You should be eating these 15 superfoods for so many reasons! Read on to see how you can start improving your health right now
By Lora O’Brien
Once upon a time, eating anything green was seen as being healthy enough. But further research into nutrition has revealed that not all fruit and veg are created equal. In fact, a new range of ‘superfoods’ has been heralded as being THE greatest stuff you could put into you body. But which are best, and what are they good for?
It’s pretty complicated, but don’t fret! We’ve done the research for you, and we’ve found a collection of 20 superfoods you should be eating right now to feel at your best.
Whether you take these superfoods as a daily supplement, or add their powdered form into your breakfast smoothies, these pretty much magical foods will be all you’ll need to give your health an overhaul.
With international shipping available to deliver these from the internet to your doorstep, we predict worldwide domination. And of course, lots of super healthy people!
15 Super Foods To Try Right Now
Similar in size, shape and appearance to blueberries, Acai berries aren’t easily available fresh. Acai palm trees are known to grow as high as 60 feet in the Brazilian rain forest, and due to these extreme heights, it’s extremely dangerous for the locals to collect the berries. Plus, once the berries are harvested, the shipping process has to be extremely quick as they spoil easily.
Fortunately, Acai berries are now available in dried or fresh form in most health food stores. The berries can be eaten raw, juiced, or concentrated into a juice or powder. The taste of raw Acai berry is compared to the taste of blackberries, but with a bitter edge, similar to dark chocolate.
Now, why exactly you should be adding this superfood to your diet? Most berries contain antioxidants. But Acai are thought to have more than your average strawberry, raspberry, and even blueberry. By protecting your body from oxidation, Acai berries have the potential to work to prevent heart disease, diabetes and various conditions related to ageing.
Fatty acids are an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and Acai berries contain them in two forms: Omegas 3 and 6. Both of these are recommended by experts to be an essential part of good health, and getting a balance of each is a good preventative against conditions such as high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Antioxidants, healthy fatty acids that protect your heart.
Get yours here.
The cutely named baobab fruit has been used in Africa for centuries as a medicinal preventative, to treat against fevers, malaria, and gastrointestinal problems. However, in many countries round the world, this fruit, which has a tangy, citrus like flavour, has been relatively unknown until now.
Just a 100 grams of baobab fruit pulp has almost 10 times the amount you’d receive by eating the same amount in oranges. Whoa, right? Foods that are rich in vitamin C are a brilliant aid in helping your body to form both collagen and elastin, two of the most structural proteins you can feed your skin both support and elasticity. Especially good news for those trying to find ways of eradicating wrinkles!
But it’s not just the vitamin C content that makes this fruit super. It also has positive effects on weight loss. Adding baobab fruit powder to a smoothie will enhance your body’s fat burning capabilities during a workout.
If that’s not all impressive enough, then this may sway you. Baobab boasts beneficial minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. If you’re not sure why minerals are good for us, just know that they act both individually and together to perform hundreds of tasks that make the body’s functions better, such as boosting immunity, skin repair and energy levels.
Now, how best to take baobab? Aduna has a range of raw energy bars that are super yum!
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: A vitamin C boost. Also for fat burning and mineral boosting.
Get yours here.
Usually chocolate isn’t a word you’d associate with health. But the time has come to ditch those sugary, artificial chocolates, and turn your attention to cacao content. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate that you can eat, making it raw, and therefore less processed than both cocoa and the bars you’d usually associate with being ‘chocolate’. It may take some getting used to flavour wise, as we’ve sadly been force fed this illusion that chocolate should taste like those commercial bars that come wrapped in glossy packets.
Without all that added milk, sugar and fat, cacao can seem a little bitter on the palette. But with its seriously high antioxidant and magnesium content, its health properties are huge!
For example, the high antioxidants, polyphenols, essential vitamins and mineral level content found in cacao can help support a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure, improving the body’s blood flow, lowering cholesterol and in turn reducing plaque buildup on the artery walls.
Cacao bars are readily available in health food stores. Plus, you can make a delicious hot chocolate with a powder like this one, below!
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Magnesium, antioxidants, heart-protecting polyphenols.
Get it online here.
4. Camu Camu
You may have only just learnt about Acai, and now we have another superfruit for you to learn about: camu camu. Like Acai, the camu camu is grown in areas of the Amazon Rainforest in Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. The fruit and leaves of the plant have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries in those countries.
Similar in appearance to a plum, it is the size of a lemon, is light orange and colour and it is packed full of essential amino acids, lucine and vitamin C.
Camu camu boasts anti-viral properties, helping with cold sores, herpes, shingles and even the dreaded common cold. Other researchers have reported camu camu is great for keeping both eyes and gums healthy.
Camu camu also is a fantastic source of potassium, another key ingredient our bodies need for healthy functioning of both our heart and kidneys. And as if that wasn’t enough, camu camu also contains two types of acid that both work as antioxidants: gallic acid, and which is reported to have anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, and ellagic acid, which has been studied for its anti-cancer properties and anti-diabetes effects.
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Keeping viruses at bay; boosting immunity.
Get yours here.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are the latest craze in healthy cooking and eating. Derived from the South American Salvia Hispanica plant, they were praised by the Aztecs and Mayans for their ability to provide sustainable energy. In fact, chia just so happens to be the Mayan word for ‘strength’.
So why exactly are these tiny seeds so incredibly good for us? Well, chia seeds are jam packed with antioxidants. These wage a war on our behalf to fight against the production of free radicals, which can damage molecules in our cells leading to ageing and diseases like cancer.
You wouldn’t guess so, but chia seeds also contain a decent portion of protein and essential amino acids. That means our bodies can easily use the protein in the chia when eaten.
For all of our vegan friends, chia seeds are a really excellent protein source. They’ve also got you covered on the calcium front, as along with other nutrients, chia seeds hold nutrients vital for bone health.
Incorporating these tiny seeds into your diet is easy. Find 20 recipes using them here.
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Proteins, amino acids, and calcium.
Get chia online here.
Yes, it sounds more like a disease than a food, but you should be incorporating chlorella into your diet. Why? Firstly, let’s talk vitamins and minerals.
Chlorella is rich in vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C and E. Chlorella will bring these to you in a highly natural form, unlike synthetic vitamin tablets. As with all dark green veggies, chlorella is bursting with magnesium, which is highly beneficial to improving blood sugar levels, keeping our hearts healthy, and is brilliant for relaxation, to just name a few of the wondrous pros. Chlorella also holds other important minerals, such as potassium, iron, and calcium.
Chlorella is also a great aid in detoxification, and digestion. In a world where toxins are coming at us in food, air, and water, it’s good to know chlorella binds with chemicals and heavy metals, moving them swiftly out of our body.
Chlorella is also proven to help with diseases, like cancer and diabetes, due to its rich carotenoid content.
To get the most benefits from this superfood, choose a powder with a ‘broken cell wall’. It may sound bizarre, but the best chlorella has gone through a process to make the nutrients in chlorella even more digestible.
Rainforest Foods is a great company for this, which you can then just sneak into morning juices and smoothies. Otherwise, supplements are a possible choice.
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: A strong vitamin and mineral boost, detoxing, digestive aid.
Get yours here.
Like Chia seeds, flaxseed are yet more proof that sometimes, the best things come in small packages. The ancient Babylonians and Egyptians used flaxseeds in both food and medicine, and in the 8th century, this super seed got the seal of royal approval. Charlemagne was such a fan of flaxseed that he even passed laws enforcing his subjects to consume it on a regular basis.
Since then, news of its health benefits have spread worldwide, and with good reason! Flaxseeds hold more polyphenol antioxidants than blueberries, more omega-3 fatty acids than you find in salmon, and a rather unique fibre named mucilage, which is very rarely found in foods. Flaxseed also works to decrease the ratio of bad cholesterol in our bodies to good, and works to protect our blood vessels from potentially dangerous inflammation.
With flaxseed’s impressive omega-3 count, alongside its impressive volume of antioxidants and fibre, flaxseed provide a whole host of benefits to our body. And with a lack of antioxidants leading to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, two key risks of developing cancer, flaxseed has proven itself to be a warrior of preventing this from arising.
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Fibre, better digestion, anti-inflammatory properties.
Get yours here.
8. Hemp Seeds
Round in shape with a slightly nutty flavour similar to that of pine nuts, hemp seeds are soft in texture and loaded with nutrients.
Hemp seeds will deliver to you a pretty large dose of those omegas 3 and 6, and also hold potent anti-inflammatory properties, making hemp seeds a good food to pack into your diet if you suffer with asthma, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, and even seasonal allergies such as hayfever!
As well as holding lots of nutrition, hemp seeds also behold a mighty protein punch with just three tablespoons of hemp seeds holding 11g or protein. And with the protein inside of hemp being easy to digest, you can say goodbye to bloating, constipation, and embarrassing flatulence, too.
You’ll find hemp seeds are incredibly rich in those essential amino acids, and they’re especially rich in zinc, iron, and magnesium.
So, you may be wondering how to get these little seeds of goodness into your diet? It’s pretty easy actually. You can add hemp seeds to practically everything!
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Protein, omega acids, minerals, fibre.
Get yours here.
9. Inca Berry or Golden Berry
Like most superfoods, sweet-and-sour Inca Berries are high in antioxidants. Even more so than apples, broccoli, pomegranate juice, and even goji berries! These antioxidants are held in the tiny seeds that can be found inside of the fruit.
As you probably know, antioxidants are a natural plant chemical which our bodies need to be able to fight against the damaging effects of free radicals. These occur in our body naturally and are also left behind by things like pollution, cigarette smoke and sun radiation. Dried Inca Berries also contain an extremely high amount of fibre, having the highest of all dried fruits.
Add the berries to breads, cakes, muffins and biscuits in the place of other dried fruits. You can also turn them into tasty jams, pastes and chutneys. Their sweet and sour edge will really give an explosion of flavours when adding them to meals.
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Antioxidants, fibre.
Get yours here.
Lucuma may look like a mango, but this Peruvian fruit is said to have the texture of a hard boiled egg, whilst tasting similar to that of a sweet potato. Being referred to as Gold of the Incas, this fruit is fairly new on the market. Lucuma generally comes in powdered form outside of Peru, as the fruit is considered too precious in South America to be exported out of the country whole.
Why is lucuma so revered? Not only is it valued for its nutritional content, but the fruit is high in carotene. This is an antioxidant that reduces the effects of ageing. And if your eyesight isn’t quite what it used to be, lucuma is known to help those with vision problems. It is high in iron, fibre, niacin, and – bonus! – it tastes delicious. A bit like caramel!
In fact, lucuma is so naturally sweet, it’s actually a sugar substitute! Lucuma powder can be used in baking, sprinkled over yogurt and desserts for a touch of sweetness, or even added to tea and coffee. Personally? I like it whipped into a creamy almond milk shake.
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Iron boosting, fibre, niacin and anti-ageing.
Get yours here.
Maca is a root that you may be surprised to learn actually belongs to the radish family, and is most commonly used in its powdered form. Rich in vitamins B, C and E it provides a healthy source of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and amino acids. Even without considering all of the added bonuses you’ll experience from taking maca, it’s good for your health in general in a number of different ways.
For example? It supplies iron to your body, and helps to restore red blood cells, which aids anemia, and cardiovascular diseases. Maca also keeps both your bones and teeth healthy, whilst also allowing your wounds to heal at a much quicker pace. And if you suffer from skin conditions such as acne, taking maca will help to eliminate acne and blemish scars.
Another benefit of taking maca is its ability to control climate within the skin. Maca decreases the skin sensitivity, so whether you’re living in a hot or cold climate, maca will help your skin withstand any dramatic change in temperature. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime, maca will also help to increase muscle mass. So it’s perfect for those trying to bulk up at the gym.
Now we thought we’d finish with a fact both sexes can enjoy. Maca is widely used to promote sexual function for both men and women. It boosts libido, increases endurance, balances hormones for those going through PMS or menopause, and increases fertility too!
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Balancing hormones, helping build muscle mass, healing wounds, boosting iron.
Get some for yourself here.
12. Matcha Green Tea
Have you found that by the afternoons, you’re slumped over, feeling a serious lack of energy? Well, it may be time to invest in some matcha green tea.
All forms of green tea contain a naturally occurring amino acid called L-Theanine. But the content is higher in matcha green tea! And along with its natural caffeine content, this causes a stimulant which works to increase alertness and improve concentration at the same time. No wonder Buddhist monks have been drinking matcha for centuries when mediating!
Like other superfood powders, you can simply add a heaped teaspoon of matcha green tea powder into your daily smoothies and breakfasts to pack that powder into your diet. You can also try making ice cream with it, or making a matcha latte.
Once you get into the routine of taking matcha, you honestly get used to the strong flavour and even start to – dare we say it – crave it!
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Energy, anti-oxidants.
Get some here.
Moringa is fairly new to the superfood market, but my is it packed full of absolute goodness! It originated from India, where it has been used not only as a nutritional booster, but also as a medicinal plant. Moringa is now increasingly popular in many tropical and subtropical countries, and on five different continents.
It’s commonly referred to as The Miracle Tree, due to the many health benefits associated with moringa. For example, it contains 25x the amount of iron you’d get from spinach, or 7 times the amount of vitamin C from eating oranges, more vitamin A than carrots, more B vitamins than peanuts, more calcium than milk, and more potassium than you’d get from bananas. With moringa also being a source of protein, it’s the perfect supplement for those following a vegetarian or a vegan diet.
Aside from these surprising nutritional facts, the list of medicinal qualities is just as impressive. Moringa can help with all sorts of things, from skin ailments, to headaches, tumours, diabetes to even helping with malaria. These properties aren’t just assumptions, but have been proven and expanded by much scientific research. This miracle tree is packed full of goodness! 46 different antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories, and 90 nutrients, to be exact.
You can get it into your diet easily by adding the power into your green juices and smoothies, giving them a taste similar to that of spinach.
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, anti-inflammation, anti-oxidants and more.
Find some supplements and powders here.
Spirulina is a natural algae that’s incredibly high in protein. It’s also a great source of antioxidants, B-vitamins, and various other nutrients.
When spirulina is harvested correctly from non-contaminated ponds, it’s one of the most potent nutrient sources available. Spirulina’s packed with protein and essential amino acids. And because of its high iron content, it is recommend for vegetarians. Due to its high calcium levels, with over 26 times the amount in milk, spirulina is a perfect for children, pregnant women, vegans and the elderly.
Spirulina also aids weight loss, helping to increase fat burning when exercising. But it has also been linked to helping with a lot of health issues, such as reducing the symptoms of hay fever and diabetes. It’s also a great superfood for helping to eliminate stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and PMS.
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Reducing stress, PMS symptoms, anxiety, and depression. Amino acids and calcium.
Get yours here.
Wheatgrass is a baby wheat plant. When wheatgrass is sprouted, the grass is packed with energy, high levels of nutrients, and live enzymes. These are what help we humans digest the grass when consumed, allowing the nutrients to enter our bloodstream super quickly.
Wheatgrass contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s also packed with chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals. Studies have suggested that wheatgrass also offers improved digestion and relief from stomach conditions such as colitis. That’s because wheatgrass controls bad bacteria from overwhelming the digestive tract, which would normally cause inflammation and discomfort.
Still need more reasons to get drinking this green stuff? Research has also indicated that drinking wheatgrass can reduce cholesterol, and that wheatgrass can have positive effects on cancer, anemia, diabetes, and even skin conditions.
Wheatgrass has become so readily available that cafes are offering shots of it now. But if you’re juicing your wheatgrass at home, make sure you drink it as fast as you can. It oxidises fast! So a quicker shot means you’ll definitely get the maximum amount of nutrients hitting your body.
One of the best superfoods you should be eating for: Improved digestion and energy. Reducing cholesterol and improving skin.
Find it here.