If you’re looking for a handy list to tuck in your pocket before you hit the supermarket this week, you’ve come to the right place. Superfoods are essentially nutritional powerhouses, which give you the most bang for your buck. These goods are loaded with the most vitamins, minerals and overall nutrition per unit, and you’ll learn more about our favourites and why they earn the title here.
Superfoods aren’t just limited to obscure powders, berries and supplements either; in fact, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that many grace the shelves of your pantry and fridge already. We’re looking at quality over quantity here, and these are the top 25 foods you should always reserve a spot for in your shopping basket.
You’ve probably been told how important eating your fruits and veggies is, and it’s true. These colourful plant foods are loaded with micronutrients – vitamins and minerals – we need to provide us with a healthy, balanced diet. Moreover, they contain tons of fibre to optimise digestion and help us feel full. Oh, and they’re tasty! From juicy, ripe fruits for snacks to roasted veggies at dinner, these superfoods have a place in every diet. Some produce really comes in at the top though.
This fruit is an antioxidant powerhouse, helping to combat free radicals in the body. Their nutrients are fantastic for the nervous system, brain health and more. Anthocyanins give blueberries their gorgeous hue, and these antioxidants aren’t just good for colour; they also help protect the body from disease, reduce blood pressure, improve eyesight, and possess anti-inflammatory properties.
This green is another amazing source of antioxidants and other vitamins. It contains the most lutein of any foods which contributes to good eye health. Its antioxidant compounds are also linked to cancer prevention, anti-inflammatory properties and detox. A standard serving provides you with your daily dose of vitamin K (1,180% of it, actually!), vitamin A and most of your vitamin C.
This green is often just a garnish, but it’s worth upping your intake for! Like kale, it really packs in the vitamin K, but that’s not all; its powerful blend of magnesium, calcium and potassium can reduce cancer risk and lower blood pressure.
Yet another green veggie that makes our list today, these tiny cabbages are full of nutrients. Steamed sprouts are particularly healthy as the fibre is easily binded with bile acids during digestion, which can help lower cholesterol levels in the body. They’re also fabulous for DNA protection, and they contain more glucosinolate (a phytonutrient that helps protect against cancer) than any other cruciferous veggie.
Although beets are a rather sugary veggie, they contain tons of nutrients you don’t want to miss out on. This veggie is one of the most highly detoxifying considering the betalin pigments that give them their colour. Oh, and don’t toss those greens! They contain even more iron than spinach. It’s also worth noting that beets provide a good source of betaine which helps to protect our cells and enzymes from environmental stressors.
Fungi are amazing for the body due to their immune-boosting properties; they are antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. Their polysaccharides in mushrooms promote longevity and fight off cancer. Reishi mushrooms, in particular, are also fantastic for neural health.
Avocado is a fantastic source of healthy fats which can help you absorb all those A, E, D and K vitamins! This fruit can help lower cholesterol, is loaded with antioxidants and can even reduce arthritis symptoms. They’re also a good source of potassium – even more than bananas.
Sweet potatoes are our favourite starch for good reasons! They are a great source of beta-carotene – hence the orange colour – which converts to vitamin A in the body when paired with some healthy fats. They’re also low-glycemic compared to most other potato varieties, so they can actually help regulate blood sugar.
Meat, poultry & fish
If we’re looking at our ancestors for advice, you’d see that hunting and gathering animal foods is absolutely part of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, these days, there just isn’t as much widespread emphasis on quality which is where these products gain their superfood status from. If you’re attentive enough, many meats and seafoods are some of the healthiest foods on the planet.
One of the most unique factors of grass-fed beef in comparison to its conventional counterpart is its omega-3 content. There’s no doubt that our omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio is important to overall health and vitality, so choosing a properly sourced beef product can take your meat from ‘food’ to ‘superfood’ in one fell swoop.
These little guys are sustainable for the environment which gives them an upper hand, much like grass-fed beef. Not only does this fish provide some serious omega-3 action, but it’s also one of the best food sources of vitamin D which many people are deficient in. They’re great for the bones with a hefty dose of calcium, and their nutrient profile supports good cardiovascular health. Don’t be afraid to give this superfood a go.
Fish tops the list when it comes to animal protein’s claim to superfood fame. It’s a unique food source of vitamin B12 (236% of the DV per serving!), plus it contains a powerful amino acid called taurine. It contains one of the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in any food. Like sardines, salmon also contains some vitamin D. These things in conjunction promote everything from good mood to bone health, warding off osteoporosis.
While oysters are widely known as a libido-boosting food which is true, there’s more to their superpowers than just that! They are especially high in zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, copper, manganese and selenium. Their zinc content makes them a healing food, both in terms of time it takes for wounds to heal and for immunity considering their anti-microbial properties. Their iron boost can help increase circulation and defend against anemia, too.
Forget about the cholesterol myth; starting off your day with eggs is a surefire way to get in some superfoods first thing in the morning. Pasture-raised eggs have huge advantages in nutrition. They contain 2/3 more vitamin A, twice the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, three times more vitamin E, seven times more beta-carotene and a little bit less cholesterol in case you’re worried. Otherwise, they provide a lovely balance of fats and proteins which should keep you both full and focused through the morning!
What else should you keep handy? The pantry is king at providing bursts of nutrition quickly, even when the fridge is looking a little barren. Don’t let the body go without proper fuel! These are our favourite superfoods to always keep on hand.
One variety of seaweed called dulse provides big flavour in a tiny package, and you can even use it to replace salt. This mineral-rich seaweed contains calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. It’s high in both vitamin A and vitamin C. Lastly, it provides the body with iodine which is important for thyroid health and good hormone behaviour.
Kelp – a brown seaweed – is comparable to both kale and dulse with its own unique set of superfood benefits including high amounts of iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron to name a few noteworthy minerals. Iodine is good for the thyroid, but it also provides some good nutrition for our skin, hair and nails. Consider kelp a beauty food. Check out some of our favourite kelp noodle recipes.
Overall, coconut is one of the healthiest foods on the planet in almost all of its natural forms. Coconut oil, in particular, is an amazing pantry staple. It’s mostly comprised of saturated fats which take down LDL in the body and convert it into good cholesterols promoting a healthy heart and lessening the risk of heart disease. Its medium-chain fatty acids are easy for the body to digest unlike long-chain fatty acids in vegetable oils. It’s also easily used by the liver as energy, which helps coconut oil not be stored immediately as fat (a common misconception with fats!). It also has tons of immunity benefits.
You can bet that any food with a naturally vibrant hue is packing serious nutrition, and turmeric is no exception to the rule. It’s most commonly known for curcumin which provides a natural anti-inflammatory benefit. This medicinal spice is easily added into the diet, and it increases antioxidant capacity which makes it great for taking in all the nutrients in the rest of the foods on our list. It’s also linked to better cognitive functioning, lessened risk of heart disease and cancer prevention.
Almonds are arguably the healthiest nut on the planet, especially if you soak and sprout/dehydrate them prior to consumption. In Ayurvedic medicine, almonds are known for increasing brain power, intellectual ability and contributing to a longer, healthier life. They contain healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants and some solid vitamin E! They’re fantastic for the brain, skin and heart.
Most teas from black and green to herbal blends contain plenty of health benefits, but oolong is often overlooked. It can cut down on triglycerides due to its enzymes. It can also help the body to burn more fat. Finally, it contains a fair amount of niacin which is good for detox. Oh, and its antioxidants can help your teeth stay strong which is promising if you’re trying to cut back on coffee or black tea.
Fermented foods are simple to make at home, and you can even buy them most of the time. These foods are ‘cooked’ a.k.a. left out to gather up good bacteria which helps keep our gut flora healthy, boost immunity, improve digestion and more. A little can go a long way in providing probiotics and many other powerful health benefits.
Miso is a fermented soy product with big flavour, and it doesn’t present many of the same problems as non-fermented soy does. Plus, it’s used in small doses, so you’re more likely only to take in the good without overdoing it. Nutrients in miso include copper, manganese and vitamin K with a substantial serving of cancer-fighting probiotics. Fermentation really brings out the good antioxidants in soy, and miso is a tasty addition to broths, stir-fries and more.
This Korean dish is cheap and easy to make at home with superfoods all on their own – cabbage, carrots, ginger, garlic and more come together in this gut-friendly and flavourful ferment. Kimchi contains lactobacilli which is a bacteria that aids in digestion and maintenance of intestinal flora. This bacteria also has potential to clear up skin issues and reduce inflammation.
Kombucha is delicious – especially if you’re trying to kick soda – and it has some stellar health benefits to boot with all of its healthy bacteria strains. It’s simple to make at home with just tea and sugar, too! It can help with digestion, weight loss, boosting energy, detox and immunity. It also contains something called glucosamines which supports collagen preservation in the body, leading to good bone and joint care.
If tolerated and from proper sources, dairy provides excellent nutrition. It’s a real food that often provides a healthy dose of good fats and essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, it tastes good, and there’s no denying it! Here are some of our favourite dairy products to keep handy.
Butter gets a bad rap sometimes, but hear us out. Grass-fed butter makes food taste better, first and foremost. It provides plenty of vitamin K2 which actually helps keep your arteries unclogged. Finally, it’s one of the absolute best sources of butyric acid which is helpful namely for digestion and inflammation.
Quite like yoghurt, kefir is easy to make at home and packed with nutrition. It’s a fermented yoghurt drink, so you can expect a healthy dose of probiotics out of each sip, providing the gut with that good bacteria! It’s also loaded with biotin, B-vitamins, calcium, phosphorous and more. It can help to boost immunity, improve digestion, promote strong bones and improve lactose tolerance.
Who doesn’t love cheese? Raw milk cheese contains enzymes that break down the fats, sugars and minerals in milk which makes it easier to digest for many. Like any fermented food, it contains those good-for-you bacteria that feed our guts the nutrients they need and make other nutrients more available to us. Lastly, milk contains all essential amino acids. If you are having trouble with dairy, raw milk and raw milk cheese could actually be a good addition.
I’d like to thank the author of https://happybodyformula.com/25-super-foods-you-should-always-have-in-your-shopping-basket/ for the use of their content which was curated to bring you this information.