Food is not like medicine…food IS medicine. When it comes to nutrition and wellness, there are foods that contains such high nutrient density they are called superfoods. These foods offer incredibly powerful healing and anti-inflammatory benefits. While there are several superfoods that exist, the 5 listed below are the ones that I encourage you to include into your daily diet.
Lemons – Lemons are packed with vitamin C and fiber and are quite beneficial for weight loss, cleansing and skin health. This delicious fruit contains a compound called naringenin, which can help to reduce liver inflammation and oxidative stress. Starting your day off with room temperature water and half a lemon squeezed in is a great way to also optimize digestion and reduce bloating. For more about the power of lemons, click here.
Cilantro – Like many culinary herbs, cilantro had been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In addition to being loaded with anti-oxidants, cilantro has also been shown to be very effective at removing heavy metals and other toxic elements from the body. Adding cilantro to your morning smoothie, salads or dips is a natural way to gently detoxify your system. In addition, research has shown cilantro to help in balancing blood sugars, promoting gut health and also offers impressive anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. I personally add a handful of cilantro to my morning smoothie daily in addition to adding it to homemade pesto or salad dressings.
Apples – As it turns out -having an apple a day is a great idea for health! This nutritious fruit offers numerous health benefits. Rich in fiber, anti-oxidants and vitamin C – eating apples regularly is linked to a lower risk of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Apples have also been shown to be beneficial for weight loss and gut health. However, apples are also one of the fruits that are heavily sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. It is best to try to source organic apples whenever possible. For the Environmental Workings Group’s list of which foods to buy organic – click here for the The Dirty Dozen vs. the Clean 15.
Blueberries – Of all the foods on the planet – blueberries are ranked one of the highest in terms of anti-oxidants (natural compound that protect against cellular damage) with wild blueberries being the best. Blueberries are also rich in vitamin C, balance blood sugars, are good for weight loss, blood pressure and are great for cravings. Blueberries have also been show to have anti-aging principles for skin. I add frozen wild blueberries to my AM smoothie each day. You can also make up a batch of grab and go blueberry muffins to take to the office or a perfect afternoon snack.
Dark leafy greens – Dark leafy greens like arugula, kale, spinach, lettuce and Swiss chard get their vibrant color from chlorophyll – a plant pigment that helps to matain an alkaline and healthy pH in the body. Leafy greens are also rich in fiber that can optimize digestion and are rich in vitamin C, E and beta carotene. Being nutritional superstars – research has shown a regular consumption of leafy greens to be beneficial for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, for brain health and for weight loss. Click here for my favorite kale Caesar salad.
For more information on anti-inflammatory foods, click here.
Keeping super foods and other plant based foods in the diet is integral to overall health and wellness. Looking for steps on how to go more plant based? Watch this segment on Cityline!