce.
Here are 15 of the best superfoods and why you should replace the junk in your diet with them
#1: Pine Pollen
Aside from containing over 200 + micronutrients, pine pollen is most famous for it's unique phyto-androgen content, since it is one of the only foods containng natural testosterone, DHEA, androstenedione, and androsterone.
Our bodies produce less of these key hormones as we get older, so supplementing with pine pollen can help preserve muscle, promote fat loss, and help with libido and overall drive.
Because of this, many people believe it to be the absolute best anti-aging superfood available. It is also a superior alternative for serious fitness enthusiasts looking for a healthy alternative to chemical laced BCAAs, Pre-workouts, garbage whey, fat burners, etc.
#2: Spirulina and Chlorella
Spirulina and Chlorella are two forms of algae that come in both powder and tablet form.
Anyone that doesn't eat enough green leafy vegetables should consider adding these to their morning smoothies, as they are an incredible source of chlorophyll, which is a natural blood cleanser.
According to Dr. Axe, aside from helping cleanse the blood, Chlorophyll is also beneficial to the body and helps to fight cancer, improves liver detoxification, and promotes the production of hemoglobin and rapid wound repair.
Spirulina and Chlorella are a great source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids making them a natural alternative to synthetic multi-vitamins. They are also incredible cheap!
Maca is considered an "adaptogen" and one of the best superfoods for helping the body with adrenal fatigue and chronic stress.
Maca is incredibly nutrient dense like all superfoods and is high in minerals calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Maca also is a great source of plant sterols, essential fatty acids, lipids, fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and amino acids.
Additionally, Maca is believed to have a positive effect on the endocrine system, which is why it's often used in supplements designed for male enhancement and sex-drive.
Moringa is a tree native to India and its leaves are an amazing source of vitamins and minerals. In addition to being a great source of nutrients, studies have shown Moringa may be beneficial for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, and lowering cholesterol.
Moringa tastes great and is a tasty addition to morning smoothies.
#5: Camu Camu
Camu Camu fruit is on our list of the best superfoods for multiple reasons, but the primary one is this: it has more vitamin C than any other food known to man.
In fact, one serving of Camu Camu has over 60 times the amount of vitamin C of an orange. As you know, vitamin C is essential to immune function, which should make it your go to food during cold and flu season.
#6: Goji Berries
Goji Berries are known by some people as the "antioxidant and anti-inflammation fruit" due to it's incredibly high level of antioxidants and nutrients. Like Maca, Goji Berries are incredible for helping the body deal with stress and detoxification.
Blueberries are on almost eveyone's list of the best superfoods and for good reason; they're awesome. They taste great and go with just about everything.
Like Goji Berries, Blueberries are one of the most dense antioxidant rich foods you can eat, which make them great for guarding yourself against cancer and cellular damage caused by free radicals within the body.
Some of the other key nutrients in blueberries include; Resveratrol, Gallic acid, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Manganese, and Fiber. They're also grown everywhere, so they're incredibly cheap.
Kale is all the rage these days. A food that used to be used for hamster cages and garnish, is now one of the most heavily consumed superfoods on the planet. Kale is high in both Iron and Vitamin K, as well as many powerful antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
Because of its high Iron content, Kale is one of the best superfoods for vegans, since they typically don't get the same high levels of Iron most people get from meat.
#9: Chia Seeds
Made famous by the book, Born to Run by Christopher McDougal, Chia seeds are a cheap, clean source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
They are also a great source of magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. The best part is that Chia Seeds are low in calories, making them one of the most nutritious calorie for calorie foods available.
Like blueberries, spinach is one of the more ordinary foods on our best superfoods list. However, like blueberries, spinach is cheap and easy to assimilate into your diet at almost every meal. If you can't get a hold of the exotic powders on our list, make sure to incorporate spinach daily.
Spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. It is an incredible superfood that goes great in smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and more.
Tumeric is one of the more medicinal foods on our best superfoods list. Turmeric contains high levels of curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Famous big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton has been quoted many times saying he believes Tumeric to be one of the keys to his longevity and success due to its ability to help him recover quickly from his intense workouts.
Inflammation is a huge contributor to cancer and heart disease, so eating tumeric regularly may help lower the risk of developing these and other conditions associated with chronic inflammation.
Beets get a bad wrap, but they are actually quite delicious and incredible for your heart and circulatory system. Beets are one of the best superfoods due to their rich nitrate content, which the body converts to nitric oxide - a compound that relaxes and dilates blood vessels.
The increase in blood flow caused by the nutrients in Beets, turns your circulatory system into a massive river to help carry your nutrient and oxygen-rich blood. This results in better circulation, and possibly lower blood pressure.
#13: Cordycep Mushrooms
Cordyceps are a fungus/mushroom known for their superior and nutritional benefits. Cordyceps have been studied for their potential to boost immune function due to their high polysaccharide content.
Cordyceps have also been shown to increase the activity of Superoxide Dismutase and Glutathione, also making them one of the best superfoods for anti-aging and longevity.
We love Cordyceps for their incredible energy boosting and athletic performance ability. In fact, cordyceps have been shown in studies to increase ATP production, which is essential for stamina and endurance (a key reason we are including them in our superfood pre-workout/energy booster).
#14: Raw Cacao
Processed chocolate maybe horrible for you, but pure Cacao powder is an incredible guilt free food you can add to coffee, smoothies and baking products. Even chocolate with high concentrations of real cacao can be a great way to enjoy the benefits of real Cacao.
According to Dr. Mercola's website:
Raw Cacao contains over 300 different chemical compounds and nearly four times the antioxidant power of your average dark chocolate - more than 20 times than that of blueberries. Protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids are also present.
If you want to add some super nutrition and chocolaty flavor to your coffee, simple add a teaspoon of raw Cacao and enjoy.
Lucuma is a super nutritious Peruvian fruit that contains beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium, and protein. It tastes similar to maple syrup, which makes it a great addition to smoothies and baked goods.
Some health nuts refer to Lucuma as the superfood from the Incas and believe is holds the key to super health and longevity.
Conclusion: I'm sure you noticed a trend, but most of these foods are on our list of best superfoods because of their incredible micronutrient content. They simply do so much for your body that you are actually committing a crime against yourself by not eating them.
If you want to be as healthy as possible, then take the time to evaluate your diet and replace the cereal, chips, milk, sugar, and cheap toxic supplements with some of these foods. Your body will thank you and we are confident you'll notice a significant improvement in your overall physical fitness and well being.
Other great superfoods that didn't make our list of best superfoods (mainly because this post would get way too long), but worth researching include: Reishi Mushrooms, Chaga, and Jack Fruit.
Want to add some of the best superfoods to your diet? Click here.