SUPERFOODS & EVERYDAY HEROS

Superfood is a term used to describe food with extremely high phytonutrient content and other power-packed nutrients that are bio-available to the human body. We enjoy a range of these foods on a daily basis, but always keep in mind that a single food cannot accomplish nutritional miracles, especially if one’s overall diet is poor. We've grouped these foods into two groups:


Exotic Superheroes

  • Usually consumed in small doses because of their potency and are terrific for when you need to bring out the big guns or simply need a boost to undo years of poor eating
  • In their countries of origin, these berries, nuts, plants, and seeds have been eaten (some for thousands of years) as part of the regular diet as well as used for medicinal purposes
  • Our environment and conventional agriculture have created a world that is laden with toxicity, so in addition to eating wholesome nourishing food—organically or naturally grown—why not get a little extra support from Mother Nature’s potent plants!

Açaí  This powerful tiny purple berry that grows in the Amazon Rainforest is a Healthibellal favorite. (The anti-aging wonder dermatologist Dr. Perricone named the açaí berry as the #1 Superfood on the Oprah Winfrey show.) The açaí berry has gained international recognition as one of the highest antioxidant foods in the world for good reason—it has one of the highest oxygen radical absorption capacities (ORAC) and is additionally rich in anthocyanins, fiber, healthy omega fats, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. We especially love it in smoothies and smoothies bowls for their vibrant nutrients and eye-popping color!

Adaptogens  We list them here in a group because they're not really food foods, but a class of healing plants traditionally used to balance and protect the body and help us withstand stress. As a Korean-American, Healthibella Founder, Juli, personally grew up with Korean Ginseng as a household item, but we also stock these powerful adaptogens in our natural medicine cabinet: Ashwaganda, Tulsi (holy basil tea), and Cordycep mushrooms. Other adaptogens you might have heard of are Licorice Root, He Shou Wu, Rhodiola, and Astralagus Root. As with all powerful herbs and plant medicines, it's recommended to run it by your doctor if you have any medical conditions or take prescription drugs.

Amla   Amla / Indian gooseberry is native to India and considered sacred by many in the Hindu religion. The extract or powder otained from these potent gooseberries has been primarily used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Amla is also prized for its benefits to the hair, attributed to its powerful phenol Gallic acid.

Baobab   Most of us know the Baobab tree from photos and illustrations of Africa. Baobab powder from the fruit of the African Baobab tree is a powerful, relatively new superfood on the scene. Baobab is an incredible source of iron, alkalising minerals, and vitamin C, which helps the body to absorb iron—an especially important benefit for people on plant-based diets. Like many superfood powders, it is fantastic in blended drinks.

Bee Pollen   It’s just a mass of pollen that has been packed by worker honeybees* into granules with added honey or nectar. Bee pollen has a very high protein content and contains almost all of the nutrients we need for our bodies. Like other bee made products, it is also full of anti-inflammatory properties and excellent for treating skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. Bee pollen also has antibiotic and antioxidant properties that aid our immune systems and help to protect our cells against free radicals. On top of all this, bee pollen is rich in digestive-aiding enzymes, which enhance the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat. We sprinkle it on top of smoothies and let it blend in naturally. * Bee pollen is the primary source of protein for the hive. Obviously bees produce this and it is therefore not a vegan product.

Cacao   The fruit of the cacao tree are called cacao pods. Inside each cacao bean is the cacao nib which is used to make chocolate* after they are dried, fermented, and processed. Dubbed the "Food of the Gods” in the Americas where it was first cultivated, raw cacao is the most antioxidant rich food on this planet. Incredible, isn’t it? Cacao has not only mood enhancing compounds, but it is also rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, iron, zinc, and potassium, as well as the heart healthy essential monounsaturated fat oleic acid, along with fiber and Vitamin E. For chocoholics: the maximum nutrients are found in raw cacao beans before any kind of processing. In a health hierarchy, raw cacao beans before processing rank first, followed by organic cacao powder and organic dark chocolate, which have greater concentrations of cacao and lower levels of processed sugar. Some of cacao's nutrients get reduced or destroyed when undergoing heating process and are combined with milk and sugar to make chocolate. Hence, eating raw, unprocessed cacao nibs offer more health benefits than processed chocolate. If you’re not accustomed to enjoying your chocolate in the form of raw cacao, try making a hot chocolate with a clean sweetener like coconut nectar or raw honey with this beautiful food and you just might become a fan.

Chia Seeds   We love these little seeds originally from the desert plant that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. Historically, the seeds have been the most important part of the plant, even going back to pre-Columbian times. Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds and so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition, providing fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber), as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, niacin, and zinc. We sprinkle them on porridge and in salads or soak them overnight in almond or coconut milk so they form a gel-like pudding similar to tapioca.

Chlorella   Like its cousin spirulina, this blue-green algae is rich with phytonutrients, including chlorophyll (which gives it its rich green color), amino acids, beta-carotene, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and the B-complex vitamins. Studies have shown that chlorella can aid in the detoxification of heavy metals (such as mercury and lead), support healthy hormonal function, promote cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, boost energy and help naturally increase glutathione and vitamins A and C in the body to help fight free radicals. This powerhouse superfood is also being used to help protect the body from chemotherapy and radiation. 

Collagen   There are several different types of collagen in the body, but 80 - 90% consists of type 1, 2, and 3. This is a cow, chicken, or fish derived "food," so it's not for vegetarians, but collagen, whether from bone broth or in powder (collagen hydrolysate) has vast health benefits, including improving skin elasticity and joint degeneration, reversing hair loss, healing leaky gut, repairing muscle tissue, and boosting metabolism. If you're not vegetarian, it makes an excellent neutral tasting clean protein powder, which is why we love to add a scoop of collagen peptides in our daily smoothies to increase our intake of gut-healing amino acids.

Coconuts   We are nuts about coconuts! We use the oil mixed with sugar as a body scrub. We cook with its oil as it has a high smoke point or blend it (extra virgin cold pressed) into smoothies. We love coconut water and milk, which are often the base for Healthibella smoothies, and we just adore coconut meat―either fresh when it’s available or dried. And quite possibly one of the most delicious things on earth is coconut butter or manna as it is sometimes called. Coconuts are not only delicious, but a powerhouse of nutrition, providing fiber, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and plenty of electrolytes―making it nature’s very own sport drink. Coconut also provides a stable, nutritional source of medium chain-triglycerides (MCT),  energy, stamina, and endurance and it improves digestive functioning, which yields better absorption of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. 

Hemp Seeds   We are head over heels in love with these―and no, they don’t make you high! Hemp seeds have high levels of vitamins A, C, and E, and are rich in protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and fiber. Hemp seeds are also a complete protein source, which means that they contain all of the essential amino acids that our bodies need.  To boot, they're rich source of omega-3 and boast an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to providing some compounds thought to lower high blood pressure. Hemp can be consumed as seeds, oil, made into “milk," or as a protein powder to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, help to boost and sustain energy, reduce inflammation and help the circulatory and immune systems. We sprinkle hemp seeds on salads or avocados and add them to smoothies. 

Goji Berries   Goji berries (wolf berries) are delicious sprinkled on top of porridge or salads and are usually found in their dried form, but better eaten after they've been soaked in water. They have a long history in Chinese medicine as being a cure-all. Goji berries (not the pasteurized packaged juice) have exceptional nutritional virtues, and are especially rich in carotenoids including beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamins A and C, as well as iron. 30g of dried berries provides 2.25mg of iron (women 19 - 50 are recommended 18mg).

Lucuma   Called “Sweet Gold of the Incas,” lucuma is made from the whole Peruvian lucuma fruit that has been dried at low temperatures and milled into a fine powder. This low-glycemic sweetener contains many nutrients including beta-carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium and protein. Its maple flavor works well as an alternative sweetener and it is a nice addition to smoothies or desserts, both raw and baked.

Maca   The root of the maca plant has been used in indigenous Andean cultures as a source of nourishment and healing for many thousands of years. Today it is usually found in a powdered form that blends beautifully into smoothies. We sometimes blend maca into morning smoothies or even coffee because it provides a nice boost to start the day! (It’s also said to boost the libido!) Anyone trying to quit or decrease their caffeine intake could try maca. Maca is rich in vitamins B1, B2, C, and E, as well as being a good source of calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and iron with traces of many other nutrients. It is not, however, recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, women with breast cancer, or people with thyroid problems. We've heard people say they don’t like the taste, but if it’s blended with berries or bananas and coconut or almond milk, you should barely detect it.

Matcha Green Tea   Matcha is super finely ground green tea leaves, so we ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water, and contains up to 20 times more overall nutrients and antioxidants compared to regular green tea.  On the ORAC scale, (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), matcha measures a mighty 1300 units per gram, compared to pomegranates 105 units per gram or blueberries 91 units (about 15 times more so than pomegranates or blueberries). Matcha is rich in the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) that provides exceptional cancer fighting properties and helps counteract the effects of free radicals that can cause premature aging and disease. 

Moringa   Powerhouse of healing compounds and used for thousands of years to treat bacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic infections, constipation, stomach pains, diarrhea, allergies, asthma, low libido, headaches, joint pain, inflammatory diseases, hormone disorders, and even cancer. Mostly taken as a tea or used as an oil. Excellent source of protein, vitamin A, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C.

Nutritional Yeast    Nutritional yeast is an inactive form of yeast used as a food, usually found in a flake form. Nutritional yeast has a nutty, even cheddar cheese-like flavor, which is why it is very popular among vegans and plant based eaters. It is exceptionally rich in protein (about 4 - 5 g of complete protein per tablespoon), fiber (about 2 - 3 g per tablespoon), and B vitamins, most notably the important B12, which most vegans need to take as a supplement.

Reishi Mushrooms    Reishi is strictly a medicinal mushroom, not a culinary one. Reishi has been shown to improve immune function and inhibit the growth of some malignant tumors. It also shows significant anti-inflammatory effects, reduces allergic responsiveness, and protects the liver.

Spirulina  Spirulina is routinely used as an ingredient in most green superfood powders because of its potency and high protein content. Spirulina is an incredibly dense and complete food made from commercially cultivated freshwater micro algae and has one of the highest concentrations of chlorophyll of any food known. Spirulina  has proven scientific benefits other than boasting chlorophyll, so we add this superfood occasionally to smoothies. 

Wheatgrass   We sometimes add wheatgrass powder to juices and smoothies or even just plain water. Wheatgrass is rich in vitamins A and E, manganese, iron, potassium, and protein (13g/100g; although the average Western diet has more than adequate amounts) and is said to be an exceptional alkaliser. We also like wheatgrass shots now and then!

White Mulberries    Mulberries are native to the Morus genus of trees and can be found in many parts of the world nowadays, but they originated in the Far East and Turkey, where they have been prized for thousands of years. While many dried fruits contain 30 to 40 grams of sugar, dried mulberries contain less than half the amount of sugar found in raisins and significantly less than dried figs, pineapples, mangos, and dates. Mulberries are also loaded with antioxidant phenols that help neutralize free radicals. Beyond their sweet and delicate flavor, mulberries are an excellent source of nutrients including iron, calcium, vitamin C, fiber, and protein (4 g per 1/3 cup). Studies in humans have shown that these berries significantly reduce the rise in blood sugar that occurs after a meal and may help prevent diabetes dues to a compound called 1-deoxynojirimycin thought to inhibit sugar digestion so that most sugar is not absorbed into the bloodstream and is instead excreted.

 

Everyday Heroes

  • Nutrient dense foods that we can find easily at our regular supermarket
  • If you’re on a budget, just incorporating as many of the Everyday Heroes in your life will give you heaps of nutrition

Allium (onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks)

  • potent cleansers to the digestive tract
  • prebiotic food that feed healthy gut flora to help them populate
  • excellent anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties
  • protects against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and treats colds and flus
  • rich in sulfur and flavanoids
  • excellent source of calcium, magnesium, potassium

Apple Cider Vinegar (organic raw “with Mother”)

  • powerful healing compounds
  • antifungal and combats candida
  • dozens of uses to clean teeth, tone skin, and cleanse hair and even clean the house
  • excellent source of acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics, and enzymes

Apples

  • apples make an excellent tonic that help cleanse and remove toxins
  • rich in antioxidants quercetin and catechin to help fight the proliferation of free radicals
  • one of the richest high fiber foods which provides natural laxative support
  • rich in boron to help build strong bones
  • excellent source of vitamin C, K, B6, beta-carotene, potassium, pectin, and fiber

Artichokes

  • rich in antioxidants rutin, quercetin, gallic acid, and cyanarin which have been shown to not just fight free radicals, but reduce the growth of cancer cells
  • anti-inflammatory and help reduce unhealthy cholesterol level
  • contains nutrients that stimulate production of bile to aid the liver to detox and very high fiber content helps clean and nourish digestive tract and maintain weight
  • excellent source of vitamins K, C, and B6, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, copper, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, zinc, and even protein
  • extremely great plant source for iron

Asparagus

  • anti-inflammatory and rich antioxidant properties, including glutathione, a detoxifying compound that can help destroy carcinogens
  • natural diuretic
  • contains significant amounts of inulin, which passes to the large intestines to provide nourishment for healthy gut bacteria 
  • especially high in soluble and insoluble fiber
  • excellent source of folate, vitamins K, C, A, E, but also magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, copper, and even calcium, iron, and protein

Avocados

  • one of the top nutrient dense foods
  • protects heart and brain, regulates hormones, improves digestive health, fights cancer, and helps lower and maintain weight 
  • potent alkalizer
  • full of the best kind of fat (monounsaturated oleic acid), which can help improve memory and brain activity
  • rich in antioxidant lutein, important to prevent eye disease and for youthful skin
  • excellent source of fat soluble vitamins A, E, and K, as well as water soluble C and B complex vitamins, potassium, magnesium, potassium, and folate

Bananas

  • an ideal sport food with quick acting carbohydrates for a burst of energy pre and post workout
  • very rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber, but high in sugar, so not the best choice of fruit in large amounts or for anyone who has a form of insulin resistance

Beets (beetroot, all colors)

  • extremely potent natural blood cleanser
  • rich in several disease-fighting phytonutrients, including betacyanin, the pigment that gives beets their distinctive hue and protects against cancer
  • loaded with antioxidants and contain natural whole food nitrates to help recover from physical performance
  • excellent source of fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, vitamins C and B6, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and copper

Berries (especially blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, but also strawberries)

  • super rich in antioxidants that combat the damage done by inflammation and help neutralize free radicals, fights cancer, and protect the heart
  • contain anthocyanins, the natural plant compounds that give blue and black berries their deep color
  • brain boosting phenols and slows cognitive decline
  • spectrum of nutrients for beautiful skin
  • low in sugar and high in fiber to aid weight loss
  • excellent source of fiber, vitamins C and K, fiber, manganese, lutein, and zeaxanthin

Carrots

  • very rich in antioxidant beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin—all crucial for eye health, but also to protect the heart and prevent cancer    
  • helps clean the liver and encourage overall detoxification
  • contain minerals that fight bacteria in the mouth to prevent cavities, help reduce plaque
  • rich in fiber to scrub the gut
  • excellent source of beta carotene and vitamins K and C, folate, magnesium, manganese, thiamin, niacin, potassium, and calcium

Celery

  • wonderful alkalizing and hydrating food
  • rich in antioxidants and beneficial enzymes
  • rich in silica for skin elasticity and structure
  • excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C, K, potassium, folate

Cherries

  • low glycemic fiber rich fruit
  • very high in antioxidants such as anthocyanin and cyanidin 
  • helps promote weigh loss and heart health
  • cherry extract known to treat gout
  • cherry juice contains significant amount of melatonin to regulate sleep cycle
  •  excellent source of vitamin C and potassium

Chocolate (dark, minimum 70% cacao)

  • rich in antioxidants and flavonoids with mood enhancers
  • see cacao in the section of Exotic Superheroes for more 

Cinnamon

  • ranks #1 for highest antioxidant levels of all herbs and spices
  • has a positive effect on blood glucose levels
  • potent anti-inflammatory food, protects the heart, minimizes risk of cancer and diabetes
  • very high in fiber and manganese, calcium, iron, vitamin K

Cruciferous Vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, bok choy, rucola, watercress)

  • offer a powerful range of disease fighting antioxidants and cancer killing properties
  • rich in sulfur containing compounds which support detoxificaion and indole-3-carbinol, which greatly reduces the risk of breast, colon, and lung cancers
  • supports body’s detoxification process
  • contain poweferul anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal properties 
  • powerhouse of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, fiber, and even protein

Cucumber

  • hydrating and alkalizing for skin health
  • cleanses the liver and is a natural diuretic and aids in detoxification procress
  • antioxidants to fight cancer and lignans with immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory effects beneficial for fighting cardiovascular disease
  • rich in vitamin K, an often overlooked as important for bone health, as well as vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, manganese

Dandelion (fresh wild greens or tea)

  • a humble weed, but a powerful detoxifying agent and natural diuretic
  • calcium to protect teeth and bones
  • regulates blood sugar levels
  • very rich in antioxidants
  • excellent source of vitamin K, A, C, B6, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, fiber

Dark, Leafy Greens (kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, watercress, rucola, broccoli rabe)

  • potent antioxidant with antibiotic and antiviral compounds
  • support the thyroid, metabolism, and immune system
  • improve digestion
  • excellent source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium,  acid, iron, lutein, and vitamins C, E, and K

Eggs (pasture raised, organic)

  • nutritious, versatile, and economical
  • the nutrients in eggs protects against so many diseases, protects skin and eyes, improves liver and brain function
  • high protein food with a complete amino acid profile
  • rich omega-3s to keep heart healthy and lower triglycerides (free range have double of caged hen eggs have been observed in clinical trials to regulate cholesterol absorption and inflammation in the bloodstream)
  • although they once had a bad connotation for their high cholesterol content, the newest studies show eggs actually help regulate two important cholesterols in the body and have a positive impact on triglyceride and blood glucose levels
  • rich in carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin which are found in high concentration in the eyes , and help filter out dangerous high energy blue spectrums of light to protect the eyes and the skin
  • have a great balance of 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat (the protein/fat combination increases satiety hormones)
  • vitamin A, B12, D, E, iron, choline, selenium, lutein, and zeaxanthin

Fennel

  • very alkalizing and rich in anti-inflammatory properties
  • rich in phytoestrogen that has been shown to ease menopausal symptoms 
  • exceptionally high in potassium to help lower blood pressure
  • excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, folate, and calcium

Figs

  • a very nutrient dense food used for thousands of years to treat dozens of illnesses
  • high antioxidant food very rich in polyphenols
  • antibacterial, antifungal
  • excellent source of potassium, manganese, vitamin K and B6, magnesium (the nutrition in dried figs increases dramatically making them a rich source of calcium, iron, phosphorous, thiamine, riboflavin, zinc, and even protein)

Flaxseeds

  • boasts so many health benefits, but extremely helpful for digestive health from fiber and polyphenols that support the growth of healthy gut flora and combat candida
  • rich source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) and rich source of polyphenol lignans
  • ALA helps protect the digestive tract and maintain gastrointestinal health
  • help reduce triglyceride levels and lower blood pressure
  • lignans in flaxseeds have shown to help balance menopausal women's hormones
  • speed up cell metabolism and reduce inflammation in the body and fight cancer
  • excellent source of omega-3, soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and selenium, as well as good amount of B6, iron, potassium, copper, and zinc

Ginger (fresh ginger root)

  • gingerol is the oily resin that is responsible for the many health and medicinal benefits
  • contains highly potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal agents
  • stimulates the organs and helps detoxify the body
  • thermogenic and helps increase metabolism
  • combats bloating
  • helps reverse diabetes and inhibits cancer cell growth
  • helps improve circulation and digestion
  • reduces nausea and relieves pains
  • excellent source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous

Grapes (particularly red)

  • potent antioxidants, such as resveratrol
  • helps fat deteriorate more quickly
  • improves blood flow
  • vitamins C, K, E, A, B6, folate, fiber, and beta-carotene
  • note: Muscadines, mostly available in the US (but exported as wine), have extraordinary levels of polyphenolic antioxidants compared to other varieties, and are therefore being enthusiastically studied for their benefits against cancer.

Grapefruit

  • extremely alkalizing
  • helps clean blood
  • supports heart health
  • excellent source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium

Herbs (basil, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, sage, mint)

  • flavor and enhance food
  • like other leafy greens, are very rich in vitamins
  • anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal and antiviral properties

Jerusalem Artichokes (“sunchokes")

  • very high in iron to combat iron deficiency and red blood cell formation
  • top prebiotic food
  • very high fiber, vitamin A, iron, potassium 

Kiwis

  • rich in antioxidants
  • rich in lutein to protect the eyes and serotonin to aid sleep
  • rich in fiber, potassium, copper, fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin C, which is important for collagen production (1 fruit has approximately 95% of the RDV!)

Lemons/Limes

  • may be sour, but are one of the most alkalizing foods once in the body
  • potent antiseptic and antibiotic properties
  • keeps skin glowing, aids digestion
  • detoxifying and natural diuretic
  • more vitamin C than oranges
  • low in sugar, some protein
  • excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, vitamin B6

Lentils

  • powerhouse of nutrition
  • very economical, especially compared to other nutrient dense foods
  • fiber, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and protein (of all legumes and nuts, lentils have one of the highest levels of protein, with just 1 cup delivering 18g of protein)

Miso

  • a fermented deeply flavorful soybean paste (fermenting soy turns it into a completely different food with different nutrients!)
  • probiotic rich, regulates digestive process
  • anti-inflammatory and protects against cancers and heart disease 
  • excellent source of protein, copper, manganese, vitamin K, zinc, phosophorous

Nuts (especially almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, macademia, pecans, and Brazil nuts; preferably “activated”)

  • all nuts are nutrient dense, but almonds are the most nutrient rich; Brazil nuts are the richest source of selenium, a key mineral that protects against breast cancer; while walnuts are incredibly rich in alpha-linolenic omega-3 fatty acids, which lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and may reduce inflammation in arteries and help combat depression
  • commonly considered brain food because of a combination of nervous system and brain boosting phytonutrients
  • thiamin to nourish the nervous system and boost the brain and phenylalanine in nuts stimulates the brain to produce the mood lifting neurotransmitters adrenaline, dopamine and noradrenaline
  • packed with magnesium, antioxidants, vitamins C, E, selenium, zinc, calcium, and potassium
  • protect agains heart disease and cancer

Olive Oil (extra virgin cold pressed in dark glass bottles)

  • one of the world’s oldest and greatest longevity foods
  • comes from the first pressing of olives, making it the highest quality olive oil, containing less than 1% acidity
  • contains oleic acid, powerful antioxidant and potent anti-inflammatory compounds
  • packed with healthy monounsaturated fat oleic acid that may actually lower your risk of heart disease, promote good cholesterol, and help to regulate your blood sugar
  • excellent source of vitamins E and K
  • note: you don't cook at high temperatures with this kind, though, since high heat can damage the flavor and nutrients, and it has a relatively low smoke point; instead, this type of olive oil is used for salad dressing, soups, marinades, or for dipping)

Oregano

  • all herbs are stars, but oregano is a true antioxidant superstar
  • acts as an expectorant, clearing congestion, and can also improve digestion
  • antimicrobial compounds

Papaya

  • potent antioxidants and flavonoids
  • contains digestive enzyme called papain to aid digestion and detoxification
  • anti-inflammatory
  • excellent cleansers for the digestive organs
  • alkalizing food
  • excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, copper, fiber

Peaches

  • rich in antioxidants and vitamins that support macular health
  • contains powerful polyphenols, bioflavonoids and condensed tannins that help fight candida
  • excellent source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, fiber

Plums

  • prunus family like cherries and peaches 
  • rich in antioxidants and vitamins that improve heart health
  • skin rich in insoluble fiber to help clean the digestive tract and remove plaque and toxins
  • excellent source of vitamins C, K, A, and E

Pomegranates

  • enjoyed since ancient times for their stellar nutritional benefits
  • fights cancer, decreases hypertension and boosts heart health
  • bursting with antioxidants and polyphenols that fight cancer, decreases hypertension and boosts heart health, and improves memory
  • anti-inflammatory
  • excellent source of vitamins K, E, B6, folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium

Pumpkin Seeds

  • one of nature's most perfect foods
  • excellent source of vitamins C, D, E, K, and B vitamins, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, lutein, and protein (more than other seeds)

Radishes

  • excellent detoxifier
  • extremely hydrating
  • supports and cleanses kidneys
  • excellent source of vitamins C, B6, B2, magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium, folate, potassium, and fiber

Rose Hips (pesticide free rose hips or tea)

  • cheap, calorie free way to get a huge dose of vitamin C due to the rose hips extremely high content of this vitamin*
  • good for treating diarrhea and infections, particularly bladder infections
  • excellent source of vitamins A, B-3, D and E, as well as bioflavonoids, citric acid, flavonoids, fructose, tannins, and zinc
  • note: provides more vitamin C than kiwi and citrus fruits; during World War II, when citrus imports were limited, rose hips became quite popular in Britain where they were used to make nutritious rose-hip syrup

Salmon (wild, hormone and antibiotic free)

  • top longevity food
  • more DHA plus EPA omega-3 fatty acids than almost any other seafood
  • heart healthy, protects against cancer and vitamin D deficiency, supports bones and joints, improves brain and nervous system, helps improve ADHA, helps eye health, improves skin health
  • lowest mercury levels
  • the Monterey Bay Aquarium also champions this fish's sustainability
  • excellent source of vitamins B12, D, B3, B5, biotin, selenium, iodine, choline, potassium, and protein

Sardines (wild caught)

  • one of the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • low in mercury (unlike some types of tuna)
  • one of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's top picks for sustainability
  • can provide as much as 320 mg of calcium per 100g
  • excellent source of protein, B12, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B3, phosphorous, selenium, iodine, copper, and choline

Sea Salt, Himalayan, Fleur de Sel

  • avoid commercially processed salt that is void of minerals and swap with mineral rich sea or Himalayan pink salt
  • use sparingly to add flavor and nutrients to food

Seaweed/Kelp (wakame, hijiki, kelp, nori)

  • the source where fish procure their omega-3's
  • contain super nutrients commonly found in green, leafy vegetables, along with most minerals found in the ocean
  • contains good amount of protein
  • excellent source of folate, vitamins B2, B3, A, K, B5, manganese, magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous, and zinc 

Sesame Seeds

  • contain unique plant compounds that can help lower cholesterol
  • excellent source of calcium, phosphorous, zinc, and copper

Shiitake Mushrooms (fresh or dried)

  • powerful antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • studies show help fight cancer
  • help to support heath, brain, and immune functions, control blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation within the body
  • contain a substance called eritadenine, which encourages body tissues to absorb cholesterol and lower the amount circulating in the blood
  • excellent source of niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, riboflavin, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium, vitamin D, and iron

Sprouts (particularly radish and broccoli)

  • sulphorophanes are more concentrated in young plants, so broccoli sprouts, for example, contain larger amounts compared to mature broccoli plants
  • excellent source of vitamin A, protein, iron, copper, vitamin C, B1, B2, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, and manganese

Sunflower Seeds

  • anti-inflammatory, promotes skin health, supports thyroid function, improves bone health, balances, blood sugar levels
  • perfect protein with pectins to help remove toxins
  • rich in omega-3 and -6 essential fats
  • excellent source vitamin E, manganese, thiamin, copper, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B6, phosphorous, folate, niacin, iron, riboflavin, potassium, and pantothenic acid 

Sweet Potatoes

  • naturally sweet-tasting but their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream
  • loaded with carotenoids, most beta-carotene rich food on planet 
  • contain phytonutrients that promote heart, eye health, and gut health
  • excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C, D, K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, copper, and even some protein

Tea (especially green/white/rooibos, matcha)

  • cheapest calorie-free way way to get a huge dose of antioxidants and polyphenols that stop free radical damage to cells
  • all teas have health benefits, but white, green, or matcha green tea have extraordinary benefits
  • rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
  • rich in catechins, a group of antioxidants that have been shown to reduce cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, repair vein tissue, and improve overall cardiovascular function.
  • promote bone and tooth health
  • note: matcha is finely milled or fine powder green tea (you might know it from Japanese tea ceremonies, but it is also used in desserts, green tea ice cream, and Japanese confectionary, like other green teas, matcha is super rich in antioxidants)

Tempeh (fermented soybean; soybeans are typically consumed as whole foods in the East as opposed to soy 'products' in the West)

  • probiotic rich food to support healthy gut flora
  • excellent source of complete protein, rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamins A, K, flavonoids, isoflavonoids

Tomatoes

  • antiseptic and antibacterial
  • rich source of lycopene, which provides exceptional cancer protection
  • excellent source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, folate beta-carotene, vitamin C

Turmeric

  • used in holistic medicine as a digestive aid and wound healer
  • most powerful spice and herb on planet
  • potent anti-inflammatory with anti-cancer benefits
  • anti-aging, antifungal, brain-boosting, mood-improving, heart-supporting

Water (still, filtered, mineral)

  • the simplest rule to follow for improved health? so many people don't drink any water and it is so vital to our health
  • if people would drink water instead of coffee drinks, bottled juices, and soda, they would see a huge improvement in their health
  • a good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces daily (so, if you weigh 150 lbs, you should drink at least 75 ounces / a bit more than 2 litres / 9 glasses) and drink more water if you exercise regularly or are very active
  • or drink enough water to make you urinate every hour (I realize there are times this is inconvenient!)
  • note: I drink mostly still purified tap water, but I often drink a glass or two of high mineral content sparkling water; I live in Europe, so Valser (Swiss) and Gerolsteiner (German) are my favorites because of their high calcium, yet low sodium content. I like to make agua frescos (fruit flavored water) with it for my kids and especially for me when I'm abstaining from champagne and cava.

Watermelon (and all melons)

  • super hydrating, anti-inflammatory
  • packed vitamins and minerals,and antioxidants, especially lycopene , a carotenoid that gives food a deep red or pink color
  • improves heart health, boosts immunity, beautifies the skin, supports the eyes
  • excellent source of beta carotene, vitamin C, A, potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese

Whole Grains (quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, teff, millet, black rice, wild rice, brown rice, oats; Cheerios are not a whole grain food!

  • excellent source of protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and manganese

Posted by Juli Bailer, 2015