While there is no single food that is perfect, there are many foods that are nutritional powerhouses and will definitely help you feel your best if you include them in your diet. For a food to be considered a "superfood" is must be nutrient dense (low calorie to high nutrient ratio), and packed with vitamins and minerals that will benefit your health and decrease chance of nutrient deficiency. Super foods provide many nutrients that support each other and prevent the kind of imbalances that often occur when vitamins are taken individually.
Who can benefit from super foods? In theory, if your diet is good, you should need nothing more to supplement your daily fare. With the depletion of our soils, the widespread use of additives, and the prevalence of sugar, refined carbohydrates and rancid vegetable oils, no one today can say that their diet has been perfect and therefore a daily supply of superfoods is essential.
Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins and fiber. One avocado has the same amount of potassium as 3 bananas. A 3.5 ounce or 100 gram serving of avocado (half an avocado) provides 160 calories, 2.0 grams of protein, 14.7 grams of fat, 8.5 grams of carbohydrates and 6.7 grams of fiber. The 14.7 grams of fat are comprised of 9.8 grams of monounsaturated fats, 2.8 grams of polyunsaturated fats and only 2.1 grams of saturated fat. Its healthy fat content provides sustainable energy.
Broccoli is low in calories and extremely nutrient dense and provides you everything you need for health and energy. Rich in vitamin A, B6, C, K and E, it is also a great source of phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. A 3.5 ounce or 100 gram serving of broccoli provides 35 calories, 2.3 grams of protein, 0.4 grams of fat, 7.2 grams of carbohydrates, 3.3 grams of fiber.
Broccoli demonstrates remarkable anti-cancer effects, particularly when concerning breast cancer. Compounds in broccoli known as glucosinolates increase the excretion of the form of estrogen linked to breast cancer. Indole-3 carbinol is also an important compound found in broccoli known to detoxify the liver's toxic compounds, as well as decrease the growth of human papillomavirus (HPV) – a virus linked to cervical cancer.
3. Bee Pollen
Bee Pollen is very rich in vitamins and contains almost all known minerals, trace elements, enzymes and amino acids. It contains the essence of every plant from which bees collect pollen, in combination with digestive enzymes from the bees. Bee pollen builds the immune system and provides energy for the entire body. It contains 35% protein, 55% carbohydrate, 2% fatty acids and 3% minerals and vitamins. It is high in B-complex and vitamins A, C, D, and E. It also contains lecithin, beta-carotene, selenium.
Bee pollen is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream and stimulates immunological responses. It has proved beneficial for nausea, sleep disorders, and urinary and rectal disorders following radiation treatment. Athletes often use this supplement to help increase their strength, endurance, energy and speed. Bee pollen aids the body in recovering from exercise, returning breathing and heart rate to normal, and improves endurance for repeat exertion. It provides energy, stamina and strength as well as improving mental and physical reactions.
Many people with allergies have found relief by ingesting bee pollen. It reduces the production of histamine which can cause allergic responses such as hay fever. It can strengthen the respiratory system and provide protein that can help the body build a natural defense shield against allergic responses. To use bee pollen, consider sprinkling on cereal or toast, ad to smoothies, or take straight by the tablespoon.
4. Blue-Green Algae
Wild Blue-Green Algae is the most nutrient dense food with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals and other important natural substances. It is rich in vitamin B12, which is essential for the production of red blood cells and to make sure that protein, folic acid, iron, and vitamin C can mature properly and thus carry more oxygen to the cells.
The chlorophyll found in algae helps the body to obtain more oxygen, aiding digestion, acting as an anti-inflammatory, healing gum disease, preventing infection, minimizing effects of pollution and accelerating wound healing. Blue-green algae helps to eliminate sweet cravings and eliminates chances of blood sugar irregularities. Due to the high nutritional content and B vitamins, it is a good food for mental health.
Spirulina and chlorella are types of green algae. Both can be purchased in capsule and powdered form. As a powder, consider adding to smoothies, juices or water.