Without guessing, can you confidently name 10 of the most nutrient dense foods in the produce section?
Don't feel bad if you can't (most people can't). However, knowing the best foods to keep your home stocked up with is a powerful tool for helping you look and feel your best. These foods can really make a difference in your health — supporting your immune system, enhancing your digestive health, promoting more natural energy, and even helping give your hair, skin, and nails that healthy glow!
Before you place your next grocery order, make sure you include some of these ten, healthy, delicious foods.
1. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Packed with powerful immune supporting antioxidants and phytonutrients, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, Bok choy, broccoli sprouts, arugula, and spinach are all great greens choices.
Fill your plate to the brim with any of these green power-foods loaded with antioxidants to fight free radical damage. They can be enjoyed in all seasons. Enjoy them raw, steamed, stir-fried or blended up in smoothies.
2. Sea Vegetables/ Seaweed and Kelp
An excellent source of iodine, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin B2, sea vegetables and seaweed are great sources of protein, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamin B6, niacin and phosphorus.
They have been found to help lower cholesterol levels and battle chronic inflammation in the body. Rich in trace minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and more, you can mix them into soups or sprinkle them on top of salads.
3. Extra-virgin cold-pressed, organic oils
High in poly and monosaturated fats, and Vitamin E, this category includes coconut oil, virgin, and extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, almond oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, and sunflower oils.
These oils are great for combatting free radicals in the body and fueling the health of your brain and heart.
Unheated, live and sugar-free, seeds are a great source of vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and digestive enzymes.
Flax, sesame, sunflower, chia, pumpkin, basil, hemp, pomegranate, mustard, basil, and grape seeds are all great choices. Seeds are also packed with fiber and can help reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
5. Lemons and Apple Cider Vinegar
Try mixing ½ a lemon and 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar in 1 cup of slightly warm water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, or between meals, to alkaline the stomach and digestive tract.
6. Fresh Roots, Herbs and Spices
Roots, herbs, and spices offer a large range of healing, antimicrobial and effective digestive powers, among many other medicinal properties.
Turmeric, curcumin, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, parsley, coriander, basil, rosemary, dill, cinnamon, oregano, ginger, fenugreek, clove, and black pepper are all great choices.
7. Pre and Probiotics
Getting pre and probiotics is one of the best things you can do for your digestive wellness and the overall health of your GI tract.
Sorry, but this does not mean sugary yogurts with the fruit on the bottom! Choose no added sugar, natural live-cultured Greek Yogurt or kefir, or fermented foods like sauerkraut and other vegetables, miso, micro-algae (spirulina and chlorella), tempeh, kimchee, kombucha teas or probiotic supplements.
8. Rainbow Spectrum of Fruits and Vegetables
High in most of the A, B, C, E, and K vitamins, consuming a rainbow spectrum of fruits and vegetables will help you build brain, blood, bone, immune, heart, intestine and colon health.
Choose locally grown and in season whenever possible. Good choices include blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges, yellow and summer squash, dark leafy greens, apples, rainbow Swiss chard, and purple potatoes.
9. Natural Energy Drinks
Choices like organic (freshly ground) coffee, organic matcha green tea, Yerba Mate tea, and maca root tea are great because they are all high in antioxidants.
They help enhance mental focus, physical endurance, aid in digestion and help maintain a healthy liver and healthy kidneys.
Stay away from sugary caffeinated beverages. These do not provide your body with positive nutritional benefits you’re looking for and can even lead to increased inflammation.
High in antioxidants and vitamin K, folate, healthy fats, vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin Bs and E, the avocado fruit is so good for you it deserves its own category.
Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA).
Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Remember, an avocado a day keeps the inflammation at bay!
Though it may be difficult to eat every one of these 10 nutrient-dense superfoods each day, especially if you are busy and on the go, knowing which foods to look for when grocery shopping or eating out is half the battle.
So, now you have your A-list shopping guide! Start placing these essential items into your cart and mix them into your meals and snacks for a healthier, less inflamed and more vibrant YOU. You’ll see just how easy and delicious healthy can taste.