Everyone has heard the phrase “superfood” in the past few years.  It seems like the new branding tactic for food marketers is to label their product a superfood to gain attraction.  Online you can find hundreds of differing opinions of what one would consider a true super food.. and here you find another one!

No, I am not a nutritionist so this is my personal opinion based on my diet and the research I have done into a healthy lifestyle. I am a vegan but I have included a few items that I do not eat because they are important to note for those with a traditional diet.

  1. Acai – Not only is it delicious, it is also full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acid.  It helps combat premature aging, promotes digestive and cardiovascular health, and is a nearly perfect amino acid!  This super food can most commonly be found in juices!
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  2. Almonds – These nuts certainly are not new to the healthy food arena. They have been on top of the superfoods lists before “superfoods” was even a term! They are packed with monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and manganese. These heart healthy nuts also may be able to play a role in weight reduction, cholesterol reduction, and lowering the glycemic response of a high-carbohydrate meal. You can eat these raw, as a nut butter, in almond milk, or almond flour! It is a really popular ingredient in my kitchen in all forms!
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  3. Cacao – Yep, I am telling you to eat chocolate!  In a bean form, cacao is a true superfood! It is a natural anti-depressant. Dark chocolate is a great option as well. Research suggests this superfood can help reduce “bad cholesterol” in the body!
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  4. Coconut - coconut anything really… oil, milk, water, extract, meat, you name it! They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phytochemicals and healthy fats. Due to its array of health benefits, coconuts have been used to treat a wide variety of health ailments, some include: bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, fever, flu, gingivitis, nausea, dehydration. I use it on my skin and it makes it unbelievably silky! And coconut water is the BEST for dehydration!
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  5. Greek Yogurt – this superfood has taken over the yogurt world.  Just one serving supplies nearly one-fourth of daily calcium needs and is packed with twice as much protein as regular yogurt.  It is also noted that the probiotics in Greek yogurt also help aid with digestion and combat irritable bowel syndrome.
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  6. Green Tea – Green tea is rich in antioxidants and contains zero calories! It is also found to have anti-cancer effects that may slow down cancer growth hormones! Make sure to get this one into your diet!
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  7. Kale – My very favorite! Kale is PACKED with vitamins and nutrients. It’s dark green leaves pack an even bigger punch of vitamin A and C, calcium and cancer-fighting phytonutrients. It is high in carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.  It also has tons of fiber—a cup of kale packs 90 mg of fiber while a cup of spinach only has 30 mg. In addition, kale delivers Vitamin B6, which helps maintain healthy nervous and immune systems, as well as iron and calcium. I can really go on forever about how amazing this superfood is – the best part, it is SO cheap and available fresh year round!
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  8. Kefir – Kefir is a fermented drink made from probiotics which contain bacteria and yeast.  Bacteria and yeast are both naturally reoccurring in the body.  We need good bacteria to stay healthy and “regular” so to speak. Kefir is a delicious beverage that can help you do just that! Kefir can be kind of like yogurt or my personal favorite, coconut water kefir!
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  9. Lentils – This superfood is also easy on the budget! Bonus: Just 1 cup of lentils deliver 18 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber, less than one gram of fat, and no cholesterol. Additionally, one cup of cooked lentils provides 90% of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid. Research shows lentils contribute to heart health.
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  10. Salmon – This super fish is one of the highest values of vitamin D of all foods, salmon also contains vitamins A and B and minerals like iron, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus.  Most importantly, salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential in a healthy diet! Many Americans lack a sufficient amount of omega-3 in their diet!
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  11. Quinoa – I’m sure by now everyone has heard of quinoa and maybe even some of you have heard of its little known cousin, kaniwa. Quinoa’s secret is that it contains an amino acid called lysine, which is lacking in most grains; lysine makes quinoa a complete protein, which is very rare in non-animal proteins. Protein levels in quinoa are equal to the amount found in milk.  It also has your daily doses of vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, potassium, and riboflavin and is a great source of copper, zinc, magnesium, and folate.
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I hope I have given you some great new SUPERFOODS to add to your diet! There are of course many more foods considered superfoods that should also be part of a balanced diet. If you are looking for great sources of nutrient dense foods, these are a great place to start!

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