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SUPER FOODS

Updated: Dec 21, 2022



1-Curcumin

Curcumin is the naturally occurring polyphenol micronutrient isolated from the turmeric root which is responsible for the plant’s vibrant yellow color. In the body, curcumin acts as a powerful antioxidant to reduce the damage caused by free radicals. These are charged atoms created by oxidative stress which are linked to increased incidence of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and joint degeneration. Properties of curcumin are helpful in the treatment of inflammatory symptoms and health conditions related to and dysregulation of the body’s natural inflammatory response.

Curcumin can reduce both acute and chronic inflammation leading to:

  • Regulation of the inflammatory skin response to burns, cuts, abrasions, and infection

  • Reduction in arthritis and related joint pain.

  • Lowered incidence of IBS, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis symptoms related to inflammation of the gastric and intestinal lining

  • Improved respiratory and lung function related to allergic rhinitis, bronchitis, and asthma


2-Garlic

Common, everyday garlic has been used not only as a seasoning but as medicine for thousands of years across the globe. Garlic is nutritious, with a single 5g clove containing 3-8% of the RDA of minerals such as selenium, manganese, and calcium along with 3-5% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and B6. The powerful flavor and aroma of garlic are due to sulfur-containing compounds known as flavonoids. These substances have been shown to boost the body’s immune response to infection as well as having their own natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

In addition to acting as a natural antibiotic, garlic has been shown to:

  • Reduce high blood pressure and increase sexual function through blood vessel dilation

  • Potentially reduce the incidence of prostate, stomach, upper gastric cancers due to powerful antioxidant properties

  • Reduce total cholesterol by binding it and allowing it to be filtered from the blood by the liver

  • Lower the risk of heart disease and heart attack by reducing oxidative stress that leads to the hardening of arterial walls


3-Cacao

Cacao seeds come from the fruiting pods of the Theobroma cacao tree. After curing, drying, and processing, they are commonly used to make chocolate and cocoa powder. A single 5g tablespoon of cocoa powder contains more than 10% of the RDA for copper and manganese, and significant amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, and iron. Polyphenol chemicals in both raw and processed cacao act as antioxidants to reduce the cellular damage caused by free radicals.

Cacao can do more than simply protect against damage. Compounds in cacao and chocolate have been shown to:

  • Boost energy levels with theobromine, a substance chemically similar to caffeine

  • Lower the severity of asthma and upper respiratory conditions by dilating airways

  • Increase sexual function by raising nitric oxide levels and dilating blood vessels

  • Reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering blood pressure

  • Improve mood when the chemical tryptophan is metabolized into the neurotransmitter serotonin


4-Raw Honey

Raw honey is unpasteurized and extracted straight from the honeycomb. It is not subjected to the same high heat and filtration as standard honey which preserves the natural nutrients and enzymes. Raw honey is more than a simple sugar substitute. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years. As a supersaturated sugar solution, honey acts as a natural antibiotic when applied as a topical salve. Bacteria are directly killed by desiccation, and natural antimicrobial proteins in raw honey have been shown to boost defenses against further infection. Raw honey’s protective properties aren’t limited to external use. As a supplement, raw honey can:

  • Reduce the incidence and severity of seasonal allergies by exposing the body to small amounts of allergens

  • Soothe sore throats by coating irritated tissues

  • Improve dandruff symptoms by increasing skin moisture, killing dandruff causing fungi, and preventing bacterial infection of damaged scalp

  • Reduce the severity of cough by thinning mucus

  • Provide a natural energy boost for athletic performance with easily digestible sugars and electrolytes


5-Goji Berries

Goji berries, also known as wolfberries are small, red berries of a Chinese shrub commonly sold dried. A single serving of goji berries is nutritionally dense. One ounce (28g) contains 150% of the RDA for vitamin A, and significant amounts of vitamin C, B2, iron, copper, selenium, iron, zinc and dietary fiber. The berries contain high levels of antioxidants which reduce cellular damage from free radicals. Antioxidants help to guard against cancer growth, prevent liver disease, and reduce age-related skin damage. In addition to antioxidant activity, goji berries may:

  • Reduce age-related eye damage with the protective compounds zeaxanthin and lutein

  • Lower cholesterol and incidence of heart disease with beta-sitosterol, a powerful anti-inflammatory

  • Increase sexual function and libido in both men and women by increasing levels of testosterone

  • Promote digestive function and aid in weight loss by acting as a dietary fiber supplement


6-Blueberries

A cup of fresh blueberries makes for an excellent low-calorie, nutrition-packed snack. Within a mere 84 calories, blueberries contain an average of 14% of daily recommended fiber, 25% vitamin C, 36% vitamin K, and moderate amounts of many other daily required vitamins and minerals. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which give the fruit its blue color. These flavonoids combat free radicals, reduce high blood pressure, aid the immune system in fighting infection and can protect against cancer development. Research suggests that blueberries may even be capable of slowing age-related brain diseases and cognitive decline. In addition to this wide range of benefits, blueberries may also:

  • Aid in weight loss due to their high proportion of soluble fiber

  • Lower blood glucose levels in individuals with type 1 diabetes and improve insulin response in those with type 2 diabetes

  • Improve bowel function in individuals with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and IBS

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol


7-Wild Salmon

While it is considered a fatty fish, the type of fats found in wild salmon are healthy in moderation, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s come in several varieties, and wild salmon is rich in DHA and EPA which have been linked to numerous positive health benefits. Low levels of DHA are linked to an increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and poor neurological function. Increasing dietary EPA intake may reduce the risk of developing inflammatory diseases such as asthma, arthritis, eczema, and psoriasis. In addition to being an excellent source of essential fatty acids, salmon also:

  • Raises blood levels of healthy cholesterol known as HDL

  • Promotes the formation of healthy bones and joints by increasing vitamin D levels

  • Improves immune and nervous system function by being a rich source of all crucial B vitamins

  • Aids in exercise recovery by being an easily digestible protein source for muscle repair

  • Reduces the risk of age-related disease such as macular degeneration

  • Helps to prevent stroke by reducing the risk of clot formation and lowering blood pressure


8-Watercress

A peppery flavored relative of mustard, watercress is packed full of vitamins, nutrients, and beneficial phytochemicals. A single cup serving contains over a day’s recommended intake of vitamin K, and over 20% of the RDA for vitamin A and C. Watercress contains large amounts of antioxidants beta-carotene and quercetin which clear up free radicals and can keep skin and connective tissues healthy. In addition to being packed with vitamins and minerals, a serving of watercress contains more calcium than a glass of milk and more iron than an equal serving of spinach. As a vitamin-packed superfood, watercress has been shown to:

  • Protect against UV and age-related eye damage due to high levels of lutein

  • Lower the incidence of cancer-causing DNA damage due to strong antioxidants

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood levels of LDL, the bad form of cholesterol

  • Promote healthy skin, hair growth, and fetal development by being a rich source of niacin

  • Improve thyroid gland function by regulating thyroid hormone production

  • Act as a strong antimicrobial agent when applied topically to cuts and abrasions

9-Sprouts

Sprouts are the germinated seeds of grains such as alfalfa, soybean, mustard, mung bean and wheat, and are more nutrient dense than their full-grown counterparts. Sprouts are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, minerals, iron, and vitamin B6. Also, sprouts are rich in antioxidants that can help prevent DNA damage. The nutrients in sprouted seeds and grains are more easily digestible than eating seeds alone. As the sprout germinates, enzymes break down proteins and carbohydrates making them more bioavailable. As a living food, the enzymes contained within raw sprouts remain active and can aid in the digestion of other foods that they are eaten with. Sprouted grains have been shown to have multiple health benefits including:

  • Reducing blood sugar levels in individuals with type 1 diabetes and improving insulin resistance in those with type 2 diabetes

  • Reducing levels of triglycerides and HDL, regarded as the bad form of cholesterol

  • Protecting against cataracts with high levels of vitamin A and vitamin C

  • Encouraging healthy hair, nail, and fetal development with large amounts of folate


10-Blue-green algae

Blue-green algae is a form of cyanobacteria that serves as a unique brain-boosting superfood due to high levels of the phytonutrients phycocyanin and phenylethylamine. In the body, phenylethylamine acts as a mild antidepressant by promoting feelings of relaxation and phycocyanin encourages the production of dopamine and serotonin which can elevate mood and increase energy levels. High in omega-3 fatty acids ALA and DHA, blue-green algae can encourage the growth of healthy neurons, connective tissue, and protect against heart disease. Also, blue-green algae are packed with nutrients including niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, folate and serves as an excellent source of protein. Blue-green algae boasts many health benefits including:

  • Lowering inflammation and DNA damage through antioxidant activity

  • Boosting the body’s ability to fight viral infections

  • Lowering blood pressure and total cholesterol levels

  • Decreasing recovery times and delayed onset muscle soreness by being an excellent source of bioavailable protein

  • Promoting the growth of healthy skin, nails, and hair

  • Acting as a protective agent against gastric ulcers by lowering the body’s inflammatory response


11-Maca

Maca is a nutty flavored South American root vegetable resembling celery root, typically eaten roasted or stewed, but also available dried and powered as a health supplement. Maca is high in zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, copper and rich in C, E, and B-complex vitamins. Used traditionally for centuries maca is thought to restore balance in the body. It has been shown to increase libido and sexual function in men and women, aid in easing depression related to menopause and enhance male fertility by increasing sperm count. Maca contains high levels of antioxidants, particularly superoxide dismutase and glutathione. These antioxidants help reduce damage caused by free radicals, heavy metals, and reactive ions created by the body’s immune system as it fights infection. A true superfood, maca has also shown to:

  • Boost energy levels without acting as a direct stimulant by normalizing blood glucose levels and the insulin response

  • Treat skin disorders triggered by hormone imbalance such as psoriasis and acne

  • Reduce high blood pressure by acting as a mild ACE inhibitor

  • Increase immune function by boosting white blood cell counts

  • Elevate mood by triggering cannabinoid receptors in the brain


12-Broccoli

Though seemingly mundane, everyday broccoli is a nutrition-packed superfood. Broccoli is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which act as a natural anti-inflammatory. It is high in sulforaphane, a substance with powerful antioxidant properties which has been shown to help numerous neurological disorders. Sulforaphane has been shown to increase neurogenesis, the production of new links between brain cells, and may be helpful in healing damage caused by stroke. A single cup serving of broccoli contains more than 100% of the recommended intake of vitamin C and K. In addition, it is packed with minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and rich in beta-carotene. As one of the most easily accessible superfoods, broccoli can:

  • Help eradicate heliobacteria pylori bacteria, a common cause of ulcers and gastric cancer

  • Lower the risk of developing lung and colon cancer by blocking histone deacetylase, an enzyme that allows cancer cells to proliferate

  • Promote the maintenance of healthy weight and appetite by being an excellent source of soluble dietary fiber

  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels

  • Aid in the growth of healthy bones and joints

  • Reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke


13-Quinoa

Quinoa is a gluten-free whole grain which is high in fiber and protein. Unlike other grains, quinoa is a complete protein containing all 18 amino acids. Quinoa is high in manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, zinc and iron. As a source of dietary fiber, quinoa can aid in weight loss by reducing appetite and assist in healthy bowel function by acting as a bulking agent. It contains high levels of the flavonoid quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. Quercetin may reduce the incidence of heart, vascular, allergic and autoimmune diseases. Quinoa has a low glycemic index, meaning its carbohydrates are slowly broken down into sugars. This promotes the feeling of satiety and helps to stabilize blood glucose levels. Quinoa’s health benefits include:

  • Lowering the risk of developing kidney stones by regulating electrolyte levels

  • Helping to prevent osteoporosis by being a rich source of calcium and magnesium

  • Potentially lowering the risk of cancer with lunasin, a biologically active protein which may inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells

  • Reducing blood pressure and cholesterol by being rich in the omega-3 ALA and monounsaturated fats


14-Green tea

Green tea is the unfermented, unroasted form of leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant which is also used to make oolong and black teas. It is virtually calorie free and packed with bioactive polyphenols beneficial for health. These compounds make up nearly a third of the total weight of green tea. Caffeine and flavonoids in green tea raise the body’s metabolic rate, making green tea an excellent supplement for those looking to lose weight. The powerful antioxidant flavonoids found in green tea also demonstrate a powerful ability to fight digestive system, lung, prostate, skin and breast cancers. Green tea has a positive impact on the cardiovascular system and may help prevent heart disease, stroke, and age-related vascular damage. In addition, green tea may also:

  • Guard against degenerative neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

  • Reduce blood levels of LDL, the bad form of cholesterol

  • Reduce stress and anxiety through the effects of L-theanine

  • Fight infection and boost immune function by being a rich source of chlorophyll

  • Strengthen tooth enamel as a natural source of fluoride


15-Kale

Kale is a hardy, leafy, traditionally cold-weather vegetable from the cabbage family. A cup of chopped kale contains more than a day’s recommended intake of vitamin A and C. As an excellent source of potassium, kale may lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. The antioxidants in kale help to reduce free radicals and products of oxidative stress created when the body fights infection. Glucosinolates, a family of flavonoids responsible for kale’s bitter taste can help prevent cancer by protecting DNA from damage. High levels of vitamin K found in kale help to thin the blood and resist clot formation leading to a lower risk of stroke. Kale is also an excellent source of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which promote the growth of healthy skin, nails, and hair. In addition, these fatty acids have natural anti-inflammatory properties which can help ease the symptoms of arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Kale has also been shown to:

  • Be rich in dietary fiber which slows digestion and normalizes blood sugar levels

  • Help prevent age-related eye disease such as macular degeneration by being a source of lutein and zeaxanthin

  • Support fetal development and healthy brain tissue as a bioavailable source of folate

  • Promote the growth of healthy bones

  • Help eradicate Helicobacter pylori infection through the activity of glucosinolate flavonoids


16-Spinach

Common leafy green spinach is packed with vitamins and minerals. Spinach is high in iron, niacin, folate, riboflavin, potassium, and vitamins A and C. The dark green color of its leaves is the result of high levels of chlorophyll, zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene. These polyphenols are anti-inflammatory and work as powerful antioxidants in the body. Lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to help resist age-related eye disease such as macular degeneration. The antioxidants found in spinach work to clear the body of metabolic byproducts and free radicals created by oxidative stress. If left unchecked, free radicals can lead to cancer-causing DNA damage. Spinach is also the most abundant vegetable source of coenzyme-Q10 (COQ-10) which is found in all of the body’s cells and is critical to proper mitochondrial function. Furthermore, it also an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber which promote healthy bowel function. The numerous benefits of spinach include:

  • Preventing atherosclerosis which lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke

  • Supporting the growth and development of healthy bones

  • Controlling blood glucose levels in individuals with type 1 diabetes

  • Increasing energy levels and red blood cell function

  • Helping to promote healthy sleep by being an excellent source of magnesium and zinc


17-Eggs

Eggs are high in a wide variety of vitamins including A, D, E, K, and the B-complex family and contain significant amounts of zinc, selenium, phosphorous, and folate. They are an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient critical for proper nervous system function and muscle development. Eggs are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA which is necessary for proper neurological function and has shown a protective effect against age-related neurological decline and disease. Eggs are also rich in antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, which show a protective effect against eye disease such as macular degeneration. The protein contained in eggs is considered complete, meaning that it has all 18 essential amino acids to build and maintain healthy muscles and tissues. While egg yolks do contain fat, they raise levels of HDL, the healthy form of cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. A diet containing eggs has also been shown to:

  • Reduce blood pressure

  • Help encourage healthy fetal development by being a bioavailable source of folate

  • Aid in weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness

  • Encourage the development of healthy bones, skin, and joints by being a bioavailable source of vitamin D

  • Promote the growth of healthy skin, hair, and nails


18-Lentils Lentils are cheap, versatile, rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and nutrients. The high glycemic index of lentils means that the carbohydrates are slowly metabolized into sugars. This helps normalize blood sugar levels and regulate the insulin response. Complex carbohydrates provide a long-lasting source of energy, and their slow breakdown reduces food cravings. Lentils are an excellent source both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Soluble fiber helps regulate digestion and can lower total cholesterol by binding to it allowing it to be removed from the blood. Insoluble fiber works to prevent constipation and reduces the risk of acquiring digestive disorders such as diverticulitis. The benefits of lentils include:

  • Working to prevent heart disease by lowering levels of homocysteine

  • Providing a long-lasting source of energy with lean protein

  • Helping to relieve symptoms of fatigue by regulating electrolyte balance

  • Reducing inflammation by being a source of antioxidants

  • Increasing red blood cell function and prevent anemia by providing bioavailable iron

  • Decreasing the risk of developing atherosclerosis by being rich in antioxidants


19-Chia Made famous as the fuzzy sprouted hair on the popular Chia Pet, chia seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, minerals, and nutrients. Chia seeds are close to 40% fiber by weight and contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber absorbs water and acts as a bulking agent to promote healthy bowel function. The insoluble fiber in chia seeds can relieve constipation and prevent bowel dysfunction such as hemerobiids and diverticulitis. The protein in chia seeds is considered complete, meaning that it contains all 18 amino acids essential for the body to build and repair tissues. Chia seeds are notably high in manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Also, chia contains polyphenols such as kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin, which act as antioxidants. These substances can help prevent cancer-causing DNA damage, relieve inflammation, and help regulate autoimmune diseases. In addition to their impressive micro and macronutrient profile, chia seeds have been shown to:

  • Help encourage weight loss by promoting feelings of satiety

  • Normalize spikes in blood sugar and regulate the insulin response

  • Reduce the amount of total cholesterol in the blood

  • Promote the growth of healthy skin

  • Improve sleep quality due to high levels of the amino acid tryptophan

  • Help build strong bones by being a bioavailable source of calcium and phosphorous


20-Acai Native to Brazil, the deep red acai berry is known for its unique savory-sweet flavor resembling chocolate and its numerous health benefits. Acai berries have a notably high concentration of A, C, E, and B-complex vitamins, and are unusually high in essential fatty acids. The berries also contain anthocyanins, flavonoid compounds that are responsible for their deep red to purple pigment. These flavonoids act as antioxidants to prevent the DNA damage that can lead to cancers and premature aging. When eaten whole, acai berry pulp contains both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber which promotes healthy cardiovascular and bowel function. Acai berries contain high levels of oleic acid, which helps maintain cell membrane permeability and increases the ability for the body to absorb and utilize the nutrients it needs. Acai berries may also:

  • Promote weight loss by reducing food cravings

  • Reduce the symptoms of asthma and arthritis by lowering systemic inflammation

  • Improve libido and sexual function by increasing blood circulation

  • Improve cardiovascular health by lowering bad LDL cholesterol and raising levels of good, HDL cholesterol

  • Increase cognitive function and reduce symptoms of related cognitive decline

  • Improve overall immune system function by boosting the body’s natural defenses to disease


21-Mangosteen Mangosteen is a purple-skinned, white-fleshed fruit with a lightly sweet and tart flavor grown in Southeast Asia and some regions of South America. Mangosteen is rich in fiber, low in calories, and includes a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients. Its pulp contains phytochemicals known as xanthones. These naturally occurring substances are thought to combat viruses, bacteria, fungi, and tumors. In traditional medicine, mangosteen rind is made into a tea which is consumed to treat digestive, throat, and urinary tract infection. Xanthones and other phytochemicals in mangosteen have also been shown to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Nicknamed the “Queen of Fruits,” mangosteen is used to:

  • Kill acne-causing bacteria and treat staphylococcus skin infections

  • Resist skin damage caused by UV exposure

  • Reduce pain and swelling from chronic inflammation

  • Reduce the severity of allergy symptoms by acting as a natural antihistamine

  • Lower blood sugar levels by inhibiting enzymes in the body which turn carbohydrates into glucose


22-Hemp seeds Hemp seeds come from non-psychoactive varieties of Cannabis sativa, best known as marijuana. The nutty-flavored seeds can be consumed whole or ground as a supplement, snack, or incorporated into recipes. The protein in hemp seeds is complete, meaning that it contains all essential amino acids to build and repair tissues in the body. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. The seeds are rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber to help maintain healthy gut and bowel function and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. Hemp seeds also contain a group of plant hormones called phytosterols which have been shown to lower levels of HDL cholesterol. In addition to having an impressive macronutrient profile, hemp seeds also:

  • Serve as a vegan substitute for animal protein, as they contain all essential amino acids

  • Reduce systemic inflammation through the anti-inflammatory effects of omega fatty acids

  • Act as a bioavailable source of vitamin D3

  • Normalize blood sugar and improve the insulin response

  • Encourage weight loss by promoting the feeling of satiety with low glycemic index carbohydrates


23-Pecans Pecans are a nut native to North America, best known for their use in desserts like pecan pie. While they are considered a high-fat food, pecans are a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Pecans contain high levels of oleic acid, a fatty acid which can lower inflammation and blood pressure. They are also a source of antioxidants which clear up free radicals and the by-products of oxidative stress. Furthermore, they are an excellent source of vitamin A, B, E and minerals including folic acid, magnesium and phosphorous. Pecans promote healthy bone growth and may prevent the onset of osteoporosis by being a source of calcium, copper, zinc, and manganese. The numerous benefits of pecans include:

  • Providing a cognitive boost by being a rich source of the amino acid thiamine

  • Suppressing the appetite and food cravings as a source of healthy fats

  • Boosting the immune system as a bioavailable source of zinc

  • Lowering levels of LDL cholesterol and raising levels of healthy HDL cholesterol


24-Avocado Avocados are rich in A, C, D, E, K, and B-complex vitamins and contain high levels of potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and folic acid. They are high in insoluble fiber, which softens stool and can help prevent developing conditions such as hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. While they are considered a fatty food, avocados contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. These are heart-healthy fats which can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Avocados are also a good source of the fatty acid lecithin which is required for proper nervous system function. A higher lecithin intake may reduce age-related cognitive decline and lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to being a delicious nutrient-packed food, avocados can:

  • Reduce prostate inflammation and lower the risk of developing prostate cancer through the effect of beta-sitosterol

  • Encourage the growth of healthy skin, nails, and hair by being an excellent source of fatty acids and vitamin E

  • Protect against macular degeneration and UV-caused eye damage as a source of zeaxanthin and lutein

  • Suppress food cravings and appetite by supplying the body with healthy fats and fiber

  • Reduce hypertension and lower the risk of stroke

  • Lower systemic inflammation and reduce symptoms of arthritis


25-Cinnamon Cinnamon is best known as a holiday spice, but it has been used medicinally for centuries. It is the dried, aromatic bark of several related species of trees which produce similar oils and phytochemicals. Cinnamaldehyde, the major flavonoid of cinnamon that gives it its characteristic odor has been shown to have powerful anti-clotting properties. Consumption of cinnamon may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Cinnamaldehyde and other oils in cinnamon have antimicrobial properties. Topically, cinnamon and extracts can be used to combat skin infection, and if taken as a supplement may have a positive impact on oral health. More than a spice and antiseptic, cinnamon can:

  • Reduce LDL cholesterol and raise levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol

  • Act as an anti-inflammatory and reduce arthritis symptoms

  • Reduce the risk of developing cancer-causing DNA damage through the action of antioxidants

  • Improve blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes

  • Reduce digestive upset and relieve symptoms of Crohn’s disease and IBS


26-Pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, magnesium, iron, and zinc. While they do contain some saturated fat, pumpkin seeds can still be considered beneficial for cardiovascular health. Their high magnesium content can reduce high blood pressure and risk of stroke. The high zinc content of pumpkin seeds can give the immune system a natural boost to fight bacterial and viral infection. Pumpkin seeds contain two hormone analogs that should be of interest to men. Delta-7-sterine and beta-sitosterol can have a powerful impact on the body. These plant hormones block the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), similar in action to drugs such as Propecia. DHT is generally regarded as the cause of male pattern baldness and blocking testosterone’s conversion may halt or even reverse hair loss. Also, these plant hormones can reduce prostate swelling and manage the symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Cheap and readily available, pumpkin seeds can also:

  • Regulate spikes in blood sugar and the insulin response

  • Boost male fertility and increase levels of free testosterone

  • Promote healthy sleep by supplying the amino acid tryptophan and large amounts of magnesium

  • Act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory via high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically ALA

  • Increase levels of HDL, regarded as the good form of cholesterol


27-Olive oil Olive oil is the cornerstone of the popular longevity and weight loss Mediterranean diet. Although it is composed entirely of fats, they are mostly healthy unsaturated fats and bring with them several oil-soluble vitamins. Olive oil is high in vitamins E and K and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Olive oil’s characteristic slightly bitter and peppery taste is the result of hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein. Oleuropein has been shown to reduce blood pressure, and hydroxytyrosol has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Oleic acid, a major fatty acid component of olive oil also shows antioxidant effects and may prevent cancer-causing DNA damage by clearing the body of free radicals. Olive oil is simple to incorporate into the diet as a substitute for other cooking oils, and may:

  • Promote cardiovascular health by lowering levels of LDL cholesterol while raising levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol

  • Lower the insulin response, reducing the risk of developing type-2 diabetes

  • Decrease the risk of developing cancer when it is used as a substitute for other oils

  • Increase male fertility by triggering Leydig cells to increase sperm production


28-Cayenne pepper Cayenne peppers are a variety of hot Capsicum pepper typically available as a finely ground powder and used as a seasoning. Cayenne peppers are rich in vitamin A, C, B-6 and dietary fibre. However, they are best known for their capsaicin content. Capsaicin is a neuropeptide which triggers nerve cells causing the characteristic burning sensation of hot peppers. While it may seem counterintuitive, cayenne is an effective pain reliever which works by oversaturating the signals sent by pain receptors leading to decreased sensation. Cayenne also increases circulation which can reduce bruising and speed healing of damaged tissues. When eaten, cayenne peppers stimulate the gut to increase the production of digestive enzymes leading to increased nutrient absorption. Cayenne peppers have also been shown to:

  • Aid in weight loss by raising the metabolic rate

  • Stimulate mucus and tear production to relieve nasal congestion

  • Improve oral health by stimulating saliva production

  • Increase the speed of lymphatic drainage

  • Reduce the severity of inflammatory autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis


29-Pomegranate Native to the Middle East, pomegranates are becoming increasingly available in supermarkets worldwide. The juice of their bright red seeds is packed with vitamin C, K, B5, and potassium. Anthocyanins, the family of pigments that give pomegranates their luster act as powerful antioxidants, antimicrobials, and anti-inflammatories in the body. When eaten whole, pomegranates are a source of the omega-5 punicic acid. Punicic acid has been shown to inhibit enzymes that allow cancer cells to proliferate and increase libido by increasing testosterone production. Pomegranate juice has been shown to reduce the buildup of cholesterol in arteries and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. One of the most extensively studied superfoods, pomegranates can also:

  • Increase sexual function in men by promoting the release of nitric oxide

  • Encourage the growth of healthy skin by triggering collagen production

  • Lower blood pressure by inhibiting ACE enzymes

  • Reduce gut inflammation and relieve symptoms related to IBS, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis


30-Walnuts Walnuts are an underrated, nutritious, and versatile superfood. Though they are high in fat, walnuts contain large amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. They are particularly rich in alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) which reduces inflammation in arteries. In addition to a healthy fat profile, walnuts are rich in manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous. They also are also an excellent source of folate, vitamin B6, thiamin and riboflavin. Walnuts are a source of powerful antioxidants such as quinone which has been shown to boost cognitive function, increase alertness, and improve metabolism. As a source of dietary fiber, walnuts reduce spikes in blood sugar and food cravings which can aid in weight loss. Walnuts are one of the most readily available superfoods and may also:

  • Improve fertility in men by increasing the sperm production

  • Promote healthy sleep by being a natural source of melatonin

  • Help prevent cancer through the action of powerful antioxidants, phytosterols, and polyphenols

  • Promote the development of healthy neurons, neurotransmitters, and aid in fetal development

  • Help resist UV related skin damage and prevent premature aging


31-Chard A relative of spinach, Swiss chard is a leafy green with a variety of multicolored stems that is becoming increasingly popular as a superfood. It is high in vitamin A, C, and K and nutrients manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc. Betalains, the pigments responsible for swiss chard’s vibrant stems are potent anti-inflammatories which have shown to have anti-cancer effects, particularly against leukemia. Syringic acid, which contributes to chard’s slightly tart flavor helps to regulate blood sugar levels and lowers the insulin response. Reducing spikes in blood sugar can increase energy levels and help prevent acquiring type-2 diabetes. Swiss chard is a powerful superfood with numerous other benefits, including:

  • Improving sleep quality by being a source of magnesium

  • Reducing hypertension and cardiovascular inflammation

  • Improving the gut microbiome as a source of insoluble fiber

  • Building and maintaining healthy bones and joints as a source of bioavailable vitamin K and calcium

  • Reducing the risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s and age-related diseases through the activity of power anti-inflammatory compounds


32-Apple cider vinegar Apple cider vinegar is made by first fermenting apple juice with yeasts, and then allowing naturally occurring bacteria to break down alcohol into acetic acid. It can be used as a substitute for other kinds of vinegar or lemon juice in everyday recipes or used as a superfood health supplement. The acetic acid component of apple cider vinegar is an excellent antiseptic. It can kill many bacteria and denature viruses on contact. It is also proteolytic, meaning it helps break down proteins into their amino acid components which can ease symptoms of indigestion. Supplementation with apple cider vinegar can raise basal metabolic rate, allowing the body to burn more calories and aid in weight loss. Acetic acid can also inhibit the absorption of fats leading to improved cardiovascular health. Cheap and easy to incorporate into the diet, apple cider vinegar may also:

  • Help dissolve kidney and gallstones caused by an overly alkaline environment

  • Improve insulin sensitivity and reduce spikes in blood sugar levels

  • Treat heartburn and indigestion by triggering a feedback loop in the stomach leading to lower acid production

  • Soothe sore throats and reduce the severity of throat infection

  • Tighten and exfoliate the skin when used topically


33-Bone broth from organic, hormone/pesticide free, grass fed beef. When made with quality ingredients such as organic, hormone and pesticide-free grass-fed beef, bone broth can be considered one of nature’s best superfoods. As bones are simmered, proteins and connective tissues are broken down into collagen which can be used by the body to repair tissue, grow healthy muscles, and maintain healthy teeth and skin. It contains large amounts of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous which can be incorporated into strong, healthy bones. Bone broth is a rich source of amino acids such as proline which is used to maintain the elasticity of arterial walls. Another amino acid, glycine, helps protect the liver from oxidative stress and may help prevent arthritis. The benefits of bone broth aren’t limited to the body’s bones and joints. It may also:

  • Relieve symptoms of Crohn’s disease, IBS, and ulcerative colitis by coating the digestive tract with gelatin

  • Aid the body in fighting infection by providing essential amino acids for proper immune function

  • Act as a bioavailable source of vitamin D

  • Promote higher quality sleep by providing a source of glycine

  • Act as an easy to digest source of energy for exercise and recovery


34-Ginger Ginger has been used in traditional medicine across the globe for thousands of years. As a supplement, it can be consumed fresh, dried, whole, ground or juiced. Fresh ginger is packed with minerals including zinc, copper, iron, manganese, and magnesium. Ginger’s heat comes mainly from gingerol and shogaol which are antioxidant phytochemicals that show a strong anti-inflammatory effect. These substances have an immediate soothing effect on the gut when consumed and can trigger the stomach to produce less acid. Ginger is an effective, all-natural heartburn and nausea treatment and can ease symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Antimicrobial properties of ginger make it an effective treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection and ulcer prevention. Ginger is more than a natural stomach remedy. It has been shown to be useful for:

  • Reducing systemic inflammation and relieving pain caused by rheumatoid and osteoarthritis

  • Preventing cancer cell proliferation via the effects of antioxidants

  • Reducing chronic pain, pain caused by exercise, and menstrual pain

  • Reducing the duration and severity of cold and flu by boosting the immune system and limiting viral proliferation

  • Increasing gut motility and relieving symptoms of constipation

  • Relaxing muscles and promoting sleep quality as a source of magnesium


35-Indian gooseberry The Indian gooseberry has been a component of Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Indian gooseberries contain several bioactive phytochemicals including quercetin and corilagin. Corilagin has been shown to have tumor suppression, anti-inflammatory, and angiogenic effects. Quercetin also acts as an anti-inflammatory capable of reducing pain, promoting cardiovascular health, and decreasing levels of histamine. When consumed whole, Indian gooseberries are high in vitamin A, B6, and C, along with a variety of minerals including manganese, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Traditional uses of the Indian gooseberry suggest that they aid in balancing systems in the body by improving circulation and removing toxic by-products of metabolism. Gooseberries have been shown to be effective at:

  • Decreasing LDL cholesterol and increasing levels of good, HDL cholesterol

  • Relieving symptoms of constipation by increasing gut motility

  • Increasing bone health by reducing the activity of cells which break down bones

  • Relieving symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis

  • Lowering blood sugar by stimulating the release of insulin


36-Baobab Baobab is a white-yellow fleshed fruit of a South African tree by the same name. Baobab fruit is traditionally used to make a fruit tea, baked, or dried and ground as a health supplement. Baobab fruit is high in vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium and dietary fiber. The fruit is thought to provide a mild energy and metabolic boost through the action of its many polyphenols. In addition to vitamin C, baobab fruit is loaded with antioxidant flavonoids. Antioxidants can encourage the development of healthy skin, help resist UV damage caused by the sun, and prevent DNA damage caused by free radicals. Consumption of baobab fruit can also:

  • Contribute to healthy sleep quality and aid in falling asleep quicker

  • Provide necessary prebiotic support to maintain a healthy gut microbiome

  • Normalize blood sugar levels by slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates to glucose

  • Regulate pH throughout the body and help prevent the formation of alkaline tonsil, salivary and gallstones


37-Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) Jiaogulan is a climbing, herbaceous plant native to Asia which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It is typically made into herbal tea but can also be consumed as powdered dried leaves. Jiaogulan tea has been shown to be an effective weight loss aid. The herb raises basal metabolic rate and provides a mild energy boost for exercise. It can also increase fat breakdown and help prevent fats from being deposited in arteries. Jiaogulan may help prevent certain forms of cancer by interfering with genes that allow cancer cells to proliferate. In addition, it has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and normalize the insulin response. Jiaogulan may also be helpful in:

  • Promoting longevity by allowing the body to repair telomeres on damaged DNA

  • Increase libido and sexual health in men by promoting the release of nitric oxide

  • Clearing fat deposits from the liver and preventing non-alcoholic liver disease

  • Relieving the symptoms of respiratory diseases including asthma and bronchitis

  • Alleviate the symptoms of stress-induced migraine headaches


38-Spirulina Spirulina is a unique variety of blue-green microalgae which are not plants, but rather single-celled cyanobacteria. Spirulina is an excellent source of niacin, potassium, calcium, iron and B-complex vitamins. Spirulina is loaded with healthy fats and protein making it an excellent supplement for weight management by promoting feelings of fullness and relieving food cravings. Spirulina algae contain a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids including gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which has demonstrated power anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, phytocyanin, the pigment responsible for the vibrant green color also shows potent anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Spirulina is an impressively dense source of nutrition, with other benefits including:

  • Inhibiting the growth of fungi and preventing yeast infections

  • Lowering blood pressure thereby reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke

  • Reducing levels of LDL, the bad form of cholesterol in the blood

  • Alleviating symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as allergic rhinitis, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease

  • Guarding against the development and spread of certain cancers including oral and pancreatic


39-Coconut oil Coconut oil is a highly saturated fatty oil pressed from the familiar fruit of the coconut palm. It contains a good proportion of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which have several unique benefits in the body. MCTs promote feelings of satiety and are readily metabolized into energy, and may increase exercise performance by preventing lactic acid buildup in muscles. Coconut oil can be used to substitute other oils in cooking and baking, making it easy to incorporate into the diet. Coconut oil can also be applied topically. It has been shown to be an effective insecticide to treat head lice, scabies, and chiggers. It can also ease skin inflammation from infection, burns, and abrasions. Coconut oil has natural antimicrobial activity allowing it to treat and prevent skin infection from bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus.

Coconut oil’s benefits include:

  • Improving cardiovascular health by increasing levels of HDL, good cholesterol, when used in moderation

  • Normalizing hormone levels through the activity of lauric acid

  • Boosting cognitive function by providing the brain with accessible ketones for energy

  • Treating dandruff, UV-damaged hair, and preventing scalp infection

  • Increasing the bioavailability of fat-soluble vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids


40-Aloe Vera juice Aloe vera is best known as an ornamental succulent with skin-soothing properties. However, it has been used medicinally throughout the world for centuries. The juice of the aloe vera plant can ease digestive problems such as heartburn, gastric reflux, and nausea by coating the digestive pathway and neutralizing stomach acid. It can help relieve symptoms of constipation through the laxative effect of anthraquinone. Aloe vera juice has natural antimicrobial properties and can be applied topically to prevent skin infection and speed wound healing. When added to a regular tooth cleaning regime, Aloe Vera juice can improve oral health by eliminating harmful bacteria and reducing plaque buildup. Aloe Vera juice can also:

  • Promote the growth of healthy skin by increasing collagen production

  • Improve the insulin response and lower blood sugar levels in individuals with type-2 diabetes

  • Slow hair loss due to male pattern baldness by blocking dihydrotestosterone from binding to hair follicles

  • Ease the symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema

We have often heard people say that all humans are created equal but I am one of the few who dare disagree with this statement as some appear to have distinct genetic advantages over others. To be more politically correct, despite everyone deserving the same rights, some appear to be more equal than others. I also observe the same in nature as some foods seem to be the Usain bolts or Bill Gates of their fields and stand head and shoulders above the others in certain categories.

I have not had the luxury of being able to research all foods but as it stands, here is a list of the foods which would make my top 50 list:


Curcumin Garlic Cacao Raw honey Goji berries Blue berries Wild Salmon Watercrest Sprouts Blue green algea Maca Brocolli Quinoa Green tea Kale Spinach Eggs Lentils Chia Açai Mangosteen Hempo seeds Almonds Avocado Cinnamon Pumpkin seeds Olive oil Cayenne peppers Pomegranates Walnuts Chard Apple cider Vinegar (with mother)

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