The Best Superfoods You Should be Including in Your Diet Today
There’s certainly been a lot of talk recently about so-called “superfoods,” and it’s no wonder. The demand for affordable medicine is higher than ever, and more and more people are turning to alternative ways of healing the body that don’t involve invasive surgeries, risky drugs, and mountains of debt.
We now know that food, of course, is one of the greatest healers of the body. In fact, technically speaking, it is the primary and optimal way to feed your body the nutrients and materials it needs in order to repair itself and ward off sicknesses. It’s wrong to think of this movement as some kind of “alternative therapy” when it really should be common sense. We evolved alongside nature in a symbiotic relationship for millions of years, and the main vehicle of that “communication” was through our food. Trees and other plants provide nourishment for animals, which in turn carry their seeds, pollinate, and propagate their species. It’s the bedrock “give-and-take” of our entire ecosystem.
That being said, it’s no wonder that some foods are being dubbed “superfoods” for their optimal nutrient content and effects on the body. Including these superfoods in your diet is essential if you want to start on a path of healing for your body. Regardless of what kinds of ailments you may be suffering from, the vast majority of them can be rectified with a balanced body chemistry brought on by a natural, energy-packed diet.
Blueberries – Antioxidant Powerhouses
We’re somewhat addicted to blueberries here, and why not? They’re delicious. Beyond that, though, they are absolutely stuffed with antioxidants and uncommon phyto-nutrients that our bodies love. Think about the blueberry from the perspective of our ancestors. The perfect finger food, juicy, attractive, easy to get at. Blueberries are the very definition of optimal food when we are discussing the human body. We’ve been conditioned to think of berries as a dessert or treat, but these tiny fruits should be a dietary staple. We look at the blueberry in depth in this smoothie recipe here.
Quinoa – Protein and More
In a relatively short time, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) has made its mark on the health and wellness scene. Packing 8 grams of plant-based protein per serving, as well as iron, fiber, and magnesium, which are all nutrients most Americans don’t get enough of. Add to the fact that it’s easy to cook, can be incorporated into a wide variety of meals, and tastes great, and you have yourself a true “superfood.” It is also important to note that quinoa by itself has all 9 of the essential amino acids, making it essential for anyone considering a superfood diet.
Kale – A Return to Our Ancestral Diet
If you look at our close animal relatives, the great apes, one would notice first of all that they are almost exclusively herbivorous. Specifically, the bonobo and chimpanzee, our closest relatives, are frugivores, or fruit eaters. They do consume their fair share of foliage though. As for the gorillas, leaves comprise a massive bulk of their diet, and you can see what it does for them. It’s hard to believe, given the way we are programmed to believe that only meat has protein, but that foliage gorillas chow down on is what helps them to build muscle. All plants have protein, often in far easier to digest forms than meat (at least for us plant eaters). Eating the leaves of young kale plants is perhaps one of the closest methods we can get to replicating our behavior back when we were living in nature. Rich in protein, calcium, and iron, not to mention tons of phytonutrients, we would have been eating plants not unlike these when we were still living the ape-life.
Watermelon – An Unlikely Contender
This antioxidant rich superfood is typically treated as a mere summer snack, rather than the healthy behemoth that it is. Yet, despite its tasty facade, it is full of Vitamin A, C, and fiber, as well as essential alkaline water to keep us hydrated. We covered the benefits of watermelon before in this piece here, since it makes for an awesome addition to smoothies. Watermelon has really started to gain in popularity in the health community because of how densely packed with nutrients it is for the amount of calories it has per serving, as well as rare nutrients like citrulline and lycopene, which aid in reducing blood pressure and increasing stamina.
Turmeric – The Essential Superfood
If you decide to indulge in one food on this list, make it turmeric. While not exactly a “food” per se, it is a ground up rhizome that is absolutely stuffed with nutritional compounds, the very kind that our body is designed to rapidly absorb and make use of. Turmeric has been credited with everything from reduced inflammation to healing stomach ulcers, with other uses ranging from clearer skin, lower cholesterol, and quicker fat metabolism. Why is this? How can this peculiar plant do so much for our bodies? While there are many nutrients found inside turmeric that lend to its power, much of its benefits come from the compound curcumin, which is extremely oxidizing and anti-inflammatory, which naturally leads to the “curing” of many diseases in the body. We like to think of our various ailments as having a bunch of different causes and reasons for manifesting, but much of human malaise comes from an acidic, inflamed body. Curcumin directly counteracts this, and is so powerful that some studies show that it may even stop and reverse cancer, since it is chiefly caused by an acidic bodily pH. The best part is, this ginger-like spice can be incorporated into a ton of different foods, such as soups, smoothies, salads, and more.
Eat For Nature, Not For Nutrients
There’s a lot of different factors that make for a true “superfood,” but the best way to define it is not just how loaded with nutrients it is. We are somewhat obsessed with the idea of “nutrients”, despite how unhealthy so many people in our society are. Monkeys aren’t in the trees looking at their tropical fruits with magnifying glasses pondering their nutritional value. They simply eat what they evolved alongside of. We no longer have the luxury of knowing the exact fruits, seeds, tubers, and veggies that supported our species for millions of years, but our knowledge of the subject of proper diet and our potential ancestral habitat tells us that the bulk of what we should be eating is basically what we deem “superfoods.” There are dozens of intangible compounds in fruits and vegetables that are not on the nutritional labels, and arguably are more important. We lose out on a lot of important things our bodies need when we “eat for nutrients.” Instead, just eat what we were designed to eat. That doesn’t mean you have to abandon cooked foods and live off of nuts and berries, but treat your body by regularly including a plentiful amount of superfoods in your diet. This way, you’re guaranteed to meet your true bodily needs.
Want more information on eating healthy? Definitely check out our recipes here.