The phrase “you are what you eat” could not be more true. What we consume has a direct impact on how we feel, how we look and how healthy (or unhealthy) our bodies are. Studies have shown that many diseases and illnesses can even be fought and/or prevented through diet alone. Incorporate these “superfoods” into your diet and you may find the key to being beautiful, youthful and healthy.
1. Açaí: Pronounced “”AH-sigh-EE,” this is one powerful berry that comes from a special palm tree found in the Amazon. With twice the antioxidants as blueberries, this little berry is one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world.
Health Benefits: Powerful antioxidant. According to WebMD, “eating a diet rich in antioxidants may interfere with aging and the disease process by neutralizing free radicals. By lessening the destructive power of free radicals, antioxidants may help reduce the risk of some diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.”
2. Tea: Whether you drink black, green or white, tea leaves have powerful antioxidants and possess a host of wonderful benefits.
Health Benefits: Lowers cholesterol, inhibits cancer, prevents heart disease, and helps weight management.
3. Dark Chocolate: It is so fabulous that one of the most delicious and decadent foods is also good for us too! Make sure to get chocolate with at least 60% cacao in order to take advantage of the benefits.
Health Benefits: Lowers risk of heart disease and diabetes, lowers total cholesterol, reduces blood clots and inflammation in arteries, and keeps arteries elastic.
4. Salmon: Packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, this is one nutritious fish. Make sure to select wild salmon over farmed.
Health Benefits: Prevents heart disease, depression (including postpartum depression), and memory loss. Slows Alzheimer’s disease development, increases brain and vision development in babies, and improves skin and hair texture.
5. Turmeric: Known as the spice that gives curry powder its bright orange color, turmeric contains powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation.
Health Benefits: A recent study from UCLA showed that turmeric might have potent effects that may be able to reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric is also associated with improvements in inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, psoriasis, dementia and arthritis.
6. Berries: The sweet, luscious flavors of berries like blueberries, strawberries, and cherries are not the only things they have going for them. They are some of the most antioxidant rich of all fruits.
Health Benefits: Berries prevent heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and insomnia as well as fight urinary track infections (blueberries and cranberries), promote healthy hair (blueberries) and slow down the aging process (blueberries).
7. Tomatoes: It’s quite coincidental that the red pigment found in tomatoes is also considered to be a heart saver.
Health Benefits: Prevent heart disease and fibroids, promotes healthy skin.
8. Sweet Potatoes: A staple in soul food cooking and Thanksgiving meals, sweet potatoes are nutrient dense with one serving supplying five times the daily value of beta carotene.
Health Benefits: Protect the skin from sun damage, lower risk for cancer, boost defenses against colds and infections.
9. Oranges: Excellent source of vitamin C and potassium.
Health Benefits: Prevent heart disease, cancer (including breast cancer), diabetes, birth defects and cataracts, promote healthy skin, and slow down aging process.
10. Spinach: As one of the most nutrient rich vegetables, spinach should be an essential part of your diet (remember what it did for Popeye?). It is a great source of folate, beta carotene, vitamin C and lutein.
Health Benefits: Prevents birth defects, heart disease, dementia, colon cancer, and vision loss, protects skin and bones.
More “superfood” resources: