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Need a list of superfoods to make healthy grocery shopping a lot easier? You found it!
The term “superfoods” is sort of a silly term simply because ALL real foods have health benefits. We all need a diet filled with a literal rainbow of produce and more to keep ourselves healthy. But there are whole foods that are, to some extent, more nutrient-dense than others. this is why we should opt for things like whole grains over processed grains. For the needed, extra nutrients.
So I came up with this list of superfoods (50 main foods plus a few extras at the end) that I thought were truly awesome. If you find yourself falling into a “clean eating rut”, this list can be a fun and healthy way to shake things up a bit. It’s a great reminder of the types of foods we should be including in our eating plans and makes one heck of a healthy shopping list to boot!
Enjoy these foods in season for optimal nutrient content and try to purchase organics where and when you can afford them.
Please note, none of the following information is intended as medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you have medical concerns.
Why Superfoods Are Important
Most of us watch calories, macros, or ingredients in some fashion, and for very different reasons. But none of that matters if you aren’t getting the nutrients your body actually needs from the fuel you give it.
Superfoods give you vital, health-giving components such as essential amino acids, monounsaturated fats, and tons of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals that help avoid the risk of heart disease, cancer, and many other illnesses.
List Of Superfoods To Include On Your Grocery List
APPLES – Apples are fantastic for your heart as well as for keeping your bowel movements regular. And let’s face it. If things are “moving” along smoothly, many diseases are far less likely to occur.
APRICOTS – These orangey little fruits are a health-inducing powerhouse! Apricots help fight cancer, control blood pressure, slows the aging process, and even fight against Alzheimer’s!
ARTICHOKES – While it can be tough to eat these without drenching them in butter or mayo, these fabulous flower buds actually lower cholesterol, aid your digestion and even fight liver disease.
ASPARAGUS – These green “sticks” of deliciousness are wonderful for fiber intake as well as for vitamins A, C, and E. They have many minerals and are great for your blood sugar.
AVOCADOS – These small, oval fruits taste great in many different dishes, they also help fight diabetes and high cholesterol. Avocados can actually help stop a stroke dead in its tracks, and to top it all off, your skin will look better as well!
BANANAS – Bananas can “plug you up” when you’re sick or have “the runs”, they can soothe a nagging cough and help keep your blood pressure regulated. Pretty good for this yellow yummy!
BEANS AND LEGUMES – Beans and legumes provide a ton of fiber to your clean eating plan. As a result, you’ll find that things “move along” a little more smoothly. These lovely legumes help lower high cholesterol, fight cancer, and even help with shaky blood sugar. Just make sure to drink plenty of water. Fiber and water work together! Think lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans, and more.
BEETS – Most folks either love these red root veggies or absolutely hate them. There’s very little in between. But if you love them, you’ll have a great leg up on those that don’t. Beets help with blood pressure control, and weight loss and even help keep your bones in good condition!
BLUEBERRIES – These lovely little berries pack a truly big nutritional punch! They are credited with fighting cancer, strengthening memory, and even helping your heart and blood sugar. You definitely want to include these goodies in your clean eating plan!
BROCCOLI – These little “trees” can help strengthen your bones, fight cancer, and even preserves your eyesight!
BRUSSEL SPROUTS – Love them or hate them, these “little cabbages” are filled with fiber, and antioxidants and have been said to help fight cancer.
CABBAGE – For those of you who love your cabbage, you can boast about the extra health benefits you’re getting. Benefits such as help with weight loss, cancer prevention, and heart health.
CANTALOUPE – Cut into one of these lovely melons to help build your immune system and fight cancer, high blood pressure, and even high cholesterol.
CARROTS – We all grew up knowing you have to eat your carrots to have healthy eyes. Well, guess what? The same applies to adults! But that’s not all you get out of eating your carrots. You also get smoother bowel movements, weight loss, better heart health, and a lowered risk of cancer!
CAULIFLOWER – This one is great for the guys! Cauliflower helps fight prostate cancer and builds bone strength. But you women can love it too. It fights breast cancer (which men can get too!) and even helps bruises heal faster.
CHERRIES – Cherry season is just a few months out of the year, so you should indulge while you can! Cherries have been credited with helping to preserve your brain and heart health. They may even slow down the aging process and give you a helping hand with insomnia!
CHIA SEEDS – These high-protein seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fiber, and antioxidants.
CRANBERRIES – These little red treats are not only delicious but are also said to help with urinary tract infections, fight cancer, and lower blood pressure. Not bad for a little berry!
DARK CHOCOLATE – Whoever said chocolate was bad for you wasn’t talking about dark chocolate. This divine deliciousness seems to help with cancer, cardiovascular health, and possibly even premature aging!
EGGS – These affordable protein sources are high in B vitamins as well as vitamin D and certain minerals such as zinc and iron.
FISH – While all varieties of fish will have different levels of nutrients, in general, most fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, potassium, and calcium.
FLAX – You can’t go wrong with flaxseed. It aids in digestion, helps your immune system, and possibly even with blood sugar levels in diabetics. The only thing way to top the benefits of flaxseed is with chia seed. But flax is more widely available than Chia and often more affordable.
GARLIC – Just in case you haven’t heard yet, garlic has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, possibly even fight cancer, and kills certain bacteria. And don’t forget the REAL benefit of garlic. It scares away the vampires! (Or anyone else who gets too close to you after you’ve eaten a lot of it! lol)
GRAPES – Enjoyed as a sweet snack or even dessert, these fruits are filled with helpful nutrients thought to fight cancer and improve heart health and blood pressure.
GREEK YOGURT – A good source of vitamin B12, calcium, and potassium, Greek yogurt is said to aid in digestive health due to the probiotics. It’s also a decent source of protein.
GREEN TEA – An ancient remedy for hundreds of years, 1 cup a day is said to help fight cancer, help with weight loss and help fight strokes.
KALE – This higher protein green is also a great source of fiber, vitamin C, A, and K as well as folate. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids. No wonder people are obsessed with kale!
KIWI – High in vitamins such as K, C, and E, you’ll also get a healthy dose of antioxidants and potassium from these delicious fruits.
LEMONS – These sour fruits are amazing at so many things. Fighting everything from cancer to the common cold, never miss a chance to include these in your eating plan.
MANGOS – This tropical delight helps strengthen your memory as well as your digestion. It also fights cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
MUSHROOMS – The lowly mushroom deserves a pedestal for its medicinal uses. It helps control blood pressure and lowers your cholesterol. And yes, like many other foods on this list, mushrooms fight cancer too!
NUTS – Though all nuts have different levels of nutrients, in general, nuts will give you healthy doses of unsaturated fats, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids. For most nuts, the best type is raw. The best nut choices are walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts.
OATS – Oats are well-known for their cholesterol-lowering abilities. But did you know they also improve the condition of your skin and help fight diabetes?
OLIVE OIL – Olive oil should be a part of many dishes you cook. It strengthens the heart, fights diabetes and cancer, and helps with weight loss. For those with dry skin, it’s an excellent way to cleanse your skin as well! Just put a little on a cotton ball and wipe clean. You’ll never use cleansers and water again!
ORANGES – We all know that a nice glass of OJ goes well with just about any breakfast. But did you know that oranges strengthen your immune system, fight cancer and strengthen your heart?
PAPAYA – This tropical fruit has been attributed to many health benefits from helping with weight loss to easing menstrual cramps. They are said to help boost your immunity, aid in good blood sugar control and even help with arthritis.
PEACHES – These summertime treats are great for digestion and constipation.
PINEAPPLE – Never miss a chance to eat pineapple! Not only is it absolutely delicious on a hot summer day, but it also strengthens your digestion and your bones, and aids with weight loss.
PUMPKIN – Some folks see pumpkins as something to carve once a year. But the truth is, your friendly Jack-O-Lantern also provides tons of fiber, controls blood pressure, and normalizes heart function. So this year, carve your pumpkin a few hours before dark and then bring it in for cooking when the festivities are finished.
POMEGRANATES – These amazing fruits have up to 7 times the amount of antioxidants of green tea! Impressed? They also fight cancer and reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
QUINOA – Actually a seed, this “grain” is the only grain on the planet that contains all 9 amino acids. A complete protein!
RICE (BROWN) – Brown rice should be a staple in everyone’s diet. Not only is it a very low-allergen food, but it also protects your heart and fights diabetes, kidney stones, and cancer.
SALMON, WILD – Wild salmon provides oodles of omega-3 essential fatty acids. A crucial bit of nutrition for us humans. But that’s not all. Salmon also provides many other vitamins like vitamin B3 and B12 which contribute to a healthy metabolism.
SPINACH – Popeye had the right idea. You have to eat your spinach to grow strong! Why? Spinach helps you fight cancer, improves your cardiovascular health, and improves brain function!
SWEET POTATOES – All clean eaters know sweet potatoes are a fantastic carb to include in your clean eating plan! But why? Because they protect your vision, encourage a good mood, fight cancer and keep your bones strong. That’s why!
SWISS CHARD – Rich in fiber, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins K and C from these wonderful greens
TOMATOES – These fabulous orbs are big-time cancer fighters! They also help battle high cholesterol.
WATERMELON – This wonderful summertime treat is a fabulous aid for weight loss, lowering cholesterol, avoiding strokes, and controlling your blood pressure. So eat up!
WHEAT GERM – The healthiest “germ” you’ll ever include in your diet! It fights colon cancer, keeps things “moving smoothly” and helps your digestion in a big way.
WINTER SQUASH – As a general application, winter squashes offer up help with strengthening your immune system with lots of fiber and vitamins such as B6 and 3, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and vitamins C and A. A good way to stay healthy in winter!
List Of Superfoods – Extras You May Want To Consider
While the list of superfoods above is certainly not complete, there are some specific foods you may also want to consider. Some may be difficult to find in some areas, but most are accessible in our online world.
- Acai berries – These are nutrient-dense and contain tons of antioxidants.
- Turmeric – This root has been used for centuries for all varieties of illnesses. But turmeric has more recently been shown to aid inflammation, which in turn helps many types of illnesses.
- Collard greens – These, as well as many leafy greens, are fabulous sources of all kinds of nutrients. Collard greens are right up there with Kale in terms of nutrition.
- Sardines – While we don’t tend to eat a lot of sardines in the US, sardines are a fabulous source of protein. And because sardines only feed on plankton, the risk of mercury poisoning is much lower than other fish. They have a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and have tons of vitamins and minerals that put them ahead of most other fish on the nutrition scale.
- Hemp seeds – Hemp seeds are a vitamin and mineral-rich food that have been shown to aid many disorders or illnesses. They are high in protein, and great in salads!
List Of Superfoods – Cookbooks
You can click any of the links in the list above. But if you need even more than that, here are a few cookbooks you can get from Amazon. (Affiliate links)
This list of superfoods is specific to herbs and spices. While two were already mentioned above, I’ll mention them again here as well. While this is not an all-inclusive list, these are the spices I have found to have some pretty awesome nutritional, as well as medicinal, properties.
- Cayenne pepper
Article is from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted on 3/18/2011.
I'm Tiffany, a cookbook author, food lover, mom, and writer for MSN and the AP Newswire.
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