What is a Superfood?In 2016, a huge shift in thinking about the way we eat food occurred, and superfoods blew fast foods out of the water. This trend was documented in marketing research studies performed by Google and analyzed and reported in articles like Lavu’s “2016 in Review: What People Googled about Food.” These results made it clear that, in general, more people were turning to the idea that we need to eat to live, not live to eat.
Functional foods, or foods that serve a dual purpose - tasting good and helping your body in some way, - are important to making part of your daily diet regime, and many of these foods were searched out in 2016. The top searches included turmeric, apple cider vinegar, jackfruit and kefir - all considered superfoods. We use functional foods in our Momental Mind herbal blend for mind-body support. Learn More.
A superfood is a food that is loaded with nutrients that are considered to be beneficial to your body and/or brain health and overall well-being, and most people think of green foods or organic foods when they hear “superfoods.”
Often, by eating these foods, you can fill multiple nutritional needs with one serving, helping get or stay healthy without the added need of extra vitamins or medication. Because of this, superfoods are on millions of plates every day across the country.
What kinds of foods should be on your plate? Many of them are common, like green products, but there are quite a few lesser known superfoods that pack a mighty punch in a tiny package.
1. Blueberries - The Perfect Organic Antioxidants for Anti-Aging
Blueberries are a well-known everyday snack food and just about everyone knows that they are “healthy,” but you will get a different reason of exactly why they are healthy from many people. This is because they are actually a superfood, so they are healthy for a multitude of reasons.
These tiny little balls of fruit are famous for having the highest concentration of antioxidants out of all of the better known fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are crucial for keeping your immune system healthy, as well as for fighting free radicals. You come in contact with free radicals in the environment every day, and your body produces them. These are largely responsible for the aging process, and the more antioxidants you eat, the better your body fights the natural process of aging.
Many scientific studies, like the National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health’s report, “Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults,” also support the theory that blueberries can help improve memory in adults, even elderly adults with memory problems like dementia.
This is thought to be from a combination of the antioxidants, vitamins and other benefits blueberries provide. Alternative Blueberry Muffin Top Recipe - the healthy mind and body way.
2. Raspberries - The Superfood That Can Help Stop Cancer
Raspberries are full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients, including ellagic acid, which studies, like the one done by Memorial Sloan Ketting Cancer Center, have found to “indicate anticarcinogenic effects of ellagic acid against liver, esophageal, prostate, and colorectal cancer cell lines.” In other word, ellagic acid can fight cancer. It's not just raspberries that pack a nutrient punch but the leaves of raspberries are great for digestive problems and can be made into a healing tonic.
In addition to this amazing breakthrough, the oils in raspberries help with sun protection. The vitamins and nutrients can help your immune system, and between the health benefits and the low caloric factor, eating these delicious fruits can be a great way to help you lose weight, adding raspberries to the superfoods list quite easily!
3. Algae - One of History’s Greatest Green Superfoods
Even though algae has been used for centuries for health benefits including food and beauty rituals, millions of people still stereotype this amazing superfood into the realm of “no, thank you!” But you should definitely think twice before saying no to one of the hundreds of versions of algae available across the world.
Green food algaes like spirulina, chlorella, kelp and dulse are densely packed with vitamins and minerals that can aid in cardiovascular health and help reduce cholesterol. The beta-carotene many algaes contain has been proven to promote eye health, reduce inflammation and act as an antioxidant, destroying free radicals and helping your immune system, as well as fighting aging.
If the idea of ingesting this superfood in raw or even cooked form turns your stomach but you would like the benefits they bring with them, no worries! Try these greens in powder form, like with Momental Mind meal replacement for even more nutritional values. Green food powder benefits are just as great with a healthy, reputable meal replacement product.
4. Chia Seeds - Your Omega-3 and Protein Giant in a Tiny Package
An easy addition to your meal or meal replacement shake, chia seeds are almost flavorless but contain impressive amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, calcium, iron and antioxidants. The idea that this much nutritional value can be packed into such a small seed is hard to believe, but it is true!
One ounce contains 5.6 grams of protein as well. Eating small amount of this superfood every day can help you lose weight, improve your skin, give you more energy and help decrease the risk of many dangerous diseases.
5. Maca Powder, Nature’s Energy Booster
Found only in the Peruvian Andes where altitudes reach over 14,000 feet above sea level, this root has been used for millennia by humans and animals to increase stamina, fertility and muscle growth. It also is known for its energy boosting powers, along with the complementary effects of alleviating depression and increasing the libido and balancing hormones in both men and women.
Because it is so rare, maca is most often found in powder. liquid or capsule form. It can be added to your smoothies, shakes or regular meals.
6. Cacao/Cocoa Powder is More than Just a Pleasure Food - It Can Keep You Smarter, Too!
Superfoods don’t always have to be green or untasty. Cocoa, in its raw form, is one of the yummiest and healthiest superfoods you can eat!
According to studies like the one done at Harvard, flavanols in cocoa can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or memory loss, and aid in reducing cognitive decline.
However, be careful in how you take these results - that doesn’t mean you can load up on your Hershey bars and chocolate ice cream. The chocolate making process is just as likely to destroy the flavanols that the cocoa powder contains as it is to keep them, so your best bet is to get your cocoa benefits in powder form.
7. Mangosteens - Nature’s Hidden Gem for Fighting Inflammation
Never heard of a mangosteen? You aren’t the only one, but this superfood from Thailand is one of the only organic foods where you can find xanthones naturally. These xanthones are found in the rind, or pericarp, of the mangosteen, and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Research studies have shown that mangosteens aren't the only superfood that contain anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer biological capabilities.
Mangosteens themselves are difficult to find outside of Thailand and surrounding areas, but you can find products with mangosteen juice in them, complete with xanthones from the rind so you have the health benefits.
8. Goji Berries for Organic Detoxification
Popular for food and traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, goji berries are a low-calorie, high fiber superfood rich in antioxidants. They can aid in digestion and weight management because of their high fiber content. In fact, Healthline recommends goji berries as a great potential weight loss aid.
Simply ¼ cup of dried goji berries contains 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, as well as 18 amino acids, no fat and only 100 calories. If you are looking for a great way to detoxify your system and help your liver function properly, goji berries are an excellent organic superfood! Goji Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe
9. Hemp Seeds - Great Protein and Amino Acids
Often confused with marijuana, the active ingredient used for the drug, THC, is not found in hemp seeds themselves. Instead, these perfectly legal protein-dense seeds are very mild in flavor and can be used in just about any meal.
Hemp seeds contain all of the amino acids necessary to be a full source of protein, making them a great replacement for meats in your diet. Amino acids as a superfood help contribute to anti-anging and should definitely find their way into your diet. You can get hemp seeds in the form of oil or powder, adding them to the amazing superfood powder benefits you can get from your meal replacements like Momental Mind.
11. Black Garlic for Probiotic Health
Similar to regular garlic, with all of the health benefits, black garlic is an Asian marvel containing heart-healthy, cancer-fighting, and intense probiotic benefits. Probiotics help to clean our intestinal system, which helps our immune system, skin, weight, digestion and much more.
Black garlic has a light, sweet flavor and can be found in health food stores across the world or online. It has recently become very popular and is one of the up and coming superstars on our superfoods list.
12. Calcium Rich Almonds
Calcium is crucial for healthy living, from our blood to our bones. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, it “enables our blood to clot, our muscles to contract and our hearts to contract.”
Our bones and teeth are 99% calcium. In short, our bodies are made up of calcium from head to toe. But that calcium is lost daily through our natural daily functions and our body does not produce calcium on its own.
Almonds are an excellent solution to that problem, with 23 milligrams of calcium in one serving. It’s not easy to get enough calcium in our diets, since we need between 1,000 and 1,200 mg daily, depending on age and gender.
If you can’t eat enough almonds or other calcium-rich foods, meal replacement powders like Momental Mind are an excellent way to guarantee you are getting your daily serving sizes of this highly important mineral.
12. Eat an Avocado a Day for Improved Memory
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know an avocado a day could keep dementia away?
According to FoodDive, studies have shown that eating one of these amazing green products actually “improved working memory and problem-solving skills in 40 healthy adults aged 50 and older.” But it’s not just the yummy parts of the avocado that make this hit our superfoods list.
Researchers have found that the seed husks contain medicinal properties that could be used to treat cancer, and they also have chemicals in them that may eventually be able to be used in place of plastics and synthetic materials that are harmful to the environment.
The health benefits of this fruit are due to its richness in potassium, fiber, and folate, as well as its many other vitamins and minerals that make it such an excellent way to get your nutrients packed into one easy meal.
13. Coconut For...Well, Just About Everything!
Coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut water…. You have probably heard of coconut’s impressive health benefits in some form or another, but why exactly does it hit the superfood list?
Best Health Magazine analyzed the benefits of coconut in its article, “The Health Benefits of Coconut,” noting that nearly one-third of the entire population uses coconut in some form or another. Full of vitamin C, potassium and healthy saturated fats (yes, healthy fats!), coconut is a no-brainer to throw in your daily diet.
Use it in your cooking or on your skin in coconut oil, drink the coconut water or coconut milk, or take it in the form of a capsule or powder. The light flavor of coconut makes it a favorite to use in baking as well.
14. Collard Greens Improve Eyesight
Collard greens are full of protein, vitamin, fiber and iron, but they also contain vitamin A and a nutrient called lutein, which have been shown to improve and maintain eyesight. Women’s Day Magazine suggests these leafy green vegetables as one of the must-have superfoods on your diet.
Other excellent sources of vitamin A can include meal replacement powders like Momental Mind for superfood powder benefits.
15. Kiwifruit (Kiwi) Helps You Breathe Better
If you have respiratory issues like asthma, eating 5 - 7 servings per week of citrus fruits like kiwi may help improve your breathing and cut down on attacks. How?
Heal With Food says the high vitamin C content is more than enough to complete your daily intake, and can actually alleviate symptoms such as shortness of breath and wheezing in children and adults by almost half.
All These Benefits...and So Much More!
Any of these foods or benefits catch your eye? You can always do some added research to see what other foods can help your symptoms, or what other symptoms any of these superfoods help!
Reputable sites like Momental Nootropics make it a point to have scientific research available for you on the subjects that matter to your health. Take a few minutes to see why organic micro greens products and collagen powder meal replacements, healthy fats from MCT and omega 3, and herbal nootropics can have a significant impact on your overall mind and body, and start improving your health today!
Now that you know what superfoods you should be eating, what foods should you be avoiding?