Some foods pack more nutritional punch than others, and these 24 offer the most health benefits pound for pound of all food on the planet. They not only show up on our massive list of Superfoods, but they also make it onto plenty of top 1o lists across the internet, and several have long been known to provide plenty of nutrients and and goodies for the body. There are a few that you might not be familiar with, so consider this an introduction, and then you can get to know them better in the future…
Much has been written about the virtues of spinach, and rightly so. It’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. It’s also readily available at most local supermarkets, and reasonably priced. You can get it fresh in the produce section, or you can buy it frozen in leaf form, and also canned in the canned veggies aisle. The main concern is getting more of it into your system so you can reap all of the positive benefits.
Right away spinach is going to go to work for you, providing you with energy, and helping you to fill your stomach without adding a lot of calories to your daily intake. When you factor in the phytonutrients working as antioxidants you’re doing yourself a huge favor with the battle against free radical damage. Not to mention you’re helping to nourish your body on a cellular level, providing increased energy, and it aids any weight loss efforts.
Nutritional Breakdown per Cup – Raw, think fresh leafy greens
Vitamin A – 2813 IU – over half of what you need daily.
Vitamin K – 145mcg – almost twice as much as needed daily.
Folate – 58.2mcg – a good chunk of your daily requirement.
2. Goji Berries
Many people are just finding out how good goji berries are for your overall feeling of well-being. You’ll want to find dried goji berries, and not simply rely on a juice or other product claiming to contain goji berries in it. They make a great snack to hold you over between meals, and when compared to drinking phony energy drinks, you can get actual energy from these, and also be introducing plenty of antioxidants into your system.
Your immune system gets a dose of support when you eat a serving of goji berries, and you’ll also be helping yourself beat the onslaught of free radicals that occur as a result of a stressful environment and processed foods that don’t offer nutritional support to the body. The benefit that most of us would be interested in is the ability of goji berries to help us fight fatigue. It’s no wonder that our modern lifestyles have us burning the candle at both ends, and by eating a food like these berries you’ll be increasing the amount of time it takes you to wear out.
Nutritional Breakdown per Ounce – Dried, the most commonly found version.
Vitamin A – 170% of your daily value.
Vitamin C – 20% not quite as good as an orange, but still good.
Protein – 4g – a surprising amount of protein for a fruit.
What makes this fish so special that it stands apart from all the others? It’s the omega-3 content that does it, and of course it has the benefit that most fish has of being high in protein. Many also prefer the delicate, not-so-fishy flavor of salmon to other fish. You’ll want to stick to Alaskan wild salmon to get the full amount of benefits, and make sure that you’re not eating smoked salmon as it does not have the same nutritional benefits as freshly caught and cooked.
For those of you that are strength training, salmon will provide support to your muscle tissue with the protein it contains. The reason the omega-3s are so important is that they provide vital support to your heart and circulatory system. You’ll also receive tertiary benefits in the form of increased memory function and a decrease in the likelihood of degenerative diseases like Alzheimers. It also helps to make your skin and hair look their best.
Nutritional Breakdown per 100g – wild Alaskan, seek this out specifically.
Vitamin A – 9% of your daily needs.
Vitamin B1 – 13% of what you need each day, helps with heart health.
Protein – 20g – making this a fantastic protein source for those lifting weights.
Niacin – 42% of your daily needs, helps to keep your skin and hair tip-top.
If you’re not already a fan of avocado, you should try adding more of it into your life. It tends to be one of the more expensive items in the produce section, especially if you go the organic route. It can also be a little tricky to pick the right ones and then consume them before they go bad. But you don’t have to eat them everyday in order to benefit from them. Adding one or two a week to your diet would be a great start, and would keep costs down.
One of the most referenced benefits of avocado is their amounts of healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s interesting that this is a high-fat fruit, as most of them are very low fat or fat free. These fats actually help you to lose fat, if that’s what you’re trying to do. They also help you to feel fuller longer, and are not the same sort of fats found in a cheeseburger. The carotenoid levels help with eye health, and avocados in general will help stabilize your blood glucose levels so you don’t hit dangerous peaks and valleys.
Nutritional Breakdown per 100g – Raw
Monounsaturated fat – 10g – This means roughly 10% of the avocado is healthy fat!
Vitamin B6 – 16% of what you need daily for proper metabolism.
Folate – 22% of your daily requirement, for heart disease prevention.
Known by vegetarians for several years now, quinoa has been catching on more in the mainstream as a tasty and filling way to complement a meal, or be the foundation of a meal. Even those that follow a no wheat diet can turn to quinoa, although it doesn’t quite appeal to those that have written off grains altogether. If you’re not familiar with how to cook it you can get up to speed quickly, and it’s now readily available at most supermarkets, where once it was a bit rare.
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