My SuperFoods List
Here is my list of superfoods that all have amazing properties and can do so very much for your health. Adding a decent serving of as many of these into your diet regularly will be a very good thing!
What Are The Super Foods?cocon
I have put together a list here of what I believe are the most important of the Superfoods, and why. But of course, please understand that there is no whole and complete or definitive list of the superfoods. It is also a changing list as science discovers new things. (… and I am still working on this page…)
You may also like to check out my personal Top Ten Super Foods.
The Acai is a little, dark purple colored fruit. To it’s detriment, it has been the subject of a lot of internet marketing-type hype in recent years, but the truth is this little berry is a true Superfood. It is chock full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids.
The Acai has ten times more anthocyanins than another superfood – red wine. It also has a protein profile very similar to egg whites. The amount of antioxidants in acai berries is 50 times more than mangoes, five times more than blueberries and almost twice as much as pomegranates.
There has been at least one study showing chemical compounds that are extracted from the açai berry actually slow down the proliferation of leukemia cells in laboratory cultures. Other studies have shown the acai to have a powerful effect against free radicals.
The açai fruit reduces inflammation, which is implicated in heart and lung disease, allergies and auto-immune disorders. It is showing great potential for prevention of cancer.
You can buy Acai Berry products here
Acai Berry Nutritional Profile: 1oz of freeze dried acai pulp contains 152 calories, 14g carbohydrate, 2.5g protein, 9g fat, 13g dietary fiber, 286IU vit A, 74mg calcium, 17mg phosphorus and 1.3mg iron.
I believe that three of the Algae are all Superfoods, including Chlorella (which is my personal favorite) Spirulina and Blue Green Algae. They are all incredibly high in a range of super nutrients plus the massive chlorophyll content make these algae foods top of the list for Superfoods. Green algae are the highest sources of chlorophyll in the plant world.
Chlorella is high in protein and other essential nutrients. When dried, it is about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fiber and 10% minerals and vitamins. But it is the cleansing effect of chloryphyll that is particularly special.
Of all the superfoods, if I had to choose one – it would be Chlorella.
Check out these algae superfood products
Almonds are high in magnesium, zinc, as well as vitamins B2, C, and E and unsaturated fats, all of which fight free radicals.
Almonds contains about 26% carbohydrates; 12% dietary fiber, 6.3% sugars, 0.7% starch and the rest miscellaneous carbohydrates. They are a rich source of vitamin E, containing 26 mg per 100g. About 20 percent of raw almond is high quality protein, a third of which are essential amino acids. Almonds are high in dietary fiber, B vitamins, essential minerals and monounsaturated fat – which is one of the two fats which may potentially lower LDL cholesterol. Almonds also contain phytosterols which are associated with cholesterol-lowering properties.
Like all nuts they are best eaten after they have been soaked to remove the growth inhibitor, which makes them a lot easier to digest – and a lot tastier too!
Almond Nutritional Profile: 1/4 cup of raw almonds contains 206 calories, 7.8g carbohydrate, 7.6g protein, 17.7g fat and 4.4g dietary fiber.
Aloe Vera is high in Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3. Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin C, folic acid, beta-carotene. It is rich in minerals that include calcium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, chromium, chlorine, magnesium and sodium. Aloe Vera also contains more than 15 types of amino acids including Lysine, Valine, Methionine, Leucine, Isoleucine, Phenylaianine, Histidine, Glutamin acid, Alanine, Cystine and Proline.
Aloe Vera has many other nutritional benefits and is available in different forms such as Aloe Vera juice, gel, tablets and powder.
Aloe Vera is also commonly used in topical applications for skin and hair care. It produces a soothing, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect on arthritic joints and tendonitis. It is widely available in commercial skin care products.
A good source of dietary fiber, apples are high in antioxidant phyto-nutrients, flavonoids and polyphenols. They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and beta-carotene. The important flavonoids found in apples are quercetin, epicatechin and procyanidin B2, which help in the fight against free radicals in the body. Apples are also a good source of tartaric acid which is what gives the tart to some types.
Apples are a good source of B-complex vitamins including riboflavin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. Together these vitamins help as co-factors for enzymes used in metabolism, as well as in various synthetic functions inside the body.
It is important to eat the skin of the apple as well as the flesh as the skin is where the super antioxidant capacity is found. The skin provides somewhere between two and six times the antioxidant activity of the flesh. An average size apple only has around 47 calories.
Apricots contain a high amount of vitamin A, iron protein along with dietary fiber. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, and a great source of potassium, which is important for regulating our body’s fluid balance.
The vitamin A in apricots contributes to healthy vision, bone growth, and reproduction and helps fight infection. And apart from that, they are one of my most favorite of all fruits. I grew up near one of the best growing areas for stone fruit and apricot season was always looked forward to. Delicious!!!
Apricot Nutritional Profile: 3 raw apricots contain 51 calories, 11.8g carbohydrate, 1.5g protein, 0.4g fat, 2.5g dietary fiber, 2769IU vit A, 11mg vit C, 15mg calcium, 314mg potassium and 20mg phosphorus.
Asparagus is high in folic acid. Folic acid and vitamin B are key players in producing serotonin, a chemical that promotes feeling good. Asparagus is low in calories and is also very low in sodium. It has a high vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc content. Asparagus is a good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. it also provides chromium, which is a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
Asparagus is very delicious eaten raw as long as it is very fresh. It tastes a little like raw peas. I had a short stint where I worked on a market garden that grew asparagus, and it is pretty yummy picked straight from the ground.
Avocados are one of the most nutrient-dense foods there is. Ounce for ounce, they are among the highest of all fruits for vitamin E, folate, potassium and magnesium. They are are high in fiber and they are the best source of the healthy monounsaturated fat, oleic acid. Oleic acid helps with lowering cholesterol. The olive is the only other fruit with a similar amount of monounsaturated fat.
Avocados are also high in the phytosterol “beta-sitosterol”. A phytosterol is the plant equivalent of cholesterol in animals and is known to lower the amounts of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Beta-sitosterol also seems to inhibit any excessive cell division. this is possibly important for helping to preventing cancer-cell (tumor) growth. Laboratory studies have proven that beta-sitosterol helps reduce the risk for cancer.
Although avocados are usually thought of as a ‘fatty fruit,’ they actually contribute to healthy blood flow and decreased blood pressure, lessening the chances of developing hypertension, which can lead to a stroke.
Research has also shown that avocados improve the body’s capability of absorbing nutrients from other foods, making it a powerful nutrient booster.
Bananas are the staple starch in the diet of many tropical populations. Depending upon cultivar and ripeness, the flesh can vary in taste from starchy to sweet, and texture from firm to mushy. Both the skin and inner part can be eaten either raw or cooked.
Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, which is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. A medium sized banana contains a massive 467 mg of potassium but only 1 mg of sodium. Regular consumption of bananas may help in preventing high blood pressure and protecting against atherosclerosis.
Banana Nutritional Profile: 1 med banana contains 105 calories, 26.7g carbohydrate, 1.2g protein, 0.5g fat, 2.7g dietary fiber, 92IU vit A, 10mg vit C, 22mcg folic acid, 451mg potassium, 7mg calcium, 23mg phosphorus and 33mg magnesium.
Given the nutrient profile and phytochemical contribution of beans, people should make a concerted effort to add more beans into their daily diet. They can be added to many dishes and lend themselves nicely to absorbing different flavors.
A 1/3 of a cup of cooked beans contains around 80 calories, no cholesterol, complex carbohydrates and little fat. Beans are a good source of B vitamins, potassium, and fiber to promote a health digestive system. They can also relieve constipation. Beans may help prevent colon cancer, and reduce blood cholesterol, which is a leading cause of heart disease. Commonly reported to cause gas!
Bilberries are found in very acidic, nutrient-poor soils throughout the temperate and subarctic regions of the world. Bilberries are extremely difficult to grow and because of this they are seldom cultivated. Bilberries are mostly collected from wild plants growing on publicly accessible lands. They are best eaten fresh, but can be used in cooking and are often used to make jams.
Bilberries contain soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and are rich in the natural pigment anti-oxidant, pro-anthocyanidins. They are among the highest anti-oxidant value fruits. They also have other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotene β, lutien and zeaxanthin.
Bilberries are a great source of flavonoids, some of which have antioxidant activity. Fresh bilberries contain small amount of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E. Altogether these vitamins make potent lipid soluble anti-oxidants, which help to limit free radicals in the body.
Blue berries are one of the true powerhouse superfoods, simply bursting with health giving nutrients, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. A 2004 USDA study ranked wild Blueberries as the fruit highest in antioxidants with 48% more antioxidants than the cultivated blue berry.
They are a good source of vitamin C, B complex vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc and iron.
A recent study into the health benefits of blueberries showed regular consumption lowers blood cholesterol levels while improving glucose control and insulin sensitivity, lowering the risk of subsequent heart disease and diabetes.
Broccoli is reported to be the most nutritionally dense of any vegetable. It is a member of large cruciferous (brassica) family of vegetables which includes cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage – three other known “superfoods”.
Broccoli is rich in antioxidants, a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folates. It is also a great provider of phyto-nutrients including thiocyanates, indoles, sulforaphae, isothiocyanates – as well as flavonoids such as beta-carotene cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. It’s minerals include calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc and phosphorus.
The amazing nutrient profile of broccoli help protect from stroke risks, as well as prostate, colon, bladder, pancreatic, and breast cancers. Broccoli is a great cleanser and has anti anflamitory benefits.
A cruciferous plant, cabbage is rich in anti-oxidants. It is high in calcium, iron, iodine, potassium, sulfur, and phosphorus. It is also loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K plus folic acid. Cabbage also provides good dietary intakes of thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. Cabbage has been used for treatment of constipation, stomach ulcers, headache, weight loss, skin disorders, eczema, scurvy, jaundice, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart disease and aging.
Cabbage is a very cleansing vegetable and makes a great raw juice, although it can be strong so is better mixed with other juices.
Cacao & Raw Dark Chocolate:
Chocolate tops the list as a great “feel-good” food. Of course most of us already know that about chocolate, but how good is it that science is now proving us right! Raw, dark chocolate contains very powerful antioxidant properties and several natural stimulants which enhance focus and concentration and encourage the production of endorphins
Raw Cacao has a number of rare key nutrients that are extremely beneficial to our health. It has more antioxidant flavanoids than any other food. Cacao is also high in essential minerals including calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulfur and potassium. It is the highest whole food source of magnesium, which is possibly the most deficient in all people worldwide.
Cacao also has chemicals that are reported to enhance mental and physical well-being. Some of these are alkaloids, proteins, magnesium, beta-carotene, leucine, linoleic acid, lipase, lysine and also some neurotransmitters including dopamine and anandamine.
It is important that you understand the health giving properties of chocolate are to be found in dark chocolate, not milk or white chocolate. Even better, buy your dark chocolate in it’s “raw” form for not only great taste, but super nutrition.
Cantaloupe – also known as Rockmelon – is a type of melon that actually belongs to the cucumber family. It is an excellent source of vitamin A because of it’s concentrated betacarotene. Vit A is important for healthy lung functions and of extreme importance to people who smoke. A particular chemical in cigarette smoke has been proven to cause Vit A deficiency. Regular intake of dietary Vit A may also lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
The cantaloupe is a great source of potassium and beta-carotene as well as vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6 and niacin (vitamin B3). The combination of all these B complex vitamins along with the quality dietary fiber combine to make the cantaloupe an exceptionally good fruit for supporting energy production – through good carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar stability.
The humble carrot is one of the most popular vegetables around the world. Tasty and crunch it is great to eat raw, and is loved by adults and children alike. Carrots are a very good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin K, biotin, fiber, potassium and thiamine. Rich in the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, which acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help with slowing down the aging of cells.
Carrots provide high levels of carotenoids, which are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Carrots contain not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which have been been linked to a significant reduction in the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and bladder cancer. A Canadian study discovered that eating half a cup of cauliflower each day reduced the risk of prostate cancer by a whopping 52%.
Cauliflower is a good source of vitamin C and manganese, which are both powerful antioxidants. It also provides carotenoids including beta-carotene, and a range of phytonutrients such as kaempferol, ferulic acid, cinnamic acid and caffeic acid.
There are two types of cherries, the sweet cherry and the tart cherry. Both are a rich source of many health promoting nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Both sweet and tart cherries are packed with numerous health benefiting compounds that are essential for wellbeing.
Studies have shown that anthocyanins in cherries act as anti-inflammatory agents by blocking the actions of cycloxygenase-1 and 2 enzymes. Therefore eating cherries has potential benefits for chronic pain issues such as gout, arthritis, fibromyalgia and sports injuries. Research has shown that tart cherries help the body to fight against different cancers, aging, neurological diseases and pre-diabetes.
The Acerola (West Indian) cherry has exceptionally high levels of both vitamin C and vitamin A.
Chestnuts have a long history, have been cultivated for more than 6,000 years in China and 3,000 years in Europe. Unlike most other nuts and seeds, chestnuts are relatively low in calories and contain little fat. Chestnuts contain high levels of essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid and are a good source of dietary fiber.
Chestnuts are exceptionally rich in vitamin C and folate, and are rich in many important B-complex groups of vitamins. They are a good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids including oleic acid and palmitoleic acid. They are high in iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and also offer a very good amount of potassium.
Chia seeds are extremely dense in a range of nutrients and have one of the highest antioxidant concentrations of any known food. They are a rich source of antioxidants including caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, quercetin, myricetin and kaempferol flavonols. They also contain decent amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese.
For those with “slow” bowels, chia seeds are very helpful as they are high in fiber and because of their ability to absorb 10 times their weight in water, they are excellent for helping to maintain bowel regularity.
Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations.
Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called “The Tree of Life.” Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut’s amazing healing powers.
In traditional medicine around the world coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems including the following: abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rash, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, upset stomach, weakness, and wounds. read more
Figs are a great dietary source of vitamins A, B1, B2, and contain good levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, copper, manganese and chlorine. Dried figs contain an impressive 250mg of calcium per 100g.
Figs are high in natural and simple sugars and dietary fiber, and are great for relieving constipation. Dried figs contain phenol, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Studies have found that chlorogenic acid in figs can help to lower blood sugar levels and control blood glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus.
Since fresh figs are very delicate and tend to deteriorate quickly, they are more commonly eaten in their dried form, where they offer a highly concentrated range of nutrients.
Garlic is native to central Asia and has been used by humans for more than 6000 years for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Garlic is a member of the onion family, and contains allicin. Allicin is a naturally available antibiotic that has been shown to prevent complications from the common cold in some research. Garlic is very effective against infectious colds and flu viruses.
Garlic has been found to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity. It is also claimed to help prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cancer. In countries where garlic is consumed in high volume, the inhabitants have been found to have a lower prevalence of cancer.
It is also a commonly used treatment for repelling fleas and bugs, and as such is used a lot in dog food. Garlic is also reported to be excellent for repelling Vampires!
A relative newcomer to the western world, the goji berry has reigned supreme in the East for centuries. A tiny fruit that grows on a scruffy bush, it has some very unique qualities. Dr. Earl Mindell spent a number of years researching connections between nutrition and longevity.
He learned that many of the world’s longest living people all had something in common: “They consume regular daily helpings of a tiny red fruit that just happens to be the world’s most powerful anti-aging food: the Goji berry.”
Click here for my page all about Goji Berries for more information on this super food.
Over the last few decades green tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits. And the research has certainly uncovered evidence suggesting that regular green tea drinkers may have a lower risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancers.
As a dieting aid, although green tea does not raise the metabolic rate enough to produce immediate weight loss, an extract from green tea containing polyphenols and caffeine has been shown to induce thermogenesis and stimulate fat oxidation, boosting the metabolic rate 4% without increasing the heart rate. Research shows that the catechins (phytochemicals) in green tea may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and mildly decrease body fat.
Honey contains plant polyphenols called flavonoids which are also found in most fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant properties and are important for good health.
Made up mainly of water and carbohydrates, raw honey contains vitamins and minerals including B vitamins B2, B3 and B5 and the minerals calcium, potassium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and iron. Honey also contains a good range of antioxidants in the form of flavonoids which are also found in fruit and vegetables.
Honey is high in sugar so anyone with diabetes should use honey with extreme caution.
Kiwi fruit – als0 known as Chinese Gooseberries – have an unusually broad array of nutrients. Most fruits tend to be high in only one or two nutrients, but kiwifruit contains 8% DV of folic acid, 8% DV of copper, 8% DV of pantothenic acid, 6% DV of calcium and magnesium, 4% DV of iron and vitamin B6, 2% DV of phosphorus.
Kiwis are rich in vitamins C, E and A. They have more vitamin C than oranges, as much potassium as bananas and a decent amount of beta-carotene. They also contain flavonoids and minerals.
Kiwi fruit skin is also good to eat, as it contains high levels of flavonoids, insoluble fiber and antioxidants.
Though lemon tastes acidic, it promotes and alkaline effect in the body. It is a very powerful antibacterial and antiviral fruit. It has long been used as a lver cleanser. Lemons contain many beneficial nutrients, notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene, which all promote a strong immune system and resistance to infection.
A fruit with an incredible range of healing properties, the lemon has long been used for treatment of many different health issues from simple throat infections to indigestion, constipation, dental problems, fever, hair care, skin care, internal bleeding, rheumatism, burns, weight loss, respiratory disorders, cholera and high blood pressure. See some great recipes for lemon juices.
With a history that goes back into prehistory, Maca is known to be a powerful strength and stamina enhancer. It is also commonly used as an effective libido enhancer. Maca is an adaptogen, which means that it has the ability to balance and stabilize bodyily systems including the cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, musculature and lymphatic system.
While Maca does not overstimulate the body, as an adaptogen it can provide more energy if it is needed. According to many studies, adaptogens also boost immunity and increase the body’s overall vitality by 10-15%. And rather than addressing a specific symptom, adaptogens are used to improve overall adaptability of the whole body to different stresses and situations.
Often referred to as “the Food of the Gods” for very good reason. Along with numerous health benefits, there is nothing quite like the taste of a perfect, fresh mango – dripping with juice and bursting with flavor. In my opinion it is pure heaven, and I cannot wait for mango season to arrive every year.
The antioxidants in mangos include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat. These compounds have been found to be protective against breast, colon, leukemia and prostate cancers. Mango has high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C which all help to lower serum cholesterol levels.
The tartaric acid, malic acid and a trace of citric acid in mangoes help to maintain an alkaline system. High in vitamins A, C and E, mangos also supply 25 different kinds of carotenoids. The abundant enzymes present in mangos are very beneficial for overall health and especially good for digestion and efficient elimination. Mangoes should actually be at the very top of my superfoods list because they are my most favorite food on the whole world!
Raspberries are not only fantastically loaded with nutrition, they are possible one of the most tasty berries there is.
Raspberry Nutritional Profile: One cup of raspberries contains 60 calories, 14.2g carbohydrate, 1.1g protein, 0.7g fat, 8.4g dietary fiber, 160IU vit A, 31mg vit C, 32mcg folic acid, 187mg potassium, 15mg phosphorus, 27mg calcium, 22mg magnesium, and 1.25mg manganese.
An amazing powerhouse of concentrated nutrients, wheatgrass juice is a rich source of quality nutrients and very good source of Vitamins A, B, C and E. A single serve of 1 fl oz of wheatgrass juice contains 4.5mg of vitamin C, 1.8mg of iron, 5mg of sodium, 0.5g of protein, 1g of total carbohydrates. It doesn’t contain any dietary fiber.
Check the array of wheatgrass products available
Wheatgrass juice also contains an array of minerals and trace elements including Calcium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc. It has 12 of the amino acids including all eight of the essential amino acids: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, and lysine. Essential amino acids are those that the body can’t create, they must be obtained through the diet. The glucose in wheatgrass enables it to be quickly and easily assimilated in the body.
The high level of Chlorophyll is one of the best things about Wheatgrass juice. Chlorophyll has a molecular structure almost identical to the hemoglobin molecule of human blood and helps the blood carry Oxygen to all the cells. Chlorophyll is very cleansing for the liver, tissues and cells and also purifies the blood. Wheatgrass juice helps remove stored toxins out of the tissues, including heavy metals such as lead, mercury and aluminum.
Well, that is the end of my superfoods list. Please understand that no superfoods list will ever be complete – there is just not enough room. And new superfoods are being discovered all the time.