Do you need more strength? More energy? To feel lighter? Then you need to include superfoods in your diet. How can you recognize them? Superfoods can be fruits, vegetables, plants, grains and seeds, or algae and fish. Most of these foods have intense and vibrant colors, come from exotic places, but others have been part of our diet since we were young, and yet we don’t appreciate them as we should. Olive oil or avocado, for example, are superfoods.
Goji berries have the largest vitamin C content, providing 500 times more of this vitamin than oranges and more betacarotenos than carrots.
And… why superfoods? Because they contain a high concentration of special nutrients that improve health, prevent diseases and slow the aging process. Superfoods are full of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, dietary fiber and, above all, antioxidants.
There are thousands of superfoods. We’ve chosen the ones that repeat most often in lists published by specialized health media.
Hemp seeds. Hemp seeds provide several health benefits thanks to their high nutritional content. They are made of complete proteins, contain essential fatty acids such as Omega 6 and Omega 3, are an excellent source of soluble fiber. These seeds are also full of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, B1, B2, D and E, as well as calcium and iron. They also have a high fiber content.
Benefits. The balance of the essential fatty acids combines with the Hemp’s protein promoting cell recovery and development. The high fatty acids concentration supports oxygen transportation to all of the body’s cells.
Consumption. With fruits, smoothies, cereal, oats or yogurt.
Propolis is the most natural antibiotic in the world. It strengthens the immune system, defending the body from bacteria and viruses.
Maca. Maca is a herbaceous plant native to the Andes of Peru and Bolivia.
Benefits. Its roots possess properties that increase fertility and improve libido. In addition, they regulate and increase the endocrine system functions, relieve premenstrual syndrome and menopause symptoms, reverse vaginal dryness. On the other hand, they improve quality of sleep, memory and brain function, and slow down the aging process.
Consumption. Alone with water, or mixed with vegetables, broths or soups.
Quinoa. It’s one of the most important grains in the Andes. It has a high iron, magnesium, vegetable protein, group B (excellent for the nervous system) and vitamin E (antioxidants) content.
Benefits. Improves muscle building and upkeep. It’s especially beneficial for celiac people, as it doesn’t contain gluten. Also, because of its high fiber content and larger protein contribution in terms of cereals, quinoa has a low glycemic index, making it ideal for people with diabetes or who want to lose weight. It’s also very helpful for controlling blood cholesterol levels, as its fiber and unsaturated lipids favor the body’s lipid profile.
Consumption. Its raw version can be cooked or used to make salads, stews, hamburgers and desserts. Popped it can be eaten at breakfast or used to make energy bars, muffins and cookies.
Propolis. It’s the substance with which bees cover their hives’ walls. It contains antioxidants and protects the hive from bacteria and viruses, making it one of the most antiseptic places in nature.
Benefits. It’s the most natural antibiotic in the world. It strengthens the immune system, defending the body from bacteria and viruses, decreasing the likelihood of colds, sore throats and coughing, as well as decreasing inflammatory processes. It also has anti-aging properties.
Consumption. It can be taken with water or honey. For skin disorders and wounds, it can be applied as a cream.
Linseed. Flaxseed is a seed that is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and is the best Omega 3 fatty acids vegetable source.
Benefits. It’s characterized by its high dietary fiber content, both soluble and insoluble, which promotes LDL (bad) cholesterol cleansing, adequate gastrointestinal health and decreases blood glucose peaks. It also reduces body inflammation, blood pressure and triglycerides. The combination of these nutrients, allows flaxseed to decrease the risk of and be part of cardiovascular diseases treatment, diabetes mellitus type 2 and colon cancer.
Consumption. In water, milk or on salads and breads.
Pomegranate. This fruit is native to Persia and is an excellent vitamin C, E and potassium source, as well as for flavonoids and polyphenols; it contains antioxidants in a greater concentration than red wine, green tea, blackberries and blueberries.
Benefits. It’s involved in the treatment of heart disease, infertility and cancer, as well as for lowering total cholesterol and blood pressure.
Consumption. On salads, juices or shakes, or directly.
Spirulina. It’s a cultivated cultured alga that contains 70% protein and a huge amount of chlorophyll. It contains vitamins and minerals.
Benefits. It improves oxygen concentration in the blood and controls blood sugar levels. It also stimulates weight loss and body detoxification.
Consumption. With natural yogurt, accompanying salads and as a star ingredient in fruit smoothies.
The consumption of pomegranate is involved in the treatment of heart disease, infertility and cancer, as well as for lowering total cholesterol and blood pressure.
Chia Seeds. Chia seeds and sprouts are high in antioxidants, proteins, dietary fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids, and contain no gluten.
Benefits. They provide energy and satiety. Chia seeds also have a hydrating effect, protect us from contamination, from tobacco smoke and UV rays. They also help lose weight, soothe joint pain and are cleansing antioxidants.
Consumption. Its seeds are used grounded as food or as a hydrating ingredient in a refreshing drink, while the buds are used in salads.
Aloe vera. Its gel contains polysaccharides, vitamin A, C and E, minerals such as selenium, magnesium and zinc, and antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, sterols and dietary fiber.
Benefits. It optimizes various body functions, such as improving response to viruses, bacteria and fungi, strengthening joints, skin (stimulates collagen production), nervous system, brain, kidneys and digestive system.
Consumption. In juice.
Goji berries. These have the largest vitamin C content, providing 500 times more of this vitamin than oranges and more betacarotenos than carrots. They also contain vitamin B1, B2, B6 and E, minerals and an amazing amount of protein.
Benefits. Reverses aging and fights diseases. It also provides protection against cancer.
Consumption. In shakes, salads, breads, cookies, creams or jams.
For those who want more, black garlic, mushrooms, avocado, olive oil, walnuts, almonds and legumes are other superfoods to keep in mind.