Dr. Mercola has repeatedly stressed the importance healthy, and wholesome foods. A balanced and nutritionally dense diet can influence up to 80 percent of your fitness goals, while only 20 percent is impacted by exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits.
The sad news is that many Americans do not understand “healthy eating” is, and are ignorant as to which foods provide the most benefits. They foolishly consume unhealthy processed and fast foods, and ignore entire healthy food groups such as raw vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, and high-quality animal protein.
If you want to reach optimal health by making modifications to your diet, one obvious addition would be to include plenty of superfoods.
What Are ‘Superfoods?’
Dr. Steven Pratt is the man who coined the term “superfood” and is the author of the book “Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Superfoods That Will Change Your Life”. He established several criteria that an item must meet in order to be considered a “superfood”:
- They must be accessible to most people
- They are loaded with essential nutrients that promote good health and enhance longevity
- Their health benefits should be supported by peer-reviewed, scientific studies
If you search the word “superfood” on the Web today, chances are you’ll come across numerous types of food that will meet these qualifications. However, there are some select items that surpass even their fellow superfoods in healthful goodness.
7 ‘Super’ Superfoods
Dr. Mercola lists his 7 favorites in this infographic, 7 Superb Superfoods to Power Up Your Life.
Discover the healthiest superfoods you can eat and learn why they’re super good for you through the “7 Superb Superfoods to Power Up Your Life” infographic from Dr. Mercola. Use the embed code to share it on your website.
<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/superfoods.jpg" alt="7 superfoods" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Discover the healthiest superfoods you can eat and learn why they're super good for you through the <a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/superfoods.htm"><strong>"7 Superb Superfoods to Power Up Your Life"</strong></a> infographic from Dr. Mercola. Use the embed code to share it on your website.</p>
These are among the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet, all possess a wide array of benefits that can improve your overall health.
A single celled algae with a hard cell wall (making it closer to being a plant than an alga), chlorella, like spirulina, is extensively researched for its health benefits, too. While it’s most popularly known for its ability to detox mercury and other heavy metals from the body, chlorella offers a wide range of health benefits, such as:
- Increasing energy levels
- Improving insulin sensitivity (particularly beneficial for diabetics)
- Promoting normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels
Chlorella is usually taken in supplement form. You may need to start with a small amount, and gradually increase your dose.
Despite its slightly bitter flavor, kale is one vegetable that’s receiving a lot of attention because of its superb health benefits. This leafy green is loaded with vitamins A, B, C, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, fiber, chlorophyll, calcium, and iron. It also has the nine essential amino acids needed to form protein in your body – no wonder it’s been dubbed “the new beef.”
This impressive array of nutrients gives kale its many health benefits, including helping prevent autoimmune diseases and heart disease, regulating blood clotting, scavenging free radicals, and supporting healthy cholesterol levels.
The humble artichoke is loaded with magnesium, manganese, fiber, phosphorus, copper, potassium, and vitamins C and K. Antioxidants and phytonutrients are present in this vegetable as well. Make sure you consume the leaves — it’s the most powerful part of the plant.
Artichokes can help relieve a wide range of health problems, from digestive issues to liver problems and jaundice. It even helps maintain cholesterols in the normal range, and also promotes normal triglyceride levels.
- Acai Berry
If it’s antioxidant power you’re looking for, acai berry will not disappoint. Native to Brazil, this fruit has 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes, 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins in red wine, and has high amounts of amino acid, iron, vitamin A, and calcium.
Acai berry has been found to help in weight management and in boosting energy levels. Many people value it for its potential to slow down the effects of aging and promote immune function as well.
It has the highest amounts of isothiocyanates, which are cancer-fighting compounds, among all cruciferous vegetables, but that is not the only benefit that you can get from broccoli. Rich in beneficial enzymes, vitamin C, fiber, calcium, folate, and carotenoids, this green vegetable has repeatedly shown promise in its ability to help prevent numerous health issues like allergies, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and cancer.
Another claim to fame of this vegetable: it contains sulforaphane, an organic sulfur compound that has been found to have antimicrobial properties. Sulforaphane has been found to kill cancer stem cells, slowing down tumor growth. Dr. Mercola advises eating broccoli raw or very lightly cooked in order to preserve the sulforaphane and other valuable nutrients in this food.
- Brussels Sprouts
Its mild nutty and earthy flavor goes well with a lot of recipes, but that is just one of the benefits that Brussels sprout brings. This vegetable is rich in thiamine, vitamins A, B2, B6, C, and K, phosphorus, magnesium, to name a few. It has outstanding potassium content that helps keep your heart rate and blood pressure in the normal levels.
Brussels sprout has detoxifying properties that help you avoid diseases. It also promotes healthy DNA and strong bones.
One of the oldest lifeforms on Earth, spirulina is a type of blue green algae that contains antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients. It’s actually 65 to 71 percent complete protein – surpassing the protein content of beef (22 percent) and lentils (26 percent). It also contains all the essential amino acids, as well as 10 of the 12 non-essential amino acids.
Spirulina is being studied today for its potential to help end world hunger. Its health benefits are vast – from helping control hypertension, protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke, and even protect your liver. Spirulina also helps keep your cholesterol levels within the normal range.
These 7 Foods Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg
Dr. Mercola always says that a diet composed of a wide array of healthy wholesome foods is the best strategy for good health. So don’t confine yourself to just these seven foods. Instead, strive to eat as many wholesome foods as you can. Some of the best superfood choices are avocados, raw dairy and organic free-range eggs, traditionally fermented foods, wild Alaskan salmon, and grass-fed meat.
Remember, there is a whole world of superfoods out there that can do your body good!