Health-conscious people like us are curious to know which foods are best for health and wellness.
All foods can’t be equally good for health.
Among the numerous types of foods available to us, a few of the commonly used foods are truly outstanding as they are extremely beneficial to health in multiple ways.
In recent times, many diet experts have begun to classify certain foods as “superfoods”.
Interestingly, there are no standardized rules to find which foods are really superior. However, the nutritional value is obviously the best criterion for categorizing a few foods as superfoods.
After going through many discussions and nutritional facts on various foods, I have chosen 10 healthy foods in the superfoods list, and these are real ‘must-have’ diets for all.
What Are Superfoods?
I used to wonder what are superfoods; initially, I misunderstood them to be some health supplements or energy-boosting pills. Actually, they are a few of the common and very ordinary foods we eat.
I am sure you have come across several discussions on kale, salmon, blueberries, avocado, etc. as great diets for good health. In recent times, foods like these are generally termed as ‘superfoods’ because of their several health benefits.
As per the general understanding, all superfoods contain most of the essential vitamins and minerals.
They also contain a good amount of beneficial antioxidants and medicinal properties that can improve our health in many ways.
These healthy foods have a high amount of nutrients with relatively lower calories, and they rank low on the glycemic index (low sugar).
Besides providing the body with essential nutrients, they also contain unique biologically active compounds with powerful health benefits.
A good number of commonly used foods deserve to be on the list of superfoods. In this article, I have handpicked the top 10 superfoods which could certainly be the best foods on the planet.
1. Kale And Other Cruciferous Veggies
All cruciferous veggies are really nutritious and healthy foods that we can eat. The king of cruciferous veggies is the Kale.
Kale is all the better for people on a weight loss diet as 100 grams of this veggie contains only 10-grams of carbs and 50 calories.
As for vitamins and minerals, one full serving of Kale contains more than the required daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin K1, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. It also has a good amount of calcium and potassium.
Even other cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are also excellent foods similar to Kale.
Avocado is an excellent superfood; nutritious, delicious, and energy-boosting fruit.
The good fats and nutrients found in avocado include lutein, oleic acid, folate, monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and glutathione are good for a healthy heart. They also help in preventing diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and degenerative eye.
This fruit is very delicious and can be well integrated into any meal.
You can read the complete health benefits of avocado in another post on this blog.
Blueberry is the king of all berries for its delicious taste with good nutritional value.
Blueberries are highly valued for the finest natural antioxidants found in it, and it ranks among the top foods on the ORAC table (antioxidant value of the food).
This fruit is found to be good for boosting memory powers according to the results of certain studies.
Few of the studies have proved the capability of blueberry extracts to prevent the occurrence of common types of cancers.
Eating one ounce of blueberries daily would help in lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol level in the blood. This fruit helps to improve the health of the heart.
Garlic is a commonly used ingredient in food preparations for adding flavor and taste to the food. It is also a good mouth refresher that keeps the bad breath away.
The bioactive compounds in garlic are really good for health, especially the medicinal effect of preventing certain diseases. This variety of onions also has good nutritional value.
The antibacterial and anti-fungal properties in garlic improve the immune health of the body and prevent common diseases caused by bacterial and fungal attacks.
The Allicin compound present in garlic is capable of annihilating the super-bacteria MRSA that can even resist most antibiotics.
Most importantly, garlic is really beneficial for the heart as it helps in lowering blood triglycerides and cholesterol.
There are study results that have shown the effects of garlic in reducing blood pressure.
There are also verities of home remedies that have garlic as a major ingredient.
It is good for health to include garlic as a necessary ingredient in many of the foods you prepare at home. Even eating a few raw garlic cloves is really good for your health.
5. Liver And Other Animal Organ Foods
Most of us love to eat the solid flesh or muscles of the animals (beef, chicken, mutton, etc.).
Normally we do not like to eat the animal organ meats such as liver, brain, kidneys, bone marrow, and heart. Actually, by avoiding animal organ meats we are missing out most nutritious food from the animal.
Especially the liver should compulsorily be eaten as it is the best source of many nutrients like iron, B12, and others.
Having 100 grams of a beef liver can fully take care of RDA requirements of Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, Copper, Iron, Folate, B3, B5, B6, and others.
Eating beef liver is good for the re-growth of the liver that has worn out due to different types of cirrhosis.
It is really healthy to eat about 5 ounces of liver per week; at least one meal in a week with the liver.
Egg yolks are normally frowned upon by most of us for it contains cholesterol. However, the little cholesterol content in egg yolks is not at all a big threat to health.
The yolk of the egg is a rich source of many healthy nutrients and the egg-white contains rich protein.
The cholesterol fear factor associated with egg yolks is an unnecessarily exaggerated and uninformed lie propagated by health experts for a few decades.
Some of the recent studies’ results suggest that egg yolks do NOT have any measurable impact on blood cholesterol. It does not cause any diseases or harm the health of the heart.
However, many of the health experts still cling to the old lies and still keep egg yolks as a taboo for heart patients.
The eggs contain plenty of nutrients that is enough to make the baby chicks grow up.
A large egg contains 6 grams of good-quality protein with essential amino acids.
As for the vitamins and minerals, the egg is a rich source of Phosphorus, Selenium, Iron, Vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, and others.
The egg also contains a rich amount of powerful antioxidants such as Lutein and zeaxanthin good for the health of the eyes.
The egg is a fantastic diet that should be included in the weight loss diet menu. Especially having 2 to 3 eggs at breakfast can make you feel satiated and energetic throughout the day. It helps in reducing binge-eating by suppressing appetite and food craving.
We have another article post on the health benefits of eggs where you can read a detailed report on the greatness of the egg diet.
7. Coconut Oil
Most people have very little idea about the best cooking oils to use. Unfortunately, most of the commonly used cooking oils are really bad for health.
There is a wrong notion that all saturated fats are bad for health. It is not true.
Recent research has proven that saturated fats with medium-length fatty acids known as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are good for health.
The coconut oil mostly contains only saturated fat with MCTs.
The coconut oil is rich in 12-carbon Lauric acid, a type of fatty acid. Lauric acid is an excellent anti-microbial agent that has the efficacy to destroy pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Coconut oil is the best cooking oil for weight loss as it boosts metabolism and suppresses the appetite by setting in faster satiation.
You can read about the health benefits of coconut oil in another post on this blog.
Seaweeds are quite rare food. This food from the sea has many exceptional health benefits.
Seaweeds contain quality iodine that is extremely beneficial for thyroid health.
Many health issues, especially in women, are caused by the ill-healthy functioning of thyroid glands and hormones.
Hypothyroidism is a commonly found disease that is caused by iodine deficiency. Hypothyroidism can lead to obesity, fatigue, poor mental health, and other diseases.
Having seaweeds twice or thrice a week as part of your diet could help you to meet the iodine requirements of the body.
The sea-grown weeds or vegetables also contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids which is really important for a healthy heart and brain.
Besides iodine, seaweeds also contain other minerals like zinc, potassium, and iron.
Salmon is fatty fish and the fat in them is mostly the Omega-3 fatty acids that are very important for good health. The best quality and most healthy Omega 3 fatty acids can be got from fish like salmon.
It is good to have 1 or 2 servings of salmon fish as part of your diet every week to meet the Omega 3 fatty acid requirements of your body.
This fish also contains good nutrients and the finest quality proteins. Nutrients like Potassium, Selenium, vitamin B1, B3, B6, and B12 are present in a good amount in this fish.
Salmon fish is really good for improving the health of the heart and lowering the risk of dementia because of the Omega 3 fatty acid present in it.
10. Fish Oil (Cod Liver Oil)
People who do not eat fish like salmon, tuna, sardine, etc. would lack essential Omega-3 fatty acids needed for the body.
Having fish oil capsules supplements is the best alternative means for getting Omega-3 fatty acids. Codfish liver oil is the best one for this purpose.
Fish oil also provides Vitamin D3 required for the body.
It is good to have one tablespoon of fish oil every day, and it will fully meet the daily requirements of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D3 of the body.
Many people who live in cold countries with less sunshine usually lack Vitamin D3. A deficiency in this Vitamin could increase the risk of diabetes and cancer.
Fish oil is also a good source of Vitamin A; one tablespoon of it supplies 13500 IU or almost triple the RDA.
The Bottom Line
Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals.
They have life-saving effects as they contain some of the essential nutrients and antioxidants rarely found in other foods.
A healthy diet containing a variety of so-called ‘superfoods’ will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer.