Superfoods vs Foods with Superpowers
We have all heard the term “superfood” and know it to be a category of foods that are, well, super for us. However, this word is merely a marketing term used by the media to grab our attention. Experts, scientists and dietitians are often opposed to using this term as it can lead people astray, giving them a false promise of health claims. These foods have previously been promoted as disease-curing, but it is important to note that there is no substitute for a generally healthy and balanced diet, no matter how many “superfoods” one eats.
That being said, there are a number of specific foods that contain crucial vitamins, minerals and other components, while remaining relatively low in calories. These are nutrient dense foods and are worth highlighting as they contain essential components of a healthy diet. They provide complex carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals in large quantities, allowing the consumer to get a good “bang for their buck.” Below, you will find some of the highest rated nutrient-dense foods on our planet.
- Salmon—contains the greatest amount of omega-3 fatty acids per serving of anything fish we consume. Omega 3s help with heart and mental health, and reduce inflammation. Consuming wild salmon instead of farm-raised is a more nutritious choice as farm-raised salmon contain addition omega 6s, which are known to promotes inflammation.
- Kale—the king of leafy greens. It is loaded with vitamins (C, A, K, B6), minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, and copper), fiber, and antioxidants. Kale is a more digestible and absorbable leafy green than spinach.
- Garlic—contains a compound called allicin that has been shown to lower bad cholesterol in the body, and fight cancer in the colon and stomach. Raw garlic has antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it a great natural alternative for antibiotics.
- Shellfish—namely clams, oysters, scallops and mussels. Clams are among the best source of vitamin B12 while oysters supply more than 6 times the recommended daily intake of zinc, copper and B12. They are among the world’s most nutritious foods yet are rarely consumed.
- Potatoes—contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need, while also being one of the more filling foods. If you allow them to cool after cooking, they form a resistant starch which has powerful digestive benefits.
- Liver—the Western diet has prioritized muscle meat over organ meat. Organ meat is significantly higher in nutrients and should be incorporated into the diet at least once per week. A 3.5 once portion of beef liver contain vitamins B12, B5, B6, B2, A, copper, iron, phosphorus and zinc in huge quantities.
- Sardines—given that organs are usually the most nutritious parts of an animal, its not surprising that whole sardines are very nourishing. They contain a little bit of every nutrient that your body needs and are nearly nutritionally perfect. They are also very high in Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Blueberries—loaded with antioxidants and have a protective effect on the brain. Blueberries have shown to improve memory in older adults and potentially fight cancer.
- Egg yolks—don’t confuse dietary cholesterol with body “LDL” cholesterol. Eggs often get a bad reputation but eating dietary cholesterol does not raise your cholesterol levels. Yolks contain lutein and choline, helping with vision and cell membrane integrity (aka every function in the body). Bonus: they are cheap and easy to prepare.
- Cocoa—dark chocolate is loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium and manganese. However, the biggest benefit is its amazing range of antioxidants. Make sure to get dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content. The best ones contain 85% or higher.
Proportionally speaking, nutrient dense foods contain high levels of specific nutrients relative to their caloric content. Start adding the foods above to your daily diet and reap the benefits today!
A healthy diet is one way to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle. At Chiropractic Health & Wellness we offer many more services to aid in your quest for a healthy lifestyle. Learn more about the services we offer blow, or schedule an appointment today by calling (952) 209-7447 or filling out our online form.