12 Superfoods You Need to Add to Your Diet

Superfoods are nutrient-dense foods, meaning they contain more nutrients per calorie than do other foods. They provide megadoses of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants.

Superfoods are not heavily processed, meaning you won’t find them in most canned or packaged goods. That’s because food processing destroys the fiber and most of the nutrients in foods. Superfoods, then, are whole foods that include fruits, vegetables, and proteins.

These foods do have the power to improve your life. Studies show the types of foods you eat affects your health and impacts the way you feel.

Benefits of eating more superfoods

Superfoods offer many health benefits. Depending upon the particular food, superfoods can:

  • Increase energy
  • Improve Mood
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Boost metabolism
  • Stabilize blood sugar levels
  • Speed weight loss
  • And much more

Superfoods are uniquely nutritious foods that can help you meet your health and weight loss goals — as long as you don’t sabotage their power by eating an otherwise unhealthy diet.

Let me explain…

More energy with superfoods

Can they be negative?

Despite their much-touted health benefits, superfoods have a negative side. No, it’s not that they are unhealthy. No doctor or nutrition experts say superfoods are unhealthy or that they will harm you. It’s more like they give people a false sense of security.

Many nutrition experts refuse to use the term “superfoods” for precisely that reason. They see people eat one or two of these nutrient-dense foods while continuing to eat a poor-quality diet. These individuals believe these nutrient-dense foods — these “superfoods” — cancel the effects of the unhealthy foods they eat. They believe these superfoods protect them from chronic disease, and that’s just not true.

Most doctors and nutrition experts applaud the use of superfoods when used in combination with a balanced diet that emphasizes whole foods, contains a variety of necessary nutrients,  and limits refined sugars. In the context of an overall healthy diet, superfoods give your health an extra boost.

12 superfoods you need to add to your diet

As long as you eat a healthy diet of non-starchy veggies, nutrient-dense proteins, whole-food fats, and low-fructose fruits, these 12 superfoods will help you meet your health and weight loss goals.

1. Acai Berry

This reddish-purple berry has gotten a lot of press lately as a miracle fruit. The acai berry, grown in Central and South America, has been found to be a rich source of antioxidants. In fact, the Natural Standards Research Collaboration, an impartial scientific organization, tested acai berry in 2006 and found it had the highest level of antioxidants of any food they had tested to date.  (Antioxidants destroy disease-causing free radicals). This inch-long berry is packed with fiber, healthy fats, protein, and loads of vitamins and minerals. Some of the vitamins and minerals it contains include vitamins A, E, and C; and minerals potassium, iron, calcium.

Research indicates the acai berry may protect against heart disease, aid in weight loss, stabilized blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and much more. Studies also show acai berry can reduce inflammation, easing the pain of osteoarthritis.

2. Avocado

The avocado, thought to have originated in South Central Mexico, has become a much-cherished American fruit. It not only goes great with a variety of meals, but it is also one of the most nutritious superfoods you can eat.

Avocado is unique among fruits. While most fruits contain a high amount of carbohydrates, avocado contains a high amount of healthy monounsaturated fats. Studies show avocado consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease, an effect researchers attribute to its monounsaturated-fat content. An avocado also contains fiber and 20 different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins K and B6, folate, and potassium.

Studies show avocado can aid weight loss, help regulate blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Superfood avocados

3. Chia Seeds

These tiny seeds originated in Mexico where they were valued for their medicinal and nutritional properties. Chia seeds have only recently made the superfoods list in America, however, as more people began reading about their many health benefits.

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3s, essential fatty acids the body cannot produce by itself; they must be obtained through the diet. Studies show omega-3s reduce inflammation, protect heart health, improve cognitive function, and more.

Research shows chia seeds may help lower blood pressure, reduce signs of aging, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

4. Cocoa/Cacao

You may not think about it as you’re sipping a cup of hot cocoa, but chocolate can be a healthy food. Cacao beans are seeds of the Theobroma Cacao tree, grown in Mexico and South America. The beans are picked, cleaned, roasted, and then processed into the type of chocolate product required.

Cacao beans contain high amounts of polyphenolic flavonoids, types of antioxidants that offer many health benefits. (Antioxidants attack and kill free radicals that would normally cause disease, so increasing your intake of cocoa can help prevent disease.) Research shows cocoa may decrease blood pressure, improve blood vessel health, lower cholesterol levels, and provide other health benefits. Researchers attribute these health benefits to their high levels of flavonoids.

There is only one problem. Flavonoids have a bitter taste, so most commercial cocoa powders do not contain them. (The flavonoids are removed in the manufacturing process.) To ensure you receive all the health benefits of cocoa, purchase raw cocoa, which is minimally processed.

5. Coconut

Coconut is another food that many people are just starting to recognize is one of the most important superfoods. The fact that it’s loaded with nutrients is an understatement.

You see, a medium-sized coconut provides almost all the daily-required essential vitamins and minerals for an average-sized person. Some of the nutrients it contains include vitamins A, E, B-complex; minerals iron copper, manganese, zinc, potassium, magnesium. Coconut also has strong antioxidant and health-protective properties.

Coconut has been shown to fight infections, lower cholesterol, regulate hormones, improve cognition, stabilize blood glucose levels, reverse signs of aging, and much more.

6. Flax Seeds

Don’t let these tiny seeds fool you into thinking their health effects are similarly small. Flax seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins B1 and B6. They are also high in fiber and contain a respectable level of protein.

But their real claim-to-fame is that they contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Specifically, flax seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid mostly found in plants. Studies show ALA consumption reduces the risk of heart disease, reduces inflammation, and lowers the risk of stroke.

Studies also indicate flax seeds may lower cancer risk and lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. To obtain these health benefits, make sure you purchase ground flax seeds because they are easier to digest than whole flax seeds.

7. Goji Berries

A member of the nightshade family, the goji berry has its roots in ancient China, where it was used as a medicinal plant. It is another one of those superfoods that many people are just now starting to discover.

Goji berries are a good source of vitamins and minerals, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Some of the nutrients goji berries contain include vitamins C and A; minerals zinc and iron. These berries also contain all 8 essential amino acids, which your body cannot produce on its own.

Studies show goji berries may strengthen the immune system, regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce blood pressure.

Superfood Goji berries

8. Kale

A member of the cabbage family, kale is one of the superfoods that should be at the top of everyone’s list.

Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, K, C; minerals calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, iron. Plus, true to its superfoods status, all these nutrients are packed into a very low number of calories. (1 cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories.) Kale also contains a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), known to reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels.

Increasing your intake of kale may help prevent type 2 diabetes, various types of cancer, and heart disease.

9. Liver

If you’re surprised liver made it onto a list of superfoods, you’re probably not alone. Many people get squeamish over the thought of eating liver. Not only does raw liver look gross, but it is also responsible for toxin removal. Who’d want to eat something like that?!!!

Well…the liver is responsible for filtering toxins out of the blood. It does not store toxins. But it DOES store many essential nutrients, which is probably why liver is actually the healthiest, most nutritious food you can eat. A small serving of liver provides well over the recommended daily intake (RDI) of many important nutrients. It is an excellent source of protein, iron, heart-healthy CoQ10, vitamin A, and many essential minerals.

Studies show liver may support metabolism, improve vision, strengthen immunity, and much more. To receive the highest amount of nutrients, choose grass-fed beef/pork liver or free-range chicken liver.

10. Salmon

Salmon is one of those superfoods you must include in your diet — 3 times a week, if possible. Salmon contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces inflammation, supports the immune system, protects the heart, and much more.

Salmon is also a rich source of antioxidants and contains many essential minerals, including selenium, iodine, choline, biotin, potassium. Its nutrient profile also includes vitamins D and B12.

To make sure you receive all the health benefits of salmon, choose wild-caught varieties as much as possible.

11. Seaweed

Seaweed is one of those unsung superfoods that deserves recognition. A member of the algae family, seaweed is a rich source of essential nutrients.

Seaweed contains almost every nutrient the body needs, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, iodine, and iron. It is chock full of vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. Seaweed also contains omega-3s and all the amino acids the body needs.

This superfood may help prevent obesity, fight cancer, prevent diabetes, and protect the heart.

12. Spinach

Spinach is another food you need to add to your superfoods list. It has antioxidant properties and is extremely high in nutrients but low in calories.

There are approximately 8 calories in 1 cup of chopped spinach. But that 1 cup contains nearly half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, necessary for vision and eye health; 28% of the RDI for vitamin C, needed to strengthen the immune system;  and 17.9% manganese, essential for nutrient absorption. Spinach also contains iron, copper, potassium, niacin, zinc, and many more.

Studies show the nutrients in spinach may boost immunity and reduce inflammation.

Superfood spinach

A healthy diet and superfoods

If you incorporate these 12 superfoods with a healthy diet, you will discover the miraculous abilities they have to help transform your weight, your health, and your life. Here are some superfoods for each of the 4 food groups:

Alfalfa

Arugula

Bok Choy

Brussels Sprouts

Chard

Greens (mustard, collard, etc.)

Kale

Kelp

Mixed Greens

Neem

Romaine Lettuce

Seaweed

Watercress

Nutrient-Dense Proteins

Anchovies

Clams

Liver

Mussels

Oysters

Salmon

Sardines

Sea Bass

Tuna

Whole-Food Fats

Avocado

Chia Seeds

Coco/Cacao

Cocoa/Cacao Nibs

Coconut

Coconut Flour

Coconut Milk

Whole Eggs

Flax Seeds

Macadamia Nuts

Olives

Low-Fructose Fruits

Acai Berries

Goji Berries

Mangosteen

Noni Fruit

Purple Aronia

Lemons

 

Wondering how to incorporate these healthy foods into your diet? A good start is my new eBook 80 Brain Boosting, Belly Shrinking Breakfast Recipes. Try some of these meals for breakfast over the next few days, and it’s your first step to adding more superfoods to your routine!

80 Breakfast Recipies

https://smarterscienceofslim.com

45 Replies to “12 Superfoods You Need to Add to Your Diet”

  1. Great article and so helpful!! I am a Long Haul Truck driver and eating anything healthy is a real challenge. I have been putting on weight and feeling tired a lot from eating and sleeping poorly. I am very motivated to do something to feel better and loose weight!!

  2. I understand that avocados healthy but what can I do to make it more palatable. Tried once with lemon in a sandwich but it tasted and felt like a glob of tasteless glue. Yuck

  3. In obtaining healthiest foods how can we be sure of getting real organic and safe seafood? What do we look for and what sources are there. Thank you for information on what healthy foods to eat.

  4. VERY GOOD for the quality of products!
    Now the user must find the QUANTITY needed and the moment in time to USE it and how much at once .
    Exemple : I can eat 15 g sugar cakes in the morning and 100g in the evening due dumping syndrome . Inverse make me sick for hours .
    Each hour 15g sugar content or belly production is an energy MUST ! Brain needs 5g sugar/hour or it fails . Al this needs 10 years to find yourself . Happy search !

  5. I appreciate what you are doing I’ve been eating healthy for a little while now I can see the benefits Thankyou for the healthy tips

  6. I am excited about gaining knowledge about a good weight loss diet, that is easy to follow and stay on.
    Thanks for the work you do!

  7. I only have an old smart phone and I did not get an instruction manual to use, and am alone. Soooo, do you know what I do to find the first ebook? If yes, and I can, I would order this one on super foods. It would be better for me to have a paper copy of each if possible. Sorry, not trying to be a bother….

  8. Do you have to get some of the food items at a health food store? Like a lot of the items on your list. Some I don’t. Thank you.

  9. Regarding flaxseed, put the seeds through your coffee grinder or similar kitchen appliance and eat them fresh with porridge oats for breakfast.
    The ground seeds are at their best for only 15 minutes after grinding.
    I blend 3 tablespoons of fresh ground seeds & 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil with 300 gms of cottage cheese & raw honey to sweeten it.

  10. sounds good but there area some that while they are wholesome, I
    don/t like them – like Avacado.
    Now coconut I could eat anytime all day.

  11. i live in the Caribbean and thankfully we have the majority of these foods available to us and I do take them .Nice to know they are superfoods

    1. I live in the Caribbean and most of these fruits are available to me and i do incorporate them in my diet thanks for the info

  12. I’m ready to start my plant based diet. Want to lose 20 lbs and keep reading this is the best diet. Thanks for reinforcing my belief.

  13. Thank you. Very interesting.
    My mornings atart between 5 and 7 . Rill 12 noon I use herbal/plants/mineral cleaning body drinks, supported by few fruits. Plkus my plant based medication.
    \My first meal is plant based and second is the same but with soup.. or ..or In between i have nuts or fruits or avocado.
    About 40 percent of food is raw.
    My meals are very simple and quick, because much work in a day for 2 hands. And healing exercises needed.
    Thank you. Awaiting your answer for my first mail. God bless. Nadya

  14. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your article and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog post. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  15. Hello, sorry, but salmon you find in most shops are extremely poissoned by antibiotics and other chemicals. And natural salmon is extremely expensive. In my perception it’s very important to mentioned that while explaining salmon as healthy food!

  16. Thankyou for the list of superfoods. I have to be careful with what I eat due to IBS, sometimes eating really healthy foods trigger flare ups and cause an upset stomach. I am also on a tight budget so can’t always afford all these superfoods.
    The breakfast recipes look delicious though, thank you.

  17. thank you! i’m an unemployed busy setting up a business and in the meantime i live with diabetics who eat in a way that depletes my energy and i do not like my son picking up their palate. I’ve started germinating avocados from shop avos. Now i know what else i can plant and keep in the pantry whenever i make some money. Flax seeds and seaweed could keep long. I’m adding kale to my list of food to grow.

  18. Thank you for sharing this! I have such inflammation some days it’s unbearable I am going to change my diet I’m 54 and cannot live like this. I am also infected with a parasite called morgellons I’m looking forward to the results

  19. We live in the way up north region of Wisconsin and can’t get most of these ingredients you are prescribing us to get 😢. Please help🦋

  20. cool post. I just stumbled upon your post and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog post. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  21. I’m so happy I found you………… I am 78 years old and I vow to somehow get myself healthy this year. Your information is so right on and in laymens terms that most anyone can understand. Also please note my new email address………

    dorothyswerline@gmail.com

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