‘Super food’ is a buzzword in the nutrition world these days. Though the term may seem a little overused, the use of the word ‘super’ couldn’t be more appropriate.
Here are our top 10 nutrient-packed foods that can help you recover post-workout, fight disease, feel more energetic and even shed a few pounds.
Avocados are a trendy item right now—and for good reason. Not only do they taste amazing (have you had good guacamole?), but they have significant percentages of oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat (MUFA), which find hunger cravings AND help you lose weight. Be sure not to confuse these good fats with the unhealthy fats such as saturated or trans fats. This fruit is also high in fiber and free of sodium and cholesterol. Avocados contain nearly 20 essential nutrients, vitamins A, C, D, E, K and all the major B vitamins.
2. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great source of complex carbohydrates and are much healthier for you than regular potatoes. Making a simple switch from regular potatoes to sweet potatoes can make a significant impact in your diet. Sweet potatoes are filled with beta-carotene and potassium; both of which are helpful in promoting recovery after a workout. In addition, sweet potatoes also contain vitamin D, which is important for building healthy bones, heart, teeth, nerves and skin.
3. Black beans
Not only are black beans a great source of protein, but they also have none of the saturated fats found in many other protein packaged foods. They are also packed with fiber, helping you to feel full and energized for longer. Black beans have a high amount of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are powerful in fighting cancer and the aging process.
Salmon is a leaner form of protein that is packed with MUFAs, making it a much healthier choice than red meat or chicken. The biggest advantage to salmon is that it is full of Omega-3 acids. Omega-3s are the ultimate health boosters! They help with inflammation and promote the body’s recovery after a workout and also can help your brain function by improving your memory. Because of the plentiful amount of these acids in salmon, eating it can also help give you shinier hair, brighter eyes and healthier, clearer skin—sounds like a home run, right?
Quinoa has become known as the super grain of the future, although interestingly enough, it’s not even a grain. Quinoa is actually a seed. Quinoa has become very popular for those choosing a gluten-free diet. It is a good source of protein and riboflavin—which helps with the prevention of certain types of cancers and migraine headaches.
While all berries are high in antioxidants, blueberries have by far the highest amount out of any fresh fruit. They contain antioxidants such as zinc, iron, copper and vitamins C, A and B complex, all which are great for boosting your immune system. Blueberries help promote healthy urinary tract function because they contain a compound that inhibits the growth of bacteria responsible for these infections.
Broccoli can improve the body’s detoxification system thanks to its combination of three phytonutrients: glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin. This vegetable has high amounts of fiber, which help to lower cholesterol and aid in digestion. Broccoli is also rich in protein, calcium and potassium. Eating broccoli can help decrease the risk of heart disease due to lutein, which prevents the thickening of arteries.
8. Red Wine
Red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grape skin. Studies have shown that resveratrol can actually help block fat storage. Red wine can help lower bad cholesterol and help blood vessels stay flexible to reduce clotting, both of which are important to heart health. However, excessive drinking will damage the heart, so moderation is key. Having the occasional glass of red wine can provide you with many health benefits—cheers to that!
Because grapefruits are 90% water, they can fill you up while having very few calories. Grapefruits contain pectin, which helps regulate digestion. This super fruit is also beneficial in treating common ailments such as the common cold and fever and in boosting the immune system.
Almonds are a great healthy snack to incorporate into your diet. Almonds contain a high amount of MUFAs known to help reduce the risk of heart disease. This type of nut is extremely rich in magnesium, with one cup containing almost 25% of the daily-suggested value.