Six Superfoods to Start Eating Now

Written by | Wellness

small black beans

Supplements can help you get the important nutrients you need, but consider fueling your body more naturally with superfoods like these:

Açai

Açai are small reddish-purple berries indigenous to the Amazon rainforest. They’re full of anthocyanin, an antioxidant that can aid in lowering cholesterol, and plant sterols that can prevent blood clots and improve circulation. They’re also rich in dietary fiber, Vitamin C, and immune-system-boosting ellagic acid.

Black Beans

Rich in nutrients including folate, copper, manganese, thiamine, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron, these legumes are known to improve cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation, preventing the build-up of artery plaque and flushing toxins. Black beans are well known as a source of fiber, which can help clean the digestive tract and aid liver function. Their flavonoids and phytochemicals help destroy free radicals (which are linked to aging, cancer, and heart disease). Black beans are also a very healthy source of protein.

Black Garlic

This sweet-meets-savory superfood (created through a traditional Korean carmelization process) is bursting with nutrients like Vitamin C, copper, selenium, phosphorus, Vitamin B1, and calcium. Black garlic has beneficial effects on blood pressure and blood lipids, immune function and wound healing, and while garlic has long been considered cancer preventative, black garlic is even moreso. It contains concentrations of a compound (S-allylcysteine) which helps lower cholesterol and reduces cancer risk. One additional advantage to eating black garlic? No bad breath!

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds, tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, are native to South America and were familiar components in Aztec and Mayan cuisines. They’re organic, produced without pesticides, can be eaten raw and contain a bevy of essential nutrients (calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, potassium, thiamine, and Vitamin B2). The seeds are rich in fiber, high in protein and just one tablespoon fulfills one’s daily recommended intake of Omega-3 (essential for lowering cholesterol and preventing cardiovascular disease). Mix them into a smoothie or sprinkle them over oatmeal or salad.

Goji Berries

Goji Berries come from a small perennial shrub native to Southeastern Europe and Asia. Its fruit contains Vitamins A and C, zinc, calcium, selenium, iron and threonine. It’s no wonder they have antibacterial, antiinflammatory and antifungal properties. The berries are increasingly popular in preventing diabetes, obesity, heart disease and reducing cholesterol. Chinese traditional medicine calls them“Gou Qi Zi” and uses them to treat liver disease, cure back pain, improve brain function, and to relieve allergies.

Watercress

Medicinal properties have been attributed to this herb since the age of Hippocrates. Studies have found it to be rich in a variety of vitamins — perhaps most significantly — Vitamin K, which aids in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Cruciferous vegetables such watercress offset carcinogens, and watercress juice even stimulates the liver’s cleansing enzymes.

Also check out Making Smart Nutrition Choices for HIV

Last modified: July 10, 2018

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