Superfoods are basically nutrient dense foods that have powerful health properties. For the longest time, only a few foods were thought to be worthy of being titled superfoods. But recently, researchers have begun to realize that many foods can be considered a superfood. Foods that are nutrient dense deserve the title superfoods, and if you make a list of such nutrient-rich foods, you’d know that you are probably eating a few of them without realizing they are superfoods! Although your millet roti, paneer gravies and dal khichdi are equally nutrient dense and taste great when served from a casserole, there are other superfoods you can additionally try and include in your dieg! Read on to know about 27 such superfoods that are powerhouse of nutrients.
1. Peanut Butter
There is a reason that peanut butter is a key ingredient in many post and pre workout snacks. It contains an amazing amount of protein alongside some other nutrients that are great for helping your body relax. One amino acid known as L-arginine even plays a major role to improve blood flow throughout the body. This helps your body recover even faster after a workout or strenuous activity.
Chickpeas are the first thing that comes to mind when people think of superfoods. These little beans are great sources of dietary fiber and plant-based protein, two nutrients that your body needs to function properly. You can add these wonderful little guys to just about any savory dish or salad. They make great substitutes for meat-based protein. Make a chickpeas salad and carry it in your food jar, and you are all set for a nutritious snack to get you through your day!
Pumpkins are good for more than just making jack-o-lanterns or decorating the house during fall. They also taste amazing either as part of a larger dish or as a standalone food. Every part of the pumpkin works as a superfood as well, even the seeds. There are a lot of pumpkin recipes to choose from so you will never grow bored of eating this superfood. Soups, a delicious halwa or a pudding, pumpkin tastes great in all of these, just make sure you serve warm from a casserole and you would develop instant linking towards this vegetable!
Fatty fish like tuna should be a major part of everyone’s diet. It may be hard to tell, but fatty fish has one of the best concentrations of vitamins and minerals around. They are especially good for obtaining omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for brain development and brain health. They are also great for improving your skin and keeping your heart healthy.
Salmon is another nutrient dense fish that can do wonders for your diet. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and B complex vitamins. The B vitamins are especially good for red blood cell production and protecting your eyesight. Your body does not create B vitamins naturally, so it is important that you include them in your diet. Salmon is an especially good choice for this because it is a versatile fish that can work with a variety of dishes.
6. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are extremely nutrient dense. They are a fantastic source of dietary fiber among other things. The dietary fiber even promotes good digestive health and good gut health. It also contains antioxidants which help to protect your health by killing free radicals which can cause damage to cells.
7. Chia Seeds
One characteristic of a top tier superfood is that it is versatile. A good strategy when it comes to superfoods is to use them as nutritional supplements in your diet. Chia seeds work wonderfully well in this regard. They contain fiber, protein, and essential vitamins which are some of the best things for your health. Try including chia seeds in your morning smoothie or mixing them into your yogurt. Another option is to add a spoon of chia seeds to your water in an insulated water bottle. Don’t forget to infuse flavor into this water by squeezing a lemon or even orange or sweet lime.
8. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a great superfood choice. They make great snacks or supplements for your meals due to their nutritional profile. They contain protein, dietary fiber, zinc, selenium, and manganese, just to name a few. Including sunflower seeds in your diet can help to treat inflammation, prevent heart disease, and treat diabetes. It is easy to overdo it when indulging in sunflower seeds, but make sure to eat them in moderation as eating too many can cause constipation.
Miso is a type of fermented bean paste that originates in Japan. It is most commonly made into miso soup, the soup dish normally served on the side with sushi. It introduces good bacteria to your gut to improve your digestion. There are literally hundreds of different varieties of miso that have different flavors. Miso itself is a great way to add the fifth taste, umami, to various dishes such as, vegetable, soups, broths, glazes, stews, and marinades.
Oats are extremely high in soluble fiber which have the ability to absorb bad cholesterol inside the digestive track. Oats also have the ability to reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure. On top of everything else, oats contain antioxidants that keep cancer causing free radicals in check. Just eating oatmeal can be a bit bland, so spice up your next bowl with some honey and fruit.
Blueberries earned their status as a superfood by being one of the best sources of antioxidants available. They have been proven to reduce age related symptoms of dementia by protecting the brain from oxidative stress. They even help to improve fine motor skills, like the kind used to play the piano. The best part of blueberries is that they can be easily included in your diet. Either eat them raw or turn them into a smoothie.
12. Brazil Nuts
Nuts generally make for good super food options because they are nutrient dense, bite sized, and filled with dietary fiber and protein. Brazil nuts offer other benefits including these. They contain selenium, a compound that increases the effectiveness of antioxidants in the body and helps to prevent the development of heart disease and cancer. They also contain a sizable amount of copper which works to prevent bones from deteriorating.
13. Olive Oil
The best thing about this superfood is its ability to be seamlessly incorporated into your diet. You can replace butter, and vegetable oil with olive oil and gain its benefits without even trying. There’s a reason the Mediterranean diet is so effective; the secret is olive oil. It reduces cholesterol, regulates blood sugar levels, and reduces inflammation. People who regularly consume olive oil also have a reduced chance of developing certain types of cancer.
Eggs can be considered a superfood because they are extremely nutrient dense. They are some of the best gram for gram sources of protein available. Eating eggs will also not raise your cholesterol, unlike other meat based sources of protein. It doesn’t take a whole lot of preparation to include eggs in your diet either. You can include them in a meal or eat them alone.
Avocado is a mighty powerful superfood for a couple of reasons, the most important being that it contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are extremely important nutrients to include in your diet, but they can be difficult to come by, especially if you are a vegetarian or vegan. Avocados also contain a lot of dietary fiber and some protein which help to improve and regulate digestive health. Make a batch of guacamole, store it in an insulated casserole, one that would keep it fresh until it is time to serve!
The most notable feature of this interesting superfood is that it is extremely high in nutrients while being noticeably low in calories. A singular serving of seaweed can have as few as 30 calories. Eating seaweed can strengthen the mucus layer that protects the walls of the gut, slow down digestion, and prevent high blood pressure from developing. It also helps to regulate hormones and detoxify the blood.
17. Black Raspberries
Every type of berry has a significant amount of vitamins and minerals that provide great health benefits. Black raspberries or just blackberries for short, sit at the top of the healthy berry list. They are overloaded with powerful antioxidants that have been shown to be two times more efficient than other berries at combatting free radicals. Blackberries also contain ellagic acid which has both antibacterial and antiviral properties.
18. Black Pepper
Believe it or not, the common table top spice that you’ve been eating for years is also a superfood. Black pepper has been used to treat indigestion and promote bodily health for centuries. Regular use of the spice has been shown to reduce intestinal gas, promote urination, stimulate fat cell breakdown, and provide a healthy dose of antioxidants to any dish.
Most people are familiar with turmeric because it is the primary ingredient in Indian curry seasoning. But there is no reason that it cannot be its own dish. Turmeric tea is not only pleasant to drink it has all the unique health properties of turmeric. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties which can help you to recover from injuries and alleviate pain.
Dates have been prized for their superfood qualities for generations. They are extremely nutrient dense fruits which is why they are traditionally used as high energy snacks when traveling. They don’t just provide you with lots of energy however, they also boost brain functionality, regulate blood sugar balance, and help to maintain bone mass due to their calcium content.
This simple sweetener is one of the best superfoods available because it replaces some of the most common unhealthy foods – mainly sugar. It is more than just a sweetener substitute though. It also boosts the immune system’s processes, acts as an antibacterial compound, and treats indigestion. It’s truly an all-around stunner when it comes to superfood.
These amazing grains are filled with all types of valuable nutrients. They possess both soluble and insoluble fiber which helps to regulate digestion and prevent constipation respectfully. They’re also a great source of energy as they are low in calories but contain lots of nutrients. Dal, khichdi, rajma or your chole, cook up a storm with lentils, store them in a hot case to preserve the flavor and fragrance of every dal you cook!
Who would have thought that a simple topping could improve your hotdog in such a profound and spectacular way? Sauerkraut or chopped cabbage contains healthy bacteria that keeps your gut healthy. It also has a high dietary fiber content that works to regulate your bowel. Chowing down on sauerkraut can also keep your brain healthy because it contains a sizable amount of vitamin K.
24. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an interesting superfood because it’s one of the few that doesn’t have to be consumed to attain its health benefits. You can easily get some of the best of coconut oil’s health benefits by rubbing it on your skin instead of cooking with it. But there are a variety of dishes which taste fabulous when you add a few spoons of coconut oil. Some of the best benefits of coconut oil include the ability to mitigate seizures, reduce hunger, stave off bacteria and infections, and help recovery from brain disorders.
25. Plain Yogurt
Yogurt doesn’t have to be super fancy to be a superfood. As a matter of fact, the best yogurt for your health tends to be the plainest kind. It contains fats, protein, carbs, and healthy bacteria, classic traits of high-quality superfoods. Eating yogurt regularly helps to regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestive health, prevent osteoporosis, and even lower the risk of developing vaginal infections.
Garlic is not a superfood because it wards off vampires – a common misconception. It is a superfood because it has very unique health properties. Garlic contains the amino acid, allicin. It has been proven to have a positive effect on heart disease, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It’s also good for strengthening the immune system to resist illness.
Ginger is a well-known herb that is prized for its unique health benefits. It is a particularly powerful pain-relieving agent and digestive aid, mostly due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Its anti-inflammatory properties are so powerful that ginger is commonly utilized as a menstrual symptom reliever. There are lots of ways to include it in your diet, but the simplest method may be to prepare a simple cup of ginger tea to drink after meals.
Generally speaking, any nutrient dense food that has a plethora of health benefits can be considered a superfood. The majority of nuts, berries, seeds, and spices are superfoods of some kind. Keep exploring the varied world of superfoods and experience their powerful health benefits.