Who says only junk food tastes good? Although not many people know this, many foods are not only great in terms of taste, but they can actually help you get much healthier. That’s why they’re called superfoods: they can also save your body from nasty stuff like high blood pressure, kidney disease, and more! Here are 30 superfoods that will actually change your life for the better.
Turmeric is a spice that has been around for centuries, and it has been used for medicinal purposes by many cultures. Just adding a pinch of it to your food can actually make a big impact on your health. For example, studies have shown that turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, and it helps strengthen your body’s defenses.
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Not only that, but it also increases the antioxidant capacity of your body, and also improves brain function. This means that it helps improve memory and keep you alert, so it’s great to eat some turmeric before an exam or to stay awake through a long, stressful day of work. And the best part is: it’s delicious!
Adding some seaweed to your diet can greatly improve your health. But be careful, don’t just grab some off the beach! When this versatile plant is properly prepared, it can boost your health in surprising ways. It contains iodine and tyrosine, which improve thyroid function, so if you’re having some thyroid problems, seaweed is your best ally.
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Seaweed is also packed with vitamins and minerals and contains fibers that are great for your stomach. A good way to consume it is to sprinkle dried seaweed on your food as a seasoning, so you don’t get bored of eating seaweed all the time. You can also eat it in the form of sushi, soups, salads, and even smoothies.
Good ol’ carrots: they’re tasty, crunchy, and most importantly, highly nutritious. They are so healthy that they even have their own antioxidant known as carotenoid, so you just can’t go wrong with them. They are rich in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by your own body, and it also has biotin, which has been linked to nail and hair growth.
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Diets that are rich in carotenoids are believed to reduce the risk of cancer, and also lower your cholesterol. Another popular belief related to carrots is that they are good for the eyes. That is because people with low vitamin A are more likely to develop sight problems, so don’t think twice before adding carrots to your diet.
Beets are very popular all around the world and for good reason. They contain many essential vitamins, plant compounds, and minerals, and therefore have medicinal properties. Thanks to their nutrients, beets help control your blood pressure, which prevents heart attacks and strokes. And we’re just getting started.
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They also improve athletic performance, so they are very popular among athletes. What’s more, they reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and are just delicious. A study found that drinking 17 ounces of beet juice per day greatly increased people’s energy and well-being.
Pomegranates don’t just look funny on the inside and have an interesting flavor, as they are also packed with super healthy stuff that will make your body feel better than ever. What gives this fruit its bright red color are polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. In fact, pomegranates contain a higher concentration of antioxidant than most fruits – three times as much, to be precise.
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What makes them even more attractive is that they have more than 40% of the daily vitamin C requirement. They also are known to reduce inflammation, particularly in the case of arthritis. To top it off, drinking pomegranate juice every day can help lower your blood pressure, prevent illness, and fight off infections.
This is great news for all the coffee lovers out there, but be careful. Coffee is actually really healthy when you drink it alone, but it has the opposite effect when you have it with a ton of sugar and cream. If you’re strong enough to live without all the sugar and drinking it with moderation, you’ll enjoy many amazing health benefits.
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It contains high levels of antioxidants, which, as we all know, are awesome for you. A little caffeine goes a long way, and it can help improve brain function and keep you energized for longer. Because your nervous system is stimulated, fat cells break down body fat faster, and it also improves physical performance. Just remember the magic word: moderation.
Broccoli‘s reputation has been tarnished by children’s cartoons for decades, but the truth is that it is incredibly good for your health. It is full of vitamin C, A, K, and B9, and of course, it’s packed with antioxidants. It helps neutralize cell damage caused by free radicals and also reduces inflammation.
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Multiple studies have shown that eating vegetables like broccoli may reduce cancer risk and also control your blood sugar. And if you’re constipated, fear not: broccoli’s got your back. Our green friend also promotes healthy brain function and keeps you young. But the coolest part of broccoli is that it looks like a tiny tree.
At last, the phrase you always wanted to hear: chocolate is healthy. This is 100% true, but just like coffee, chocolate must be consumed in moderation, and the less sugar it contains, the better it’ll be for you. This is why dark chocolate is highly recommended as opposed to other types of chocolate.
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Essentially, chocolate is healthy because it comes from the seed of the cocoa tree, which is packed with antioxidants. The more cocoa your chocolate has, the healthier it will be. Dark chocolate improves blood pressure, and therefore reduces the risk of heart disease, and it is also believed to protect your skin from the sun.
#22. Red Wine
This is getting better and better, isn’t it? The fact that red wine is good for you has been known for a while, but the question is: how good is it for you? Actually, it is pretty good, as long as you only have one glass a day. One of the things that make red wine so healthy is – you’ve guessed it – antioxidants.
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It also helps boost your immune system and ward off infections, as well as increase bone density and reduce the risk of a stroke. Some studies have also shown that red wine can decrease the bad cholesterol in your body, which will, in turn, lower your blood pressure. So go ahead and have one glass of wine for dinner, and your heart will thank you later.
Lentils are awesome because they are low in calories and highly nutritious. Sadly, they are usually overlooked, but the truth is that they are a true superfood. They contain a wide range of nutrients, such as B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Also, we have great news for vegetarians and vegans alike.
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As they are made of over 25% protein, they are excellent alternatives to meat. Not only that, but they are an amazing source of iron, which is usually also lacking in meatless diets. These food champions are also good for digestion, thanks to their high fiber content.
#20. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds were one of the Aztecs’ and Mayans’ favorite foods – in fact, “chia” means “strength” in Mayan. These little guys have become extremely popular in recent years, and that is because they provide a high amount of nutrients with very few calories. They contain calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
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They are also loaded with antioxidants, and almost all the carbs they have are fiber. Not only that, but they also have a lot of quality protein and contain essential amino acids, which are great for you. By incorporating chia seeds in your diet, you can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve bone density.
Grapefruit is sweet, sour, and most importantly, super good for you. In fact, it’s one of the healthiest citrus fruits out there, as it’s rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. It is also one of the lowest-calorie fruits, and it contains more than 15 beneficial minerals and vitamins. There’s really no excuse not to have it in your diet!
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Its high vitamin C content boosts your immune system and protects you from dangerous bacteria and viruses, and it also has vitamin A, which is great for fighting inflammation and several infectious diseases. Studies have also shown that it helps you lose weight because it promotes appetite control.
Asparagus is packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as protein, fiber, and chromium, which is a trace mineral that helps enhance insulin’s ability to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. It also contains glutathione, which is a detoxifying compound believed to help fight carcinogens and free radicals.
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Another benefit of asparagus is that it is a natural diuretic, and as such, it helps your body eliminate excess salts. This is great news for those suffering from edema, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It also has anti-aging properties, such as helping your brain fight cognitive decline. You can roast, grill, or stir-fry it to preserve all its good stuff!
All nuts are super healthy and have high protein, but almonds are exceptionally good for you, especially because they contain a massive amount of nutrients. Just by eating a handful of them, you can get a good amount of vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, protein, and fiber. You can consume almond milk, oil, butter, and even flour, and it’ll be healthy in all of its forms.
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As most of the superfoods on our list, almonds are packed with antioxidants and help control blood sugar. They also lower cholesterol levels and reduce hunger, which helps lower your calorie intake and aids weight loss. Plus, they’re just delicious, so you really can’t go wrong with almonds.
Don’t let its smell fool you – garlic is one of the best superfoods out there. It might leave an interesting smell in your mouth, but after learning about all its health benefits, you’ll know it is definitely worth it. It has vitamins B6 and C, fiber, selenium, and potassium, and very few calories, so you can eat as much as you want.
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Garlic is known to help combat the common cold and boost your immune system in general. It also reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, and contains antioxidants that help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It also makes every single meal taste better, so always remember to have some garlic in your kitchen.
The biggest reason why you should eat blueberries isn’t their incredible flavor. They are actually super healthy and are very versatile. In fact, they’re one of the most nutrient-dense berries, containing a lot of vitamins C and K, as well as fiber. There are many health benefits related to them, but one, in particular, stands out.
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Blueberries can reduce DNA damage, which results in a protection against aging and even cancer. DNA damage is happening constantly in our bodies, but superfoods like blueberries help slow down the process and keep you looking and feeling young. You should incorporate them to your diet if you haven’t already!
Quinoa – we don’t know how to pronounce it, but we know it’s good for you. It is no wonder that it has become extremely popular in recent years, as it is a superfood through and through. Quinoa is high in protein and contains all nine essential amino acids that your body so desperately needs, plus vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
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Not only is quinoa extremely nutritious, but it is higher in fiber than most grains, which is great for digestion. What’s more, it’s gluten-free, so it is the perfect source of nutrients for those with gluten intolerance. It also helps control blood sugar, improves metabolic health, and it is super versatile.
Have you ever wondered why people are so incredibly obsessed with avocados? Well, it is probably because they are extremely good for you! It contains healthy fats, several vitamins like K, B5, B6, C, and E, potassium, magnesium, and the list goes on and on. In fact, they contain more potassium than bananas, which are often praised for their potassium content.
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All of the avocados’ healthy fats come with fatty acids that reduce inflammation and are great for your heart. Eating avocados regularly can lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, help you absorb nutrients better, relieve arthritis symptoms, and even reduce cancer risk.
Oranges are much more than a sweet, juicy, refreshing fruit. In fact, eating one orange a day can really keep the doctor away – take that, apples! According to a study by the American Heart Organization, oranges, as well as other citric fruits like grapefruit, can lower ischemic stroke risk and also lower your blood pressure.
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They are also known for containing high amounts of vitamin C, which is known to boost the immune system, protect the body against free radicals, and even prevent cancer. But oranges aren’t only good for your internal health. They actually promote clear, soft healthy skin.
Cranberries offer a range of health benefits that are hard to ignore. These berries are natives to North America, and they have been used by natives to treat bladder and kidney diseases for centuries. They are known to help prevent urinary tract infections; this is due to the fact that the high level of antioxidants it contains fights bacteria that tries to adhere to the urinary tract walls.
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They are also known as good for your dental health. The same way they help against urinary tract infections, cranberries prevent bacteria from binding to your teeth. They also contain vitamins C, E, and K, and let’s face it: they’re delicious.
Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, are super versatile, delicious, and most importantly, super healthy. The protein and fiber that they contain have been linked to appetite control because they slow down digestion, so they are a good choice if you’re trying to lose weight. Also, they support blood sugar control.
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The best part about chickpeas though is that they can protect you against chronic diseases, such as heart disease, thanks to the magnesium and potassium they contain, which are known to boost heart health. They also help prevent cancer and diabetes and are pretty cheap, so your heart, stomach, and pockets will be thanking you.
#9. Green Tea
Here’s the real tea: green tea is awesome, and we’ll tell you why. It is basically one of the healthiest drinks on the planet because it is packed with antioxidants that help prevent cell damage, reduce the formation of free radicals, and slow down the aging process. It also contains caffeine, but not as much as coffee.
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Green tea also boosts metabolism and therefore helps you lose weight. What’s more, it helps get rid of bacteria, improve dental health, reduce risk of heart disease, protect your liver, and protect your body from infection. Green tea is the MVP of tea and if you don’t have it at home, you should get some ASAP.
OK, we kinda made fun of apples earlier, but the proverb is true: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. These fruits are rich in antioxidants, flavanoids, and fiber and have tons of super awesome health benefits on top of being delicious. One of their benefits is that they improve neurological health, as they help reduce cellular death caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons.
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Not only do they keep your brain cells healthy, but they also reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, and lower bad cholesterol levels. Eating apples at least three times a week can change your life for the better, and there are also several kinds of apples, so you can never get bored.
Good old oatmeal – cheap, easy to make, and most importantly, super healthy. This whole grain is gluten-free while also being a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. One particular type of antioxidant found in oats is avenanthramide, which helps control your blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory properties.
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While lowering your cholesterol and controlling your blood sugar, oatmeal also helps your skin look soft, clear, and young. You may have noticed that oats are part of many skin care products, and that is because it helps treat itch and irritation in various skin conditions, as well as clear acne.
People are crazy about kale these days, and while it may be fun to poke fun at those obsessed with it, they have good reason to be. Of all the green vegetables out there, kale is one of the best, because it is one of the most nutrient-dense plants you can find. It contains very high percentages of vitamins A, K, C, B6, calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, and the list goes on and on.
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It is loaded with antioxidants that help your body get rid of harmful toxins, and it also reduces cholesterol levels. On top of that, there are several substances in kale that are known to help prevent cancer. But the best part about it is that it is packed with minerals that you’re probably not getting enough of.
Eggplant shouldn’t just be your favorite emoji, it should also be your favorite vegetable. This bad boy is loaded with nutrients like fiber, protein, potassium, and vitamins C and K, and naturally, it comes with a whole lot of health benefits. First, because it is high in antioxidants, and as we know now, this protects you from free radicals and a bunch of nasty diseases.
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Eggplants reduce cholesterol and therefore, the risk of heart disease, promote blood sugar control, and can even have cancer-fighting benefits. Eggplants are part of the nightshade family of plants, and they all contain SRGs, which are a type of compound known to fight cancer cells forming in the body.
Salmon is a fish all-star. On top of being super delicious, it has impressive health benefits. One of them is the fact that it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduce cancer risk, and improve the health of the cells that line the arteries. And we’re just getting started.
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Salmon is also an amazing protein source, which is essential when it comes to healing after injury, improving bone health, and maintaining muscle mass during weight loss and aging. It is also super high in B vitamins and a great source of potassium, so you just can’t go wrong with salmon.
Do not despair, vegetarian friends, chicken isn’t essential to people’s diets, but it is a good source of nutrients that will make your body thank you later. It’s easy to cook because it goes well with almost every dish, so it’s a pretty easy way for your body to get all the good stuff. However, fried chicken isn’t the best way to get there.
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Chicken has a high protein content and it is very rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, in particular, is good for your eyesight, and the iron chicken contains fights anemia and helps with hemoglobin formation and muscle activity. It also has vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium and keep your bone strong.
#2. Olive Oil
Although having a lot of oil in your diet isn’t good, olive oil, in particular, is a great source of healthy fats that your body needs. Researchers have found that oleic acid, which is monounsaturated fat, reduces inflammation and has a positive impact on genes linked to cancer. All in all, it’s a healthy choice for cooking.
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It also contains a very high amount of antioxidants in its extra-virgin form, which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It is good for your heart, prevents strokes, and has even been linked to fighting Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. If you’re gonna cook using oil, it better be olive oil.
Popeye wasn’t playing around: spinach is amazing for your body, although it won’t make you grow muscles to beat up a bunch of bad guys. It does, however, help strengthen your muscles and prevent age-related macular degeneration and hemophilia. And those are just some of all the impressive benefits it has.
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This leafy green is also great for your eyes, as it can improve your eyesight and help treat conditions like cataracts. Not only that, but it is also good against atherosclerosis, heart disease, and neurological disorders, and it also has anti-ulcerative and anti-cancerous properties. It’s no wonder spinach is on our #1 spot!