First of all, superfoods are not really a new discovery. They are in fact revered foods that has been used and consumed in various ancient cultures for hundreds of years. In a lot of these civilizations, the superfoods foods were regarded more as medicines.
Now these foods has been ‘re-discovered’, and the benefits that they provide are quickly becoming well known and enjoyed for health reasons in our modern lives.
What Makes A Superfood A Superfood?
Superfoods are basic natural everyday foods that happen to have extremely high mineral content, as well as containing above average energy and nutrient properties.
They are often raw whole foods, and not fractional supplements, which refers to minerals, nutrients and vitamins which are easily recognized, as well as absorbed and utilized by the human body.
The definition of hunger is defined as ‘The body’s search for minerals.’
Superfoods has the ability to push or flush out all the ‘bad’ foods that are in your diet, by satiating its hunger at a deeper level, and then ultimately giving your body what it’s been searching for.
What’s even better about superfoods is that most of them can taste pretty good as well.
Eating healthy is not about denial, but rather you enjoying eating and thus giving your body the best foods that you can possibly find, as well as coming up with new creative ways to prepare and eat them, while enjoying your healthier body.
What Is A SuperFood?
What is considered a superfood? Since there is really no legal definition, they can simply be described as a group of superior natural food products that are especially rich in phytonutrients, which are primarily plant chemicals excellent for nutrition.
In some European countries, anything that’s advertised or proclaimed as a superfood, must now have concise research that backs up their claims.
Superfoods are usually fresh unprocessed, at times brightly colored fruits and/or vegetables. The antioxidants that reside in these natural foods help in preventing and repairing cell damage that’s caused by free radicals.
Some superfoods are able to transport oxygen into the cells or act as blood thinners which aides in preventing blood clots. There are also anti-inflammatory superfoods that will and help in lowering blood pressure as well as lower cholesterol levels.
Superfoods are usually richer in the essential nutrients than other types of foods. There is really no reason not to eat them, as they are natural, unprocessed and will balance out any diet deficiencies in your body.
Superfoods which are live, are unprocessed fresh foods which are high in phytonutrient content. These foods are always antioxidant rich, proven to provide the body with higher energy and longevity of life while lowering the risk of illness and diseases.
You can consume superfoods in a variety of different ways. Superfoods in powder form can be easily added to fruit or veggie smoothies, yogurt, salads or freshly squeezed juice.
You can also eat superfoods as a dried berry, fruit or vegetables in raw form, for a convenient, nutritional snack.
There are a lot of foods that can be classified as a superfood. They include: berries, plants, seeds, fruits, vegetables and seaweed.
The 10 Best Natural Superfoods
What They Are, What They’re Good For, How To Best Eat Them
1) Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are one of the newer superfoods to hit the shelves. They are a food source that’s native to Peru. They have been a staple crop in that country for thousands of years.
These tiny little seeds are packed with the perfect brain food, omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds contain more omega-3 than any other type of known vegetable source.
The chia seed is an excellent aid for natural weight loss since it slows down the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, providing for sustained energy release, while preventing sudden sugar spikes while dropping and eliminating food cravings.
Chia seeds contain 25% protein, making it a true superpower food. The protein that’s found in chia seeds are very easily assimilated, so it is particularly beneficial for nursing mothers and children, as well as body builders.
The Inca warriors of Peru would traditionally go on 24-hour marches with only 1 single teaspoon of chia seed as their rations. Chia seeds are also rich in magnesium, calcium and boron, as well as minerals that’s involved in over 500 known processes in the body.
Chia seeds and chia oil are extremely stable since they contain very high levels of antioxidants, which are beneficial as well!
How To Eat Chia
Chia seeds can be simply sprinkled over salads, either whole, ground, or soaked in water. Soaking them in water makes chia into a porridge like food, where you can add fresh fruit and milk or sesame milk.
2) Baobab Powder
Baobab powder is an African superfood, which has been prized by the natives for thousands of years.
It’s dried into a powdered fibrous pulp, which is derived from the baobab fruit.
Baobab powder contains extremely high levels of vitamin C, calcium and iron. This trio of nutrients require each other for absorption in the body.
These are however easily absorbed, as they are recognized by the body. Baobab powder contains over 10 times as much dietary fiber as apples, making them an excellent probiotic as well.
Baobab powder is suitable for those who has sugar absorption issues, as it’s low in sugar while high in fiber, giving it a low GL.
How To Eat Baobab Powder
Baobab powder is tart and sherbet like in flavor, so it can be a refreshing addition to fruit smoothies or fruit based desserts. The smoothies works particularly well with cacao as well.
3) Lucuma Powder
Lucuma powder is considered an excellent nutritious superfood. This fruit is found in the Amazon in South America.
It’s an excellent source of calcium, iron and phosphorus as well as all the traditional vitamins and fiber. The best feature of Lucuma powder is that it tastes absolutely delicious and it can be used in a variety of recipes.
How To Eat Lucuma Powder
The Lucuma powder is absolutely bursting in flavor. This fruit has a deliciously sweet, caramel like taste and works as a great thickening agent as well. It is best used when making dessert favorites such as custard or even hot chocolate.
4) Any Type Of Berries
Berries are by far the most well known, delicious and nutritious of the superfoods available.
They are found anywhere and everywhere, as the different varieties are very easy to grow, purchase and store.
All berries are very low in sugar, but big on flavor, so they are great for those who are sugar sensitive or has diabetes.
The most notable feature of this superfood group is the extremely high levels of antioxidants they contain, which helps in preventing free radical damage.
How To Eat Berries
Just wash, open your mouth and enjoy. Berries are delicious just as they are on their own, or you can use them in fruit smoothies and desserts or as an excellent feature in summer salads.
5) Cereal Grasses
The superfood group known as cereal grasses are seriously nutritious. They have rightfully earned the title of being called ‘nature’s multivitamins.’
Cereal grasses are referred to and better known as wheat grass and barley grass, but there are other well known ‘grasses’ such as: oats, alfalfa, and kamut as well.
Cereal grasses work as natures cleansing and detoxifying agents in the body, which alkalizes the system, as well as the blood.
In most Western diet’s, it’s common that most ‘green foods’ as in vegetables are most often avoided.
Cereal grasses are chlorophyll-rich superfoods that are able to absorb all 92 minerals as well as its trace minerals from the soil, ensuring for an overall balanced healthy diet.
How To Eat Cereal Grasses
The cereal grasses are best eaten fresh, as in taking wheat grass shots. You can either grow your own wheat grass and juice it on your own, using a masticating juicer, or you can get a shot from a local health juice bar where available.
Just drinking one shot of wheatgrass is equivalent to 2 plates of fresh veggies, so drink up.
Dry Powder: You can simply and easily add cereal grass powder into your daily fruit smoothies. This is probably the easiest way to get the required daily green foods into your diet, especially when you have a hectic schedule or are traveling.
6) Algae Spirulina
Algae Spirulina is an excellent chlorophyll rich, high antioxidant, high protein superfood.
Algae Spirulina contains all of the essential amino acids, but is only 65% protein by weight, as well as being 10 times more easier to digest than meat.
It also balances blood sugar levels while lowering the appetite. Algae Spirulina is also used to successfully combat weight problems, allergies and anemia.
How To Eat Algae Spirulina
Start with adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of Algae Spirulina powder daily to your diet.
You can easily mix it with your favorite fruit smoothie or juice in the morning. It also tastes particularly good with pineapples.
7) Hemp Seed Protein Powder
Hemp seed protein powder is probably the second best protein source as a superfood.
From a taste perspective, hemp seed powder is probably the best, as algae spirulina can take a while to properly aquire its taste.
Hemp seed protein powder comes in fine milled form or as a powdered hemp seed once the oil content has been removed. Hemp seed is especially useful for vegans as an excellent organic raw form of essential proteins.
Hemp seed protein powder contains all of the required amino acids, and is considered to be a complete superfood, boasting a 42% absorbency rate of high quality protein.
It also builds muscle mass and will boost energy levels as well. And NO, this type of hemp seed protein powder does not contain THC.
How To Eat Hemp Seed Protein Powder
Hemp seed protein powder has a bit of a nutty flavor.
It can be tastefully sprinkled over your favorite salads, or mixed into a pâté with olive oil, with salt and garlic, or simply sprinkled into soups and fruit smoothies.
8 ) Maca Powder
Maca powder can be considered relatively new, but actually it has been an ancient Peruvian superfood.
Maca was considered so valuable at one time that this superfood was actually traded as currency in ancient times. The maca powder back then was known as the ‘Power food of the warriors!’
Maca powder is a root herb derived from the Peruvian Andes, and is related to the radish family.
It’s called an adaptogen, which means that it will help the body to adapt to stress.
The maca powder will energize the system, while building strength as well as stamina.
Maca powder is also well known to balance out hormones, and helps in regulating menstruation cycles while providing relief from menopausal symptoms pain in women.
Because the maca powder has an oxygenating effect on the blood, it’s also gained a reputation for being a natural aphrodisiac as well.
The maca powder contains an abundance of various: vitamins, enzymes, essential minerals and trace elements such as: magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, and iron among others.
For vegetarians who are concerned about calcium and protein intake, the maca powder has around 16% bio-available calcium and around 14% of bio-available protein.
It also contains nearly 20 different amino acids as well as 7 essential amino acids.
How To Eat Maca Powder
Maca powder as a superfood, comes only in powder form. It has a rich malt like flavor. So you can easily add it to fruit or juice smoothies, or add it to your favorite desserts or sprinkle on salads.
9) Sprouts and Microgreens
Sprouts and microgreens represent the only superfood group that is actually still growing when you eat them. They are know as the real living vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins.
Their high nutritional value was originally discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago.
Sprouts has the highest concentration of nutrition value per calorie of any superfood.
They also contain an abundantly high active level of antioxidants, that prevents DNA destruction while protecting from the effects of aging.
The benefits of eating sprouts and micro greens are vast. They are one of natures best healing foods, as well as being therapeutic.
Sprouts and micorgreens cleanse and alkalizes the body, which facilitates digestion, detoxification and weight loss.
Some of the food groups of sprouts include: alfalfa sprouts, mung beans, radishes, broccoli, onions, chickpeas, cabbage, peas and lentils.
Microgreens are baby plants or they can also be soil-grown sprouts. The most common, tastiest and easiest to grow are sunflower greens.
Growing your own food can be one of the most important things that you can do to improve your diet and health.
Natural sunflower seeds contain almost 25% pure protein, so it is no wonder that sunflower greens are an excellent nutritional superfood.
Just a mere 100 grams of sprouted seeds can contains up to a whopping 23 grams of protein! The same amount of chicken breast contains just slightly more protein, at 26 grams.
Sunflower greens are an excellent rich source of vitamins A, B complex, D and E. It also contains valuable minerals such as: copper and iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
10) Raw Cacao Chocolate Nut
This is one of the most popular and best tasting superfoods.
The natural raw cacao nut also contains the highest amount of antioxidants, easily surpassing the goji berry four times over.
It’s also a great source of magnesium and works as a natural anti depressant and appetite suppressant. The raw cacao nut is… chocolate!
The raw cacao nut is the bean that all your favorite chocolates are made from.
What makes the store bought dairy chocolate unhealthy is not the cacao nut itself, but the process that it goes through and what’s added to it.
The cacao bean in its raw form is considered an excellent superfood. But when the bean is roasted or cooked, that’s when it starts to lose its value.
When sugar and trans-fats, as well as dairy is added, the cacoa nut is no longer a superfood, but rather becomes a ‘stupid-food.’
Cacao comes in four basic forms as a superfood
• As a whole bean
• A crushed bean (called cacao nibs)
• Natural cacao powder or
• Cacao butter
Cacao also contains natural anti-depressant and mood-enhancing properties, while increasing the flow of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which are associated with feelings of well being.
How To Eat Cacao Beans
You can eat cacao beans, either just plain or dipped in honey. Try eating cacao nibs in a trail mix containing nuts and raisins.
Add cacao powder into your favorite dessert or fruit or juice smoothie. You can mix cacao butter with cacao powder, coconut oil and to make your own healthy home-made chocolates.
There are a lot of different and creative ways on how you can eat and enjoy these different varieties of superfoods.
Most or all of these foods can be found either at your local Supermarket, health store or by searching on the Internet.