What we eat has a significant effect on both the quality and duration of our lives… truly, you are what you eat!
Now on planet Earth, we are extremely blessed to have a huge variety of foods that will help to improve the quality of our lives, including for health and fitness purposes.
We’ve selected 10 of the finest foods that we can class as ‘superfoods’, whereby they are rich in nutrients and will contribute to a healthy diet.
Without further ado, let’s get your trolleys ready and dive in.
1. Beef liver
Arguably the most nutrient dense food on the planet, we think it’s right to kick things off with this superfood powerhouse!
Beef liver hails an exceptional nutrient profile and boasts numerous health benefits.
Packing in high amounts of high-quality protein, vitamin A, B vitamins, folate, iron, zinc, copper, vitamin D and loads, loads more…
So you can see why we’ve chosen this nutrient dynamo in our list.
Beef liver support overall health and fitness by promoting muscle growth, whilst aiding in energy production, supporting vision and skin health, and contributes to the proper functioning of various bodily systems.
The recommended serving size is approximately 3 ounces of cooked beef liver, once or twice per week.
Blueberries are rightfully hailed as a tremendous superfood due to their impressive nutrient content and numerous health benefits.
Super rich in antioxidants especially anthocyanins, which give blueberries their vibrant blue colour. Antioxidants contribute significantly to overall health and wellbeing and protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals which can unfortunately contribute to various diseases.
Blueberries are also low in calories, yet high in fibre, which make them a fantastic addition that you can easily add to your diet without having to worry about consuming too many calories in one sitting. And because blueberries are relatively high in fibre, they promote satiety and also help to regulate digestion.
Blueberries also boast many other benefits such as
- Improving heart health
- Improving brain health
- They have anti-inflammatory properties
- Support blood sugar management
- Contribute to eye health
The average serving size for this superfood is around one cup (148 grams) and they pack 84 calories. The great thing about blueberries is that you can have them raw or even frozen, making them super convenient.
They make a great addition to meals such as protein oats, yoghurt, and toppings such as protein pancakes!
A nutritional powerhouse and an incredible superfood that is so easy to add to any diet. A sure staple in the health and fitness world for decades and for good reason too.
Eggs pack an exceptional nutrient profile and boast a plethora of health benefits. Known for their high protein content, your standard egg will carry around 6g of muscle-building, first-class protein with 5g of healthy fat. The amino acids in eggs are easily digestible and provide the building blocks needed for various body functions.
But protein and fat are just scratching the surface when it comes to the nutrient profile of eggs. They are packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins (A, D, E, K and b vitamins), minerals such as iron, zinc, selenium, choline, omega 3 fatty acids and more.
Eggs also boast other health benefits such as:
- Contributing to brain health
- Contributing to eye health
- Contributing to heart health
- Weight management, eggs are satiating due to their high protein content
The portion size for egg consumption is usually dependent on the person and their dietary goals. But generally speaking, 2-4 eggs seems to be the average.
Eggs are incredibly versatile too, they can be scrambled, poached, boiled and more.
When speaking about heart-healthy foods, avocados rank extremely high for good reason. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, in particular oleic acid. Now these healthy fats are great for your heart health and can help to reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol levels and support cardiovascular health.
Avocados are jam-packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins (K, C, E and B vitamins), minerals such as potassium and magnesium, dietary fibre and more.
Since they are high in fibre, this makes them essential for the health of your digestive system as it helps promote the growth of healthy bacteria. Avocados pack roughly 14 grams of fibre, which is nearly half of the DV!
The average serving size for avocados is generally around ½ to 1 medium avocado. It is important to note that avocados are fairly calorie-dense, especially due to high fat content. This means that you should still consider portion control when consuming avocados.
Incorporating avocados into your diet is easy too! You can enjoy them on toast, in salads as guacamole, add to smoothies and much more.
Providing a huge punch of muscle-building protein and healthy fat, salmon is considered a nutritional powerhouse and a fabulous superfood due to its remarkable nutrient profile.
Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for heart health as they help reduce inflammation, improve blood vessel function and more. This fish is also packed with first class protein which is vital for muscle repair and growth.
But salmon goes far beyond these two macronutrients, it carries great amounts of vitamin D, B vitamins, selenium, potassium, astaxanthin and more. These are a fantastic array of micronutrients which rightfully place salmon on this list.
The average serving size for salmon is usually between 85 - 113 grams and can be eaten 2-3 times per week.
Where possible, we’d say to opt for wild-caught salmon as opposed to farmed or canned salmon.
Salmon can be high in calories too so again, it is best practice to track calories to avoid overeating.
A delicious fish that can be added as the base of many dishes and you’ll typically have your protein and fat needs covered with a serving of salmon for a meal.
6. Leafy Greens
Eat your greens!
It’s been said for many, many years to “eat your greens” and rightly so.
Leafy greens are widely regarded as nutritional dynamos and superfoods due to their vast array of vitamins, minerals, fibre and more.
Leafy green vegetables are packed with vital nutrients whilst being low in calories too. Making excellent sources of vitamins A, C, K, iron magnesium and many others. These crucial vitamins and minerals play vital roles in maintaining healthy vision, immune function, bone health and blood clotting.
Antioxidants are also found in many leafy greens, compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin help protect cells from oxidative stress and inflammation.
There are different types of leafy green vegetables and they all do boast a range of benefits in their own right, here’s a few of these and the nutrients they carry:
- Spinach: contains iron, vitamin K and calcium
- Kale: jam-packed with vitamins A,C,K as well as the nutrient manganese
- Collard greens: contains vast amounts of vitamin K, folate and calcium
- Swiss chard: a fantastic source of potassium, vitamin A and magnesium
- Romaine lettuce: contains great amounts of vitamins and A & K, as well as folate.
Leafy greens are arguable the easiest to prepare in this list of top superfoods, you can add them into salads and smoothies or saute them as a side dish for a hefty dose of nutrients. Especially since, as we mentioned, they are very low in calories!
The serving size can typically vary, but as a general guideline, we’d say aim for 1-2 cups of raw leafy green vegetables per day.
Now although not a direct food, but more of an ingredient to use, turmeric rightfully earns its place on our top 10 superfoods list.
Turmeric is a spice that is bright yellow in colour and has been used for thousands in Asian culture not just as a spice to food, but as a medicinal herb too for which we’ll explain.
Here’s some of the top benefits of using turmeric:
- Anti-inflammatory. Curcumin is a bioactive substance and the main active ingredient in turmeric. It is a natural, potent anti-inflammatory compound that has the potential to improve one's health.
- Antioxidant effects. Curcumin possesses very strong antioxidant properties, and thus can help to neutralise free radicals due to its chemical structure. Curcumin may also stimulate the action of some other antioxidants in the body.
- Joint health. Again due to its anti-inflammatory nature, turmeric can often be used to help alleviate symptoms of joint conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Brain health. Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and may potentially have the ability to help delay or even reverse some brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function.
- Wound healing. Now turmeric has been used for thousands of years, especially applied topically to help heal wounds. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to contribute to the repair and regeneration of tissue.
Turmeric can be consumed by adding the spice into various dishes when used for cooking, however it is important to note that the curcumin levels are around 3%, whereas extracts will contain more.
To help the body absorb the curcumin, turmeric can be paired with black pepper. Now this is quite important since black pepper contains piperine, which can help to enhance the absorption.
Yes we know what you're thinking… "Garlic will make my breath stink!’
And it probably might! But not that’s no reason for us to not include it on our top superfoods list.
Garlic boasts some remarkable health benefits and is super versatile too.
- Allicin. Garlic does contain many bioactive compounds that have traditionally been used for medicinal purposes since they contain the necessary properties. Most notably, allicin, which is formed when garlic is either chopped or crushed. We’ve mentioned allicin in particular since it has powerful antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
- Immune system support, Thanks to its antibacterial and antiviral effects, garlic may help the body to strive off infections and even reduce the severity of colds and flu.
- Nutrients. Garlic is a very good source of nutrients such as vitamin C, selenium, vitamin B6 and manganese.
There isn’t really a serving size per say, however one to two cloves of garlic into your daily meals can provide health benefits. You can include garlic into your daily meals by either consuming it raw or by cooking it.
9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
An incredible superfood that is probably the easiest to actually use on this list!
Widely recognised as a superb superfood due its rich nutritional profile, namely to its monounsaturated fat and variety of bioactive compounds.
Heavily used in the Mediterranean and extracted from the fruit of olive trees, extra virgin olive oil is one of/ if not the, centrepieces of the Mediterranean diet, which is known as one of the healthiest diets in the world!
Here’s just a few of the many benefits that olive oil boasts:
- Heart health. Since extra virgin olive oil is predominantly composed of monounsaturated fats, in particular oleic acid. These types of fats have been linked to promoting a healthy heart by improving cholestral levels, reducing inflammation and more.
- Antioxidant properties. Polyphenols, which are found in extra virgin olive oil, can help to combat oxidative stress and also inflammation. They help contribute to its ability to help protect cells from damage.
- Cognitive function. The polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil may help to counter certain neurodegenerative diseases.
The recommended serving is roughly one to two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day. It is best practice to look for cold-pressed extra virgin oliove oil as they help retain more of the natural compounds within the oil. Also, to protect against light exposure, ensure your oil is in a dark glass bottle.
As we said, it’s the easiest superfood to consume… simply pour over your chosen food! It works well with many of the options in this list, particularly a healthy salad!
10. Dark Chocolate
That’s right, we’ve included dark chocolate on our list of top 10 superfoods!
When consumed in moderation, dark chocolate can be a fantastic addition to include in our diet. But it’s important to note that we recommend choosing a high quality dark chocolate that has a high cocoa content, above 80% is a good guideline.
Here’s some of the benefits that a high quality dark chocolate can provide:
- Rich in antioxidants. The higher the cocoa content, the more antioxidants the dark chocolate would typically provide.
- Great source of nutrients. A high quality dark chocolate contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, zinc and others too!
- Improve brain function. Eating high flavanol cocoa could improve blood flow to the brain which in turn, could improve attention, verbal learning and memory. It also contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine too.
Dark chocolate is super easy to incorporate into your diet too, simply eat from the packet or even mix into porridge for a warmer taste.
As we mentioned before, it’s important to enjoy dark chocolate in moderation. It is fairly high in calories and sugar, although the darker the chocolate, the less sugar. So enjoy a square or two!
So there you have it, our top 10 superfoods to include for a healthy diet. We’ve chosen the foods in this list that are easy to access and consume, but are all very nutritious.
We hope you enjoy adding these foods to your diet and stay tuned for more.