What are superfoods? Various fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods are often labeled as superfoods for their ability to keep the body in excellent working order. For example, these kinds of foods can fight inflammation, boost the immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, lower stress, and more. A superfood provides the body with a high dose of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help fight disease and naturally boost your health! Below is a list of 13 superfoods you should definitely incorporate into your diet.
Top 13 Superfoods
1. Goji Berry
This is one of the more well-known superfoods, and for good reason, too. For example, goji berries provide the body with nutrients that help boost the immune system, improve skin health, and work as a natural energy source. Additionally, as a superfood, the goji berry also fights cancer by reducing inflammation and strengthening the body’s ability to fight off disease. Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, along with its ability to protect eye health, cleanse the liver, and stabilize blood sugar levels, make the goji berry a true superfood. (1)
2. Cacao Beans
That’s right. Chocolate, at least in this form, is good for you. Thanks to the powerful flavonoids they contain, cacao beans are considered a superfood. For example, they help naturally lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and improve circulation to promote cardiovascular health. Furthermore, the antioxidants in cacao beans help protect the body from disease by fighting off free radicals that cause damage. And cacao beans can also help improve mental health by providing the body with a natural boost of energy. You can also opt for raw cacao powder to receive the same nutritional benefits.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that possesses superfood qualities. It benefits the body by promoting a heavy metal detox. Adding spirulina to your diet can help rid the body of dangerous toxins as well as bacteria and fungi, including candida. Research has shown that spirulina can also help fight cancer, lower blood pressure levels, reduce cholesterol, and improve heart health. You can add this superfood to your smoothies for a burst of added nutrition.
4. Blue-Green Algae
The top superfoods include blue-green algae, known for its ability to fight cancer, reduce joint pain and inflammation, and lower cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the carotenoids, GLA, phycocyanin, and plant sterols in algae work to improve heart health and rid the body of harmful toxins. (2) Considering many of us consume a less-than-ideal or sometimes downright poor diet on a daily basis, detoxing is thoroughly necessary in order to keep your body working like it should. You can help your body get rid of toxins by including blue-green algae in your diet.
Chlorella is also a type of blue-green algae that contains healing phytonutrients. Thanks to its ability to boost the immune system, detoxify heavy metals, and even fight cancer, chlorella is considered a superfood. Additionally, research has shown that chlorella can help lower the risk of cancer and reduce the negative side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. (3)
6. Marine Phytoplankton
Continuing on with the algae group, marine phytoplankton are also extremely beneficial to your health. Because of this, they are included on the list of the top superfoods. Phytoplankton are a micro-algae that improve heart health, promote cell regeneration, strengthen the immune system, and more. In addition, research has shown that phytoplankton have powerful anti-cancer properties. The antioxidants they contain help rid the body of harmful toxins to prevent cancer and other diseases. (4)
7. Hemp Seeds
These seeds have a nutty-type flavor and consistency. They’re great on salads, sprinkled on pasta, or as a milk. Furthermore, hemp seeds are rich in GLA or gamma-linolenic acid, which has many health benefits. Research has shown that GLA can reduce high blood pressure and prevent heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. (5) Hemp seeds can also help improve digestive health, reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain, and prevent cancer by fighting inflammation and strengthening the immune system.
8. Chia Seeds
The top superfoods include chia seeds, which can help improve the skin, slow aging, restore digestive health, and even help treat diabetes. Chia seeds are highly anti-inflammatory. Furthermore, they help improve heart health, reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, and even help protect the body from breast cancer and cervical cancer. There are numerous ways in which you can enjoy chia seeds. For example, they’re great sprinkled on granola. You can also soak them in a nut milk to make a chia pudding. Try adding honey for a bit of flavor and sweetness. However, also be sure to drink plenty of water with chia seeds, as failing to do so may result in an upset stomach.
9. Aloe Vera
Indeed, aloe vera isn’t just for sunburns–it’s great for you when ingested, as well! Aloe Vera can be found on the list of the top superfoods, thanks to its healing properties. It provides the body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help soothe skin irritations, treat burns, heal cold sores, and aid in digestion. Aloe Vera can be used as a natural topical treatment for many skin issues. (6)
10. Noni Fruit
Native to Southeast Asia, Noni fruit is well-known among superfoods. It has natural sedative properties that can help regulate mood, fight insomnia, and reduce muscle and joint pain. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of Noni fruit also help boost the immune system, prevent infections, fight hypertension, and lower the risk of cancer. (7)
11. Raw Honey
Raw honey is unprocessed and packed with nutrients, which gives it a top spot among superfoods. The powerful antioxidants in raw honey fight disease, heal wounds, prevent diabetes, and provide the body with a natural source of energy. Raw honey is so beneficial to humankind that one study concludes, “honey could be considered as a natural therapeutic agent for various medicinal purposes.” (8)
12. Bee Pollen
Bee pollen provides the body with nearly all of the nutrients it needs, including a full spectrum of vitamins and essential amino acids. In fact, it is the main source of food for the bee hive. It has natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties. The nutrients in bee pollen help lower inflammation levels, protect the liver from disease, and promote healing. (9)
13. Royal Jelly
The top superfoods include royal jelly, a substance made for the queen bee by worker bees. In fact, royal jelly is an essential food for the development of the queen bee, which she’ll eat for her entire life. The antioxidants in royal jelly can help fight asthma, improve gut health, and even work as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease by improving neural functions. (10)
For a companion article looking at the top antioxidant foods, herbs, and supplements, check out this article!