Top Superfoods

If you're wondering

• what the top superfoods are, and

• what is the ultimate superfood?

Then you've come to the right place!

Do you want to know the best superfoods you can use to create healthy menus for the family?

Then check out my list of superfoods on this page and try my great recipes.

What are superfoods?

They’re foods with a high concentration of several high quality nutrients – they are foods with high nutritional value and lots of natural vitamins. ‘High quality’ usually means the nutrient is in an easily absorbed form.

The media uses the word ‘superfoods’ to create a frenzy around specific food items, like chia seeds or goji berries.

But the fact is:

most unprocessed, non-hybrid, plant-ripened, freshly picked fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts are top superfoods, because they have very high nutritional value.

Superfoods include the native foods of different countries. Many of these foods are not available from the shop and might be poorly known outside their local area.

My top superfoods list includes foods that are generally available worldwide, and have the highest concentrations of several nutrients.

You can use foods from my superfoods list to make healthy food choices and create fabulous superfood recipes – I’ll show you how!

Here’s my top 10 superfoods list:

Spinach

Most countries have their own native versions – there are many spinach varieties. There are many health benefits of spinach, so it's the highest ranked of all my top superfoods. Cook lightly to boost the antioxidant content, or use raw – see my quick healthy recipes.

Spinach nutrition facts: the spinach plant is full of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium vitamin B6, tryptophan, vitamin E…..and plenty of others (1). It also contains high quality protein and rates highly as a weight loss food (2).

Broccoli

This is a well known superfood, full of vitamin C, K, A, folate, fibre, manganese, tryptophan, B6, B2 and many other vitamins.

It’s a fantastic anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant vegetable.

Broccoli is also one of those foods that detox the body (1).

In fact, it's more than just a top superfood, I’d rate it as the ultimate superfood!

Cook lightly to boost the antioxidant content. It also contains high quality protein and rates as a good weight loss food (2).

Broccoli extract is included in some whole food supplements and vitamin supplements. It’s fantastic in a green drink - see my top superfood recipes for more info!

Berries

All berries are rich in vitamin C and also contain manganese, fibre, iodine, potassium, folate, B vitamins, omega 3, vit K, magnesium and/or copper…among other nutrients. The pigments that cause the bright colours are powerful phytochemicals that provide high anti-oxidant activity - great for inflammatory conditions like arthritis and cardiovascular disease (1).

Goji berries are a very popular dried berry, while others like blackberries can be purchased fresh or frozen. There are many ways to enjoy these top superfoods.

Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Pumpkin seeds are full of manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, tryptophan, iron, copper vitamin K, zinc and protein.

That's what you'll get from a serve of pumpkin seeds, along with protective benefits against prostate disease and osteoporosis.

They're also great anti-inflammatory foods for conditions like arthritis (1).


Flaxseed

What is flaxseed? It’s also known as linseed, and it’s a reddish brown seed that’s full of alpha linoleic acid, a type of omega 3 fatty acid.

Flaxseed benefits: flaxseed is rich in fibre, manganese and magnesium, folate and copper. Flaxseed is an important anti-inflammatory food that protects bones and fights cancer, heart disease and diabetes. (1). What a great food to include in your superfoods diet!

Some people may react to flaxseed at first. Ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil side effects can include bloating and flatulence. Start with small amounts and gradually increase as your tolerance builds up to a maximum of 1 to 2 tablespoons per day. After all, the side effects of flaxseed oil are minor compared to flaxseed oil health benefits!

Quinoa

Quinoa (keen-wah) is actually a seed and is related to spinach. It's a complete protein source - great for vegans and vegetarians - and is rich in manganese, magnesium, iron and tryptophan.

Quinoa can be used as a treatment for migraine headaches, to support cardiovascular health and provide antioxidant protection against cancer. (1)

Kidney beans

The benefits of beans include their convenience for long term storage (in dried form) and their high fibre content. Kidney beans are rich in vitamins and minerals including folate, iron, fibre, tryptophan, phosphorous, copper and magnesium and of course protein.

Their cholesterol-lowering fibre is a winning feature that helps prevent cardiovascular disease, while the beans also help to stabilise blood sugar. (1)

Cook properly to destroy lectins.

Eggs (omega 3)

Omega 3 eggs are a top superfoods that are full of tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B2, protein and molybdenum, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. They also provide choline which is necessary for maintaining healthy cell membranes and promotes healthy nerve function.

Cook lightly to deactivate the protein avidin in the raw egg white, which can block biotin absorption.

Sardines

These little guys are lower heavy metals than larger species of fish, because they're lower in the food chain and bio-accumulate less. Aside from the Omega 3 benefits, sardines are high in B12, tryptophan, selenium, vitamin D, phosphorous and calcium.

The benefits of vitamin D, in particular, include enhanced mineral absorption (e.g. teeth and bones), optimal thyroid function, and healthy nails and fighting insomnia. In light of that, sardines are great for healthy bones, heart health, muscles and are a good anti-cancer food. (1)

Low fat yoghurt

Yoghurt is full of iodine, calcium, phosphorous, B2, protein, B12 and tryptophan, among other things. It boosts immune response and has a beneficial effect on cholesterol; lowering LDL and raising HDL. Low fat yoghurt intake is also linked to fat loss - what a top superfood! (1)

In case you didn’t get enough, here’s my extended list of top superfoods:

• Almonds

Almonds are a good source of manganese, vitamin E, magnesium, tryptophan, copper and B12. They can help lower LDL cholesterol and therefore reduce your risk of heart disease. They also help to diminish post-meal blood sugar fluctuations (1).

• Avocado

The nutritional value of avocado is incredible: they’re rich in vitamin K, fibre, potassium, folate, B6 and vitamin C. The oleic acid within this fruit promotes heart health and increases your absorption of other nutrients. (1)

• Basil

Very rich in vitamin K, flavonoids (orientin and vicenin) that protect cell structures and chromosomes from radiation and oxidative damage. Also contains many antibacterial volatile oils and is a powerful anti-inflammatory (1). This rates as a top superfood because a small serve is so rich in nutrients.

• Black Beans

Black beans are a very good source of molybdenum, folate and fibre and a range of other things. They’re a top superfood for vegans, as a good source of iron and protein. The fibre is excellent for managing blood sugar and are a very high quality protein. They also detoxify sulphates, a type of food preservative that some people react to if they’re low in molybdenum. Welcome the black beans!

• Chia Seeds

These ancient seeds are related to spinach and are omega-3 fatty acid powerhouses (alpha linoleic acid). Importantly, they have an omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio of 3:1 which is important for reducing inflammation (3). This makes them one of my top superfoods. They’re also high in calcium, manganese and phosphorous, and a good source of fibre and protein (2).

Get the most benefit from seeds by soaking in water in a ratio of 1 part seeds to 9 parts water (e.g. 1 tablespoon of seeds in 9 tablespoons of water). The gel that forms can be used to replace oils in baking or eggs. It stores well for up to three weeks in a sealed container in the fridge.

• Kale

What is kale? The kale plant is a leafy vegetable that belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, e.g. cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.

Health benefits of kale: Kale is rich in vitamin K, A, C, manganese, fibre, copper, tryptophan, calcium and B6 (among others). It is full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients and anti-cancer nutrients, and supports detoxification (1). Cook kale lightly to boost the antioxidant content and enjoy the taste of this top superfood.

• Kangaroo

This wild meat is very low fat, high in protein and high in iron and zinc. It’s also full of B vitamins and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has antioxidant properties and may help with fat burning.

• Oats

Steel cut oats are the least processed. They are rich in manganese, selenium, tryptophan, phosphorous, B1, fibre and magnesium. They’re also a reasonable quality protein source. They contain the fibre beta-glucan which lowers cholesterol, stabilises blood sugar and enhances immune response to bacterial infection (1).

• Oranges

Bursting with vitamin C, juicy, tasty oranges are a good source of fibre, folate and B1. The flavonoids in oranges have significant antioxidant properties which can help to lower blood pressure, while the high vitamin C content reduces the risk of cancer and inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular disease (1). A tasty top superfood!

(1) Worlds Healthiest Foods www.whfoods.org - a top superfoods site.

(2) Nutrition Data www.nutritiondata.self.com - find out if you're eating top superfoods

(3) Chianergy www.chia4life.com.au - check out this top superfood!

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