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You probably know that blueberries and yams are super foods, but did you hear that coffee is, too? If you’re looking to boost your nutrition, read on for eight of our favorite super foods–plus how to easily incorporate them into your daily routine.
1. Leafy greens
Why they’re super: You’ll probably find dark, leafy greens on anyone’s list of the world’s healthiest foods, and for good reason. Greens are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium, as well as several antioxidant-rich phytochemicals.
How we get ours: Sakara Life is Maia’s favorite way to get in all her greens. It’s a great way to cleanse or include more plant-based meals into your diet. Plus, Sakara meals include plenty of other superfoods like quinoa, nuts, and avocado. Use code XOMAIA for 20% off your first Sakara order. You can also incorporate more greens on your own, and you can find all my recipes and tips on getting those greens here.
Why it’s super: You’ve probably heard that green tea is incredibly good for you–it’s teeming with antioxidants. But other varieties are worth sipping, too. Drinking tea may reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, among other benefits. White tea is a great option for those of you who are sensitive to caffeine.
How we get ours: Pique Tea Crystals. This brand has been a game-changer for Maia and me because of both the convenience (you just empty the packets into hot or cold water) and the delicious taste. Pique cold-extracts their teas to preserve the maxium polynutrients. The tea is then screened for toxins, and Pique even offers caffeine-free versions. Use code GIMME5 for 5% off your first order at Pique.
Why it’s super: Raw cacao is often cited by health and nutrition experts as a super food, due to a very high concentration of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants in the form of polyphenols called flavinols. The list of antioxidant health benefits derived from cacao is extensive, from lowering one’s risk of heart disease and diabetes, to improving gut health and circulation, to reducing inflammation, blood pressure and “bad cholesterol” and even extending to cognitive improvements. Raw cacao is high in magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus. Raw cacao is also high in fiber and a good source or protein.
How we get ours: Villakuyaya Organic Dark Chocolate. I love to have a square of this chocolate every day! Villakuyaya is an Ecuadorian woman-owned company offering a variety of delicious and organic cacao-rich products.
Why it’s super: Fish is a great source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The best varieties (high in healthy fats and low in heavy metals) are salmon, herring, trout, and small fish like sardines and anchovies.
How we get ours: Nutrition for Longevity. Of course you can cook your own fish, but we love Nutrition for Longevity’s pescatarian meal delivery program, too. These meals aim to help you lower cholesterol, control your blood sugar, maintain gastrointestinal health, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers, and aid in healthy weight management. All meals are low in sugars, have high quality protein, and are rich in healthy fats. Use code GIMME20 for $20 off first trial box and $40 off first subscription order.
5. Olive Oil
Why it’s super: The many health benefits of olive oil have been known for a eons, but more recent studies have shown why some olive oils are far superior to others. High-quality olive oil contains oleocanthal, a natural anti-inflammatory agent, and oleacein, a potent antioxidant. Some of the benefits of these polyphenols include reduction of “bad” cholesterol, lowering of blood pressure, and protection against cancer.
How we get ours: Olea True. When we reviewed olive oils, Olea True was the clear winner, due both to how it is sourced as well as the lab-testing they do for potency. There is a saying among olive oil connoisseurs that rates oils by their “cough value.” Good oil should make you cough once, and better oil will make you cough twice! I have had that experience for the first time when eating Olea True; it makes me cough! This means that it’s very high in polyphenols, the antioxidant phytochemicals that some feel are responsible for the success of the “Mediterranean diet,” and which give high-quality olive oils their peppery kick. Whatever oil you choose, it’s best to eat it raw on salads, steamed vegetables, dip for bread, or even as a supplement to preserve the maximum antioxidants.
Why it’s super: While coffee isn’t for everyone, its health benefits are actually well documented. Coffee drinkers enjoy benefits that include an improved ability to process sugar, longer life expectancy, and a reduced risk of heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, colon cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other ailments.
How we get ours: Clean Caffeine, Organic Fresh Coffee. While coffee itself deserves to be included in any list of super foods, it also is unfortunately often contaminated with any number of toxins. These environmental chemicals make their way into your morning cup from the way coffee is grown to the way it is processed and even to the way it is packaged. Coffee Not Chemicals is grown organically and processed in a plastic free environment. It’s also the only coffee packaged in nontoxic and 100% compostable bags. It’s freshly roasted per order, and gets rave reviews for flavor. (More on detoxing whatever coffee you drink here.)
Why it’s super: Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, has truly incredible antioxidant properties. Studies show it provides a significant benefit to patients with colon cancer, degenerative brain disease, heart disease, arthritis, and many other illnesses. The only bad news is that curcumin is poorly absorbed. Fortunately, consuming it with piperine, a natural substance found in black pepper, enhances its absorption by 2,000 percent!
How we get ours: Golde Turmeric Superfood Latte Blend. We love this blend because it includes turmeric and black pepper. It also contains coconut, which is rich in good-for-you fats. If you prefer caffeine, we also carry Golde’s matcha version (and matcha is a super food in its own right!).
Why they’re super: According to the NIH, “mushrooms are significant as a medicinal food.” They possess antioxidant activity and can help lower blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol. Like other super foods on this list, mushrooms contain phenolic compounds and act as anti-inflammatories.
How we get ours: Mudwater. We love simply eating mushrooms, and we posted a great kid-friendly shiitake mushroom recipe in here. Believe it or not, we also love to drink our mushrooms. Mudwater’s powder contains chaga, reishi, and lion’s mane mushrooms in addition to other super foods like cacao, turmeric, and black tea. This is our favorite morning drink, and with a bit of frothed oat milk, it tastes like a cross between hot chocolate, coffee, and chai.
This list of my personal top eight super foods is not exhaustive–there are certainly more foods that we consider super. Please share your own ideas below!
To your health,
P.S. When it comes to super foods, we should not neglect our pets! Most “kibble” style dog food really isn’t healthful for dogs. Dogs should be eating a raw food diet with meat, fruit, and vegetables. BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) was recommended by both our breeders and our veterinarian, and both of our dogs have enjoyed exceptionally good health. We get so many compliments on how their shiny coats and trim physiques, and we think it’s at least in part because of their healthful, raw food diet. P.P.S. Are you wondering if there’s a place for vitamins or supplements in your diet? Here is our take.
P.P.P.S. One item that is maybe a super food–if you drink the right kind and in moderation–is wine.