Superfood is a term that's been kind of worn out in the health and fitness industry. It's a sort of buzzword that people throw around that has been watered down in meaning due to overuse, not unlike "detox", "flexible dieting", "high protein", "gluten-free", "paleo", "vegan" and the list goes on. Unfortunately it has fallen into the convoluted realm of Bro Science™.
The concept itself is legit though, not all food is created equal. Some protein sources, fruits, and vegetables are much better than others due to micro-nutrient content, types of fat, and variety of amino acids in food. Below, I have compiled a list of champion foods in each category based on my own knowledge and opinion.
Why? Salmon is a great sources of Vitamin D, Omega-3 fats, B-vitamins, and Selenium. It also contains all essential amino acids as well as some key conditional ones like L-Arganine (a great one for muscle recovery and cardio health). Toe to toe, no other meat measures up to the benefits of consuming wild caught Salmon.
However, be careful of how often you consume fish. I would not recommend doing so more than three times a week as studies have pointed to higher quantities of heavy metals in fish meat. Your body can naturally get rid of these, but not if you're diet is over-saturated in heavy metals.
Why? IT HAS ELECTROLYTES. What plants crave. Joking aside, it is a great source of magnesium, calcium, and potassium (key electrolytes) as well as many trace micro-nutrients and mono-unsaturated fats. Mono-unsaturated fat has been linked to improving circulation and preventing heart disease, similar to the effects of consuming olive oil. They, like any other nut, are also high in fiber which is essential for digestive and probiotic health.
These make a great snack, but don't think I have no love for other nuts. Walnuts, cashews, and even peanuts can also get the job done.
Why? I bet you were expecting me to say acai berries or blueberries. While those are excellent fruits in their own way, raspberries have a slight edge in my opinion. Raspberries contain small amounts of nearly every micronutrient there is with larger amounts of Vitamin C and K as well as Manganese. They also contain a decent amount of Omega 3 and 6 with a decent ratio, about 2:1 in favor of Omega 6 (more on the importance of that in the future).
Where raspberries really shine are in their extremely high amounts of fiber, lower net carbs, and bio-available ketones. Ketones are the preferred energy source when someone is on a ketogenic diet. So if you're into keto, definitely look into consuming this miracle fruit on a regular basis.
Why? There's a reason why Popeye always kept a can around and why strongman Hafþór Björnsson (aka The Mountain from Game of Thrones) eats spinach several times a day. The jury is in for this one, spinach is the most beneficial vegetable on planet Earth. Boasting a complete amino acid profile, and decent quantities of the entire spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
Spinach plays a major role in preventing cancer as well as strengthening your bones. It contains very high amounts of Vitamin K1, which gets converted to K2 and attached to your bones, helping to better anchor calcium and magnesium molecules to them. Spinach is the #1 most nutrient dense food, calorie for calorie, on the planet. Seems like Popeye was onto something.
Eat it raw for maximum benefit.
Beans: Pinto Beans
Why? Technically, black beans are more nutrient dense than pinto beans, although the nutrition profiles of both are nearly identical. I personally prefer the taste of pinto beans over black which is the main reason why I chose them. Pinto beans are great for blood, heart, and digestive health; as it is known to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
They're a low Glycemic Index food, meaning it will keep your blood sugar more stable and will give you more time to use those carbohydrates before they're stored as body fat.
Pinto beans are a great protein source, sporting a nearly complete amino acid profile. They are also extremely high in fiber, B-vitamins and minerals.
Why? Something I preach about is gut health, specifically loading up on foods high in beneficial gut bacteria. Kombucha is a type of fermented tea, usually containing billions of pro-biotic colonies within it. It has been known to improve digestion, aid in weight loss, increase energy, improve immune system function, and prevent cancer.
Kombucha also has legitimate detoxifying effects on the liver and is known to counteract cell toxicity. It can prevent liver cells from oxidative injury, even when exposed to toxins! This makes it very likely to be a key player in preventing liver disease.
Now I'm not saying that you should only be eating the foods on this list, but if you incorporate them regularly into your diet, I guarantee you will feel stronger and more healthy!
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