"Superfoods are foods that go beyond simply providing you with your daily dose of nutrients."
Superfoods are the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. In today’s live show with Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD, find out today which foods have achievedsuperfood status and should be part of our diets. Plus, Dr. Nancy will share a few of her high-protein, energy-backed superfood recipes anyone can prepare. Don’t miss this fun and important show.
- 03:14:What is a Superfood?
- 09:06:Top Five Superfood Veggies
- 17:15:Top Five Superfood Fruits
- 28:17:Lesser-Known Amazing Superfoods
- 40:10:Superfood Apple Slaw Recipe
- 45:08:Cantaloupe Popsicle Recipe
- 49:40:Kale Grapefruit Salad Recipe
- 56:53:Chocolate Avocado Pudding
What is a Superfood?
Calling something a “superfood” doesn’t mean it has superpowers, though it does pack quite a wallop in terms of keeping you in optimal health. Superfoods have been around forever. They’re foods like strawberries, kale, almonds, and salmon. They’re foods you’ve always been eating, but with things like cancer, heart disease, obesity, and type II diabetes on the rise, companies have attached the term “superfood” to these foods as a marketing tool to sell more products and to influence certain food trends, promoting better health.
Superfoods are foods that go beyond simply providing you with your daily dose of nutrients. In addition to providing you with the necessary nutrients, they often contain things like phytochemicals that work to prevent chronic conditions and diseases, and antioxidants that help with cellular repair and promote proper organ function. They also have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Our bodies can’t possibly get all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we need from one single food. But superfoods are very nutrient-dense, meaning they contain more nutrients per gram than other foods — you’re essentially getting more bang for your buck with that one type of food. Hence, the label,superfood.
As we mentioned, a lot of superfoods have inflammation-fighting properties, and eating plenty of foods that fight inflammation has been shown in studies to help reduce symptoms associated with seasonal allergies and with inflammatory conditions and diseases like asthma and arthritis. Anti-inflammatory foods may also help in preventing cancer, digestive issues, stroke, and heart disease. They can ward off symptoms of depression and give the immune system a major boost so you don’t get sick.
Dr. Nancy has an entirelist of anti-inflammatory foods she loves, but today we’re focusing on hertop five superfood veggies andtop five superfood fruits.
Top five superfood veggies:
Most dark, leafy greens are considered superfoods because they contain those phytochemicals we talked about above, as well as loads of calcium and vitamins C and A. Kale is extremely versatile — you can use it in smoothies, sauté it with a little olive oil and serve it as a side dish, or use it in a soup or salad.
Sweet potatoes are great because they bring a bit of sweetness to your plate. Sweet potatoes have lots of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium but what they’re really packing is vitamin A. They're also loaded with vitamin A. Vitamin A helps with chronic inflammation, immunity, and maintaining healthy vision.
Were you someone who hated Brussels sprouts as a kid? It seems like a lot of people did! But brussels sprouts are actually delicious and they’re a superfood. In fact, all cruciferous vegetables are, like the next one on the list...
Cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage are superfoods because they’re packed with fiber and phytochemicals that are purported to prevent cancer.
Garlic is amazing. You can put it in so many of meals because it adds so much wonderful flavor, and it’s a superfood! Garlic is loaded with fiber and vitamin C, but it’s also got antibacterial and antifungal properties making it ideal for fighting off infections and diseases. It’s a great immunity booster and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Plus, it keeps vampires away. So, load up!
Top five superfood fruits
All berries are superfruits, because of their high fiber content, but blueberries are at the top of the list. They’re full of phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber, which make them a great feel-fuller-faster snack.
Yes, it’s a fruit despite the fact most of us enjoy it as a vegetable. Avocados are full of monounsaturated fat, which is the good fat responsible for heart health, weight loss, maintaining glucose levels, reducing inflammation, and improving mood. Maybe that’s why people are so happy when they eat guacamole! Avocados are also high in vitamin C and potassium — even higher than bananas, the fruit famous for its potassium content. They’re versatile, too. Some people like to add these to their smoothies, and their creamy consistency makes them a good substitute for dairy in recipes like pudding or ice cream. Keep reading, for a Chocolate Avocado Pudding Recipe.
Like berries, all citrus fruits are superfruits, but we’re putting grapefruit on the Top 5 list because it’s a great detoxifier, in addition to being packed with vitamins and minerals essential to ensuring the liver is functioning properly and improving heart health by lowering cholesterol. Grapefruit can jumpstart the metabolism, which can help with weight loss, and it can also improve insulin sensitivity, meaning it can help insulin better control sugar and glucose levels in the body.
Did you know apples can help alleviate symptoms associated with seasonal allergies? That’s because they’re full of antihistamines and anti-inflammatory properties that give your immune system a kick and help kick allergies to the curb. One study conducted at a medical school in London also found that people who eat at least five apples a week saw improved lung function, making this another superfruit good for fighting symptoms associated with asthma. An apple a day truly might keep the doctor away!
Want to know why we love cantaloupe? Because it’s great for your skin. It boasts tons of vitamin A, which is good for the skin, and it also helps speed up cell reproduction and acts as an exfoliant by thinning the outermost layer of dead skin cells which cause breakouts and clog pores. Bonus — cantaloupes are made up of 90% water so they help keep you hydrated!
Lesser-Known Amazing Superfoods
Let’s also talk about some other superfoods that are either lesser known or not advertised quite as much as the fruits, veggies, lean proteins, healthy oils, fish, nuts, beans, and seeds are in the superfood category.
- Ginger.Ginger defines superfood! It has so many amazing health benefits, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s an inflammation fighter, it helps fight nausea and aids digestion, and it can help with menstrual cramps. Ginger can relieve muscle soreness and it is believed to help fight cancer and heart disease. If you feel a cold coming on, add a tablespoon or 2 of grated ginger, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, and half a lemon to some boiling water and you’ll be saying, “Cold? What cold?”
- Chlorella.Chlorella is an algae that is great for lowering cholesterol and detoxifying the body. You can consume chlorella a couple different ways — as a powder for smoothies or as a supplement. It’s a complete protein, meaning it’s got all nine essential amino acids in it; it’s got omega-3 fatty acids, it’s high in fiber, iron, vitamin C, and B12…are you surprised this one’s a superfood?
- Spirulina.Like chlorella, spirulina is chocked full of nutrients. Also like chlorella it’s an algae and it’s being labelled by some as the most nutritious food in the world. That’s because it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods out there. It’s low in fat and high in protein, as well as high in iron, vitamin B, and essential amino acids.
- Acai.Acai is another superfruit that’s become a buzzword in recent years. This is perhaps because it’s been marketed for its anti-aging properties and its ability to help facilitate weight loss. People typically add them to smoothies or maybe you’ve heard of an acai bowl, which usually also has some yogurt and granola thrown in. Acai is a berry and it’s reached superfruit status because it’s got lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which is probably why it’s gained so much attention for slowing the signs of aging.Fun fact: the acai berry is known as the “fruit that cries” in its native countries.
- Curcumin.And if a supplement ingredient could be considered a superfood, then curcumin would be it. Curcumin is in the turmeric family, but if you don’t want to eat hundreds of pounds of turmeric but do want to yield the health benefits, a supplement is the best way to take it. Smarter Curcumin has inflammation-fighting properties, lowers the inflammatory load on the body, and improves overall wellness.
Superfood Apple Slaw Recipe
If you're doing any type of cookout, why not take a yummyApple Slaw as an alternative to potato or egg salad that’s loaded with mayonnaise and other not-so-good for you ingredients?
- ¼ cup olive or avocado oil
- 2 tsp dried mustard powder
- 1 tbsp raw, organic honey
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 small head of purple cabbage (2 cups), cored and cut into strips
- 8 radishes, finely sliced
- 2 medium, organic Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into julienne strips
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
To make this incredibly easy and deliciously refreshing slaw, first whisk together the olive oil, mustard, honey, and lime juice to make the dressing. Set aside.
Toss the cabbage, radishes, and apples in a bowl, drizzle with the dressing, and toss again to combine. Add salt and pepper, toss a little more to make sure it’s mixed in, garnish with the cilantro just prior to serving, and you’re ready to go!
Cantaloupe Popsicle Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 cups cantaloupe, diced
- Juice of 1 lime
Puree the cantaloupe and lime juice in a blender until the cantaloupe is smooth — about 30 seconds. Divide the mixture among four popsicle molds (Dixie cups will work, too), pop in the freezer for about 4 hours, stick a popsicle stick in each, and freeze for 4 hours more before enjoying on a hot summer day!
Kale Grapefruit Salad Recipe
Another favorite combines a lot of superfoods into one: Kale Salad with Grapefruit, Avocado, and Walnuts.
- 2 tbsp juice of a ruby red grapefruit
- 1 ½ tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1 tsp raw, organic honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
- ½ of a large ruby red grapefruit, seeds removed and segmented
- ½ of an avocado, chopped
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
To make the dressing, whisk together the first three ingredients. Raw honey at room temperature is solid, so you may need to work with it for a bit. Salt and pepper to taste. To make the salad, first drizzle a little over half the dressing over the kale and toss until well coated. Add the remaining ingredients and top with the remaining dressing.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
- 1 medium sized, ripe avocado, chopped
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 5 tbsp non-dairy milk like almond, coconut, or hemp
- Pistachios (optional)
Place all the ingredients except the pistachios in a blender and blend until smooth. If you find the mixture is too thick, add a tiny bit more nondairy milk until you get the desired consistency of pudding. Refrigerate until nice and cool, top with pistachios if you’d like, and enjoy!
To recap, superfoods got their name more as a marketing tool, although they are quite super because they truly are so nutrient-dense, and many are even believed to help ward off things like inflammation, heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. Superfoods are a classification of foods that contain more antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and inflammation-fighting properties than foods that are more processed and not as beneficial for you.
Some of our favorite superfoods are:
- Brussels sprouts
In general, superfoods are not only great for all the reasons we laid out for you today, but they can really give you a long-lasting energy boost and make you feel like a million bucks.