Ultimate Superfoods List: 30 Foods That Will Make Your Life Super Healthy
Time and again, plenty of people say that health is wealth. And that’s absolutely true! In order for you to be able to achieve optimum health, many health practitioners advice loading up on superfoods.
What are superfoods, you ask? Well, the most basic definition of a superfood is “a food that is rich in compounds, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients considered beneficial to a person’s health.”
It’s a fact that most vegetables and fruits are absolutely nutritious. But then there are these we call superfoods, which have extra benefits and are listed at the top in the nutrition density chart (NDC).
Superfoods do not only make you ten times healthier by keeping diseases away. These can also help you in many other ways, like keeping you fit, making you younger looking, preventing diseases, and just basically improving your overall health.
So without further ado, here’s a list of the healthiest superfoods that you need right now.
With a plethora of vitamins and minerals, watercress ranks as number one in the nutrition density chart with a perfect score of 100.
Known as the first ever fast food because of its availability to the people, the crisp of this peppery and mildly bitter superfood is a man’s one shot to a greater health.
Watercress is also a versatile vegetable because it can be served in any way you want—fresh, as a salad, steamed, or in soup.
This superfood fights against DNA breakdown and damages in one’s blood cells. It can also suppress breast cancer cells because of the compound phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), which has significant anticancer properties.
FUN FACT: Watercress was once called “poor man’s bread” because it was free, and people got a serving of this vegetable in cones as their on-the-go breakfast meal.
2. Chinese Cabbage
This light green crepe-textured Chinese cabbage is one super vegetable.
This type of cabbage helps in regulating your blood pressure with its low sodium content. It also fights anemia and fatigue because it has a high iron content that is responsible for producing hemoglobin in your blood.
In addition, Chinese cabbage is rich in antioxidants that boost eye health and provide you with healthy and glowing skin.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Often, people confuse Chinese cabbage with nappa cabbages. But did you know that the nappa cabbage as well as bok choy are just types of Chinese cabbage?
Chard has the ability to regulate one’s blood sugar control because of its syringic acid content.
It is one of the best and most popular vegetables around.
Chard has the ability to boost one’s brain, strengthen one’s bones, and regulate blood circulation.
Despite its slightly salty and bitter flavor, chard is a definite sweet treat for your health.
STORING TIP: Never wash your chards before storing them in the fridge because this might cause spoilage. Your chards will stay fresh for about five days if you wrap them in storage plastic before placing them in the fridge. Also, make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible.
4. Beet Greens
For those of you who are so conscious of your diet, go eat beet greens.
Beet greens contain very low amount of calories, around 22 calories per 100 grams. These beet greens are one of the highly recommended greens for diets because they have low fat and no cholesterol, but have an ample amount of essential vitamins and minerals.
Beet greens rank 10th among all the world’s healthiest foods study.
DID YOU KNOW? You can use beet greens interchangeably with spinach for green smoothies because its mild flavor can actually blend well with fruits.
Spinach is another of the super popular superfoods easily available. Like beet and chard, it contains low levels of fat and cholesterol. However, it has a high amount of zinc and niacin in it. Together with all other essential vitamins and minerals, which act as antioxidants, spinach is able to protect your body from harmful free radicals that bring about diseases and illnesses.
FUN FACT: Cooked spinach actually has more nutrients as compared to eating them raw.
I’m sure a lot of you aren’t familiar with chicory. It’s a flowery plant used for its roots. Mixing chicory root in coffee was very popular in France during a coffee shortage. And up to now, people still practice this, most especially in New Orleans.
Chicory contains plenty of useful nutrients, like fiber, which is actually a natural diuretic and laxative for your body. You’ll get a happy tummy with chicory because it also has the ability to support probiotics as it contains a prebiotic that is vital to the immune system.
PRECAUTION: Chicory urges menstruation in most women; therefore, pregnant women should not take more than a cup of chicory coffee because it might lead to a miscarriage.
7. Leaf Lettuce
Leaf lettuce contains high amounts of vitamins A, B, C, and K, along with a number of essential minerals.
For its benefits, it can boost brain function as it protects your neurons, a brain cell that is responsible for your memories.
Also, when you are having insomnia attacks, leaf lettuce can help you get that much-needed shut-eye as it has sleep-inducing properties.
WARNING: Leaf lettuce may have the tendency to spark food allergies, especially if you already have some known allergies. It would be best to do a skin pricking test if you are going to eat lettuce for the first time.
Although it is best known as a garnish, parsley is more than what meets the eye!
Parsley is one superfood that is highly rich in vitamins K (with 554%) and A. In addition, it also contains dietary fibers and the minerals magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. In fact, it contains more iron than spinach.
Parsley promotes healthy kidneys. It also controls rheumatoid arthritis, prevents diabetes, provides better digestion, and it is even a natural breath freshener.
DID YOU KNOW? Ancient Greeks believed that parsley came from the blood of the hero Archimedes after he killed a dragon.
Alfalfa sprouts are quite popular in plenty of vegan and vegetarian restaurants dotting the United States. They’re usually in sandwiches, salads, even soups.
And if you must know, alfalfa is extremely healthy. It’s been called the king of all foods because of its high contents of protein, amino acids, essential vitamins, and minerals.
This sprout can lower high cholesterol levels, ease menopause symptoms, deal with excessive bleeding, help with kidney issues, and improve digestion.
DID YOU KNOW? Alfalfa is the fourth most widely grown crop in the United States.
10. Romaine Lettuce
When experiencing a lot of common pains, the best thing to do is to change the usual lettuce in your salads to romaine lettuce.
Romaine lettuce contains a very low calorie count, but has a high volume of water that nourishes your body well.
It can also keep your heart because of its beta-carotene and vitamin C content. With these two, oxidation is prevented.
FAST FACT: The milky extract of all kinds of lettuce is called Lactuca sativa. This is what gives lettuce its bitter taste.
11. Collard Greens
Hitting three systems of our bodies, collard greens can amazingly prevent cancer better than most other greens.
These three systems are the body’s detox system, antioxidant system, and the anti-inflammatory system. Furthermore, any imbalances between these three increase the risk of catching cancer cells within our bodies.
In order to get most of its nutrients, consuming steamed collard greens is the best option.
FUN FACT: Did you know that there is a song entitled “Collard Greens”? In the year 2014, Schoolboy Q sings the song together with Kendrick Lamar. In an interview, Schoolboy Q said collard greens meant “money” in the song.
12. Turnip Greens
Turnip greens is another one of the healthiest superfoods because of its high antioxidant content, particularly glucosinolate. The greens are also high in vitamins A, B6, C, and E.
With turnip greens, one can fight cancer, get better eyesight, prevent heart diseases, and maintain strong bones.
HOW TO SERVE TURNIP GREENS: The greens can be steamed (just like spinach), or you can add them directly into a salad.
13. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens offer an extra kick with its peppery flavor.
It’s highly antioxidant, and it also acts as a detoxifier. Mustard greens are just like spinach, but have a stronger taste. Unlike other superfoods, these mustard greens are safe for pregnant women because they are very rich in vitamin K.
These mustard greens can also prevent acne because it can cut down excess sebum production.
SERVING TIP: Often, people prefer to use mature mustard greens with some stem because it has a stronger taste and contains lesser water.
Here’s another of the superfoods that’s extremely popular. Wheatgrass are tiny shoots of grass that boast a ton of nutrients and provide the body with lots of benefits. They come in juice form or powder form.
This superfood contains a huge amount of chlorophyll, along with antioxidants, amino acids, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Wheatgrass is very effective in helping you lose weight, promotes good digestion, eases stress and fatigue, provides you with healthier skin, and plenty, plenty more.
FUN FACT: Even though the word “wheat” is in the name, wheatgrass is totally gluten-free.
Often confused with green onions, chives are distinguished to be one-foot-high grass with the circumference of a pencil.
Chives are very low in calories, cholesterol, and sodium, but high in nutrients. They contain high amounts of dietary fiber, thiamin, pantothenic acid, niacin, zinc, phosphorus, riboflavin, folate, calicum, and vitamins A, C, and K.
This superfood can protect you from mouth and lung cancers, prevent neural tube defects in newborns, soothe upset stomachs, and lower blood pressure.
FUN FACT: Did you know that Romanian gypsies used chives in fortune-telling, and they even hung garlands of chives to shoo away evil spirits?
Well, kale is definitely the most famous one among all the superfoods listed.
Others consider it as the king of all greens with its highly nutritious property. But in the nutrient density chart, kale has a score of 49.07.
Just one serving of kale is equivalent to a week’s worth of nutrient sustenance among all other healthy foods. That’s right.
Kale has anti-inflammatory properties, naturally detoxifies the body, provides support for a healthy heart, promotes brain development in newborns, may prevent cancer, and improves vision.
KALE SNACK: You can actually make your own kale chips by baking them and brushing a little amount of olive oil on each lightly salted leaf.
Here’s another of the superfoods that I’m sure you must have heard about in passing. Chlorella is a single-cell freshwater algae that has plenty of nutrients as well as benefits.
It has plenty of essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, nucleic acids, chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals.
This healthy algae can boost the body’s immune system, protect and improve eyesight, helps with gastrointestinal issues, relieves the effects of radiation and chemotherapy, and fully detoxifies the body.
DID YOU KNOW? After World War II, researchers were considering chlorella as a food source due to its high nutrition content.
18. Greek Yogurt
Know what’s the best snack for one who wishes to lose weight and gain more nutrients? These creamy yogurts will do.
Yogurts are probiotics, which mean that each serving of this aids in digestion. It can even be a healthy substitute for mayonnaise, cream cheese, and sour cream.
On addition, yogurt is highly rich in calcium, giving women more than what is needed daily. It also contains more protein than regular yogurts.
FAST FACT: There is a difference between Greek and Bulgarian yogurt. Greek yogurt has a thick, rich, and creamy texture while Bulgarian yogurt is not as thick as the Greek kind. In Bulgaria, however, yogurts are used as much as Americans use their ketchup.
This is a favorite fruit of a lot of people. No wonder blueberries are definitely part of the list of our superfoods.
Blueberries is a good source of vitamins C and K and manganese.
They’ve been known to revive one’s skin and even prevent urinary tract infections! And though they’re sweet, they have anthocyanin properties, which guard our bodies against diabetes.
WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT? The anthocyanins in blueberries not only guard our bodies against diabetes, they can also speed up our metabolism. Thus, all it takes to lose weight is to eat blueberries.
20. Acai Berries
This superfood is not that common, but recently, its popular is slowly growing. The acai berry has numerous medicinal properties and have been used medically since ancient times.
It improves heart health, stimulates weight loss, helps with digestion, and boosts brain function.
FUN FACT: The name “acai” is actually from the name of an Amazon girl, who was the daughter of a tribal chief. Her name was Iaca, and this fruit is that name spelled backward.
21. Dark Chocolate
Who says chocolates can’t be part of our superfoods? That’s right, I said chocolate. Specifically, dark chocolate is considered a superfood.
Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids that can help lower blood pressure and can regulate the flow of blood in our body.
FAST FACT: The darker the chocolate, the healthier it is.
Salmon is one of the superfoods that can give you a healthy heart!
With its great dose of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Plus, there’s no need to constantly apply sunscreen lotions because salmon can protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays without lowering your vitamin D intake.
SAY WHAT? Up to the fifteenth century, salmon was spelled without an L as it was derived from “saumon,” which is a French word.
Flaxseed is a fiber crop from the Middle East. It’s one of the oldest cultivated crops and has been around as early as 3,000 BC.
It has very high contents of lignans, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.
So what are the flaxseed benefits? Well, there are plenty. It can prevent heart diseases, combat cancer, improve skin conditions, and help with gastrointestinal issues.
ITS OWN COUNCIL: Plenty of people hold flaxseed in high regard. In fact, in Canada, they have a national organization named the Flax Council of Canada.
24. Chia Seeds
Now don’t let their tiny size fool you. These little seeds pack a mean punch.
Not only do they aid in losing weight by removing excess water from your body, chia seeds can also prevent you from having tartar and bad breath with its calcium and zinc.
The word chia in ancient Mayan means “strength.” One who takes chia seeds become stronger because it also has plenty of proteins in it.
SPA TREATMENT WITH CHIA: Want some homemade beauty treatment? Aside from adding chia to your diet, you can use chia to create your own DIY chia body scrub and indulge in its exfoliating agents.
25. Bee Pollen
According to the German Federal Board of Health, bee pollen is officially a medicine. Bee pollen also has plenty of nutrients and benefits for the human body.
It contains protein, phenolic compounds, digestible carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Bee pollen can increase energy levels, relieve stress, help with infertility troubles, promotes faster wound healing, and treats certain allergies.
SUPER POWERFUL: According to studies, bee pollen is the richest natural source of vitamins in a single food.
Eggs, which have been a usual part of our breakfast meals, definitely have a place in our superfoods list.
Given that it takes an average of about four hours to digest an egg, this protein can actually help you lose weight.
You can also use egg whites as a face mask to enhance your skin tone and cure acne problems.
In addition, they are also rich in nutrients such as amino acids, choline, vitamin D, and a whole lot more.
DID YOU KNOW: To tell if an egg is raw or hard-boiled, spin it. If it spins easily, it’s hard-boiled. If it wobbles unevenly, it’s raw.
Apples are known to be the third healthiest fruit in the world. They are a good source of fiber, and they possess plenty of antioxidants.
Apples help reduce the risk of heart attacks, reduce the risks of asthma attacks, and they can even improve one’s memory.
WHY APPLE? “Fun and spirited, and not intimidating”—this was what Steve Jobs thought about the word “apple” when he decided to call one of the leading brands of today as such.
You probably heard of lemons as one of the best ingredients for detox water.
Yes, lemons are best in aiding one’s digestion, shedding off pounds, and even boosting one’s energy because it is rich in vitamin C.
It can also treat internal bleeding because of its antiseptic and coagulant properties.
Lemon water is best when you add cucumbers and mint leaves to it. It can surely help you cleanse your bellies and achieve that summer bod you’ve always wanted.
FOOT BATH: Lemons can give you a foot relaxation treatment. Just squeeze some lemons in warm water and dip your feet in.
Avocados are known to have heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain more potassium than bananas! The potassium supports healthy blood pressure levels.
For those who wish to get rid of extra pounds, avocados can also help because it is very much loaded with fiber.
SPEED UP RIPENING: One can ripen up avocados in just 2-4 days by placing them inside a brown paper bag together with a banana or apple in it.
Made up of about 92% water, watermelons make sure we are properly hydrated. Plus, this fruit has a good number of electrolytes, which can protect you from heat stroke.
DID YOU KNOW? During ancient times, Egyptians left watermelons in tombs to nourish the afterlife of the dead.
And there you go! A fine selection of superfoods carefully handpicked for you. These superfoods ensure that they have you covered, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. So go ahead and stock up on them to achieve overall health!