Looking for a stupid simple guide to all the superfoods out there? Peruse our superfoods list to find what your body craves 🙂
Acai's main superpower: The highest antioxidant levels + range of active compounds = exceptional antiaging and beauty benefits
This tiny super fruit is indigenous to the rainforest regions along the Amazon.
A distant relative to both cranberries and blueberries, acai trumps them both when it comes to health benefits. Bursting with antioxidants, these celebrity berries also strengthen the immune system, boost the body’s overall energy levels and promote healthy digestion
Love red wine? Acai berries are packed with anthocyanins—the kind found in red wine—that may help to lower cholesterol levels. Want to look younger? Then look no further than acai. The numerous phytochemicals contained within these berries slows the damage caused by free radicals.
Aloe vera's main superpower: Soothing, anti-inflammatory compounds perfect for gut health and healing
Aloe vera is an extremely versatile superfood, containing 75 healing compounds including natural steroids, antibiotic agents, amino acids, minerals and enzymes.
Historically, cultures around the world used this plant to topically treat skin irritation such as eczema as well as cuts and burns. Thanks to its naturally high concentration of natural sulphur (MSM), topical application reduces inflammation, protects against infection and speeds the healing process.
Aloe vera is equally beneficial when ingested. Internally, this superfood alkalizes the digestive tract to help address stomach ulcers, acid reflux and other acidity-based intestinal issues.
Research also supports aloe’s ability to boost the immune system. In fact, in 1994 the FDA sanctioned the use of aloe vera to treat HIV; studies showed the high doses stimulated white blood cell production. Rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and fatty acids, this often overlooked plant is truly a superfood.
Apple cider vinegar's main superpower: A Swiss Army knife superfood that balances the body from within - improves overall health
Apple cider vinegar is one of those old wives’ tales that actually delivers.
This superfood can aid in weight loss, help regulate your pH level, aid your body in detoxifying, and rid the body of unwanted mucous.
Much of ACV's benefits comes from its acetic acid content, which slows the digestion of starch to prevent to blood sugar levels from spiking after meals - thus the reason why ACV is constantly recommended for diabetics and helps non-diabetics to keep regular energy levels throughout the day.
The acetic acid in AVC has also been found to help decrease body weight, target abdominal fat and whittle waist circumference, as well as lower triglyceride levels.
Bee pollen's main superpower: Nature's most nutritious food
Sometimes nature’s tiniest foods pack the most nutrition.
Bee pollen contains excellent amounts of protein, amino acids and vitamins including the energy-giving B family vitamins.
Beyond its ability to naturally enhance energy levels, it can also reduce inflammation particularly in the lungs, which can assist those with asthma. It also combat respiratory diseases by reducing histamine in the body.
Not sold yet? Here are two more reasons bee pollen should be in your pantry: it delivers key enzymes your body needs to help break down food and it boosts your immune system. Just one teaspoon packs a powerful punch!
Cacao's main superpower: Energy-boosts and mood enhancement
Raw cacao powder comes from cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, which removes the fat (cacao butter) but keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa.
And that's a great thing, since raw cacao beans are rich in antioxidants like polyphenols, catechins, epicatechins, and flavonoids. How rich? According to raw foodish and author David Wolfe, raw cacao packs a more powerful antioxidant punch than red wine and blueberries.
And that's not all - raw cacao is also an effective mood and energy booster, containing both anandamide (generally known as the 'bliss molecule,' from the Sanskrit word ananda meaning bliss and delight) and phenethylamine (generally known as the 'love-sickness chemical' known to induce feelings of falling in love).
If that's not enough - cacao can also improve the body's cardiovascular system, thanks to the compound proanthocyanidin, which helps reduce LDL, or bad cholesterol.
Camu camu's main superpower: Crazy high in Vitamin C - the highest of any known food on earth
Haven’t heard of this fruit? That’s no surprise; it’s only recently made its debut onto the superfood scene.
In its native countries, including Brazil, Coloumbia, and Peru, local peoples use both the fruit and leaves for a variety of medicinal applications, which is understandable considering the impressive array of phytochemicals, bioflavanoids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals this sour fruit boasts.
But camu camu's real claim to fame lies in its vitamin C content - this little fruit has the highest natural vitamin C density of any known food on earth - something like 20 to 50x the level of vitamin C in a orange!
As such, camu camu is known for its anti-viral, immune-boosting properties. It also reduces stress hormone - cortisol - levels, facilitates the uptake of serotonin and contains valine, which is an amino acid the body uses to support its muscles, nervous system, and cognitive functions.
Chia seed's main superpower: Crazy
This tiny superfood should be a staple in your diet. If the infamous Aztec warriors revered this tiny seed’s ability to nourish them, then why shouldn't you?
Chia seeds are a calorie-light, nutrient-dense food - a true dieter's dream come true. These tiny, flavorless seeds are packed with fiber and expand 16-fold in your tummy absorbing water, helping to fill you up without that boated feeling.
As for nutrition - just one ounce of chia seeds provides your body with 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of Omega-3 fats, and a wide array of vitamins and minerals including calcium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
And not only do chia seeds deliver nutrition, but they help remove toxins from the body. Enjoy them raw; sprinkle two tablespoons daily into whatever dish you’re enjoying!
Coconut oil's main superpower: Crazy
This versatile, delicious oil contains MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides.
These naturally-occurring saturated fats are outstanding for your body—they end up in the liver where they can be used for energy or turned into ketone bodies, which help the body deal with a range of brain disorders.
Despite being a fat, they've been shown very helpful for weight loss by increasing metabolism and satiety.
Want a natural defense against bacteria and viruses? Look no further than coconut oil. Rich in anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral lauric acid, studies show that this superfood can actually help keep people from becoming sick. And that’s not all. Coconut oil has also been found to help patients who suffer from Alzheimerís disease by increasing glucose metabolism in the brain, which is largely seen as a cause of the disease.
Cordyceps sinensis's main superpower: Crazy
These fungal extracts are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and are extracted from a fungus which is traditionally found on caterpillars in the mountainous areas of China, Nepal and Tibet (although recent innovations mean that the fungus can now be produced in the laboratory).
Although eating fungus from caterpillars may not sound incredibly appealing, the extracts have been found to have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-lipid (cholesterol-decreasing) benefits that help it to treat a variety of ailments including bronchitis, liver disease, male sexual dysfunction, and depression.
But it's not just good for the treatment of ailments - Cordyceps is also a boon for athletes, for whom it provides an endurance boost through increased aerobic capacity and oxygen utilization. Oh, and another plus? It's been shown to increase sex drive and stamina.
Deer antler velvet's main superpower: Crazy
Deer antler velvet isn’t just the fuzz growing on the deer’s antler – it actually comes from the whole cartilage, which is humanely removed from the animal, dried and then ground into a powder form.
Traditionally, deer antler velvet has been used to address a wide variety of issues ranging from immune issues to infertility. That's because elk antler velvet contains growth proteins like Insulin-like Growth Factors (IGF-1 and IGF-2), which boosts testosterone production to boost the body's ability to regenerate tissues and bones.
Interestingly, two more hormone-boosting specific substances, estrone and estradiol can be found in the velvet; both are female sex hormones which can be used to address a variety of reproductive issues ranging from hormone production to sexual performance.
As such, research supports antler velvet as a treatment for osteoarthritis as well as strength training. This superfood is also rich in collagen, prostaglandins, selenium, calcium, and all the essential amino acids. This is one superfood worthy of a try.
Flaxseed oil's main superpower: Crazy
Cultivated by humans for more than 5000 years, flax seeds are one of the world's oldest superfoods.
They are best known as a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for the normal function of the human metabolism but also contain polyphenol antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fibers in addition to vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1, copper, magnesium, phosphorous and selenium.
The seeds must be chewed or crushed in order for the body to obtain the nutrients or else they may pass undigested. They are used in a variety of recipes both cooked and uncooked.
Ginkgo biloba's main superpower: Crazy
Well-known in Eastern medicinal practices for its outstanding ability to strengthen the mind, Ginkgo Biloba only recently made its debut into Western medicine.
This super herb works within the body to increase oxygen usage to the brain. In turn, users report better memory and concentration abilities. Studies indicate that this superfood can also reduce the severity of a range of issues including depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular diseases.
Want to know its best super power? It can protect nerve cells damaged by Alzheimer’s and slow the disease’s progression. Studies also support this herb’s ability to improve vision, particularly for those at risk for glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Ginseng's main superpower: Crazy
Two main types of ginseng exist: Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng) and Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng). Both plants have very similar qualities.
Chinese medicine has used ginseng for thousands of years to treat everything from digestive issues to diabetes. According to the American Cancer Society, “studies done in the laboratory suggest some substances in ginseng may have anticancer properties…”.
Beyond its potential to reduce one’s risk of certain cancers, ginseng is also well-known to increase energy, reduce fatigue, reduce depression, and stabilize blood pressure. As a superfood, ginseng also boosts the immune system and helps the body ward of common colds as well as infections.
Goji berry's main superpower: Crazy
This bright red Asian berry is a darling of Eastern medicine. Native to Tibet and Mongolia, it also goes by the names wolf berry or Tibetian goji.
Considered both a fruit and an herb, goji berries contain high levels of beta-carotene—significantly more than carrots.
Like most berries, they also contain high levels of antioxidants, which work to remove free radicals throughout the body. Unlike other berries, goji contains all the essential amino acids. It boasts over 20 minerals and are significantly high in vitamin C and iron.
Its nutrients work together to help our bodies combat inflammation, and when enjoyed regularly, they can boost our immune systems. Although they can help the body year round, they can naturally strengthen the body’s defenses during cold and flu season.
Goldenberry's main superpower: Crazy
Indigenous to the mineral-rich soils across the Peruvian Andes, these sweet and tangy berries are loaded with bioactive compounds that reduce stress and improve circulation.
Though similar in appearance to golden raisins, this superfood offers significantly more health benefits.
These berries are rich in two important fatty acids: linoleic and oleic acid.
They also offer higher protein levels and less sugar content than other berries, and offer great levels of vitamin A. Goldenberries pack a powerful punch of flavonoids to boot.
Studies support this superfood’s ability to regulate blood sugar, help the flow of food through the digestive tract, as well as reduce swelling throughout the body. A study in the Journal of Dietary Supplements concluded that these small berries could also help the liver function at its best—a vital task since the liver works to detoxify the body!
Green coffee bean's main superpower: Crazy
Coffee beans are good for more than just their caffeine! Dr. Oz believes in the power of this superfood so much that he conducted his own experiment—and found that those taking the green coffee bean extract lost double the weight.
Green coffee beans specifically refer to raw coffee beans. This means the beans (or seeds) are unroasted. During the roasting process, high amounts of a compound called chlorogenic acid can be lost.
So why is this important? Studies support chlorogenic acid’s ability to positively affect a wide range of health issues including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Raw coffee beans also boast higher levels of antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body, reducing the risk of diseases as well as premature aging.
Hemp's main superpower: Crazy
Looking for a truly super superfood? Look no further than hemp seeds. Boasting approximately 33% protein, this small seeds also offers both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as iron and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
The omega fatty acids are particularly important here; our bodies can’t create this essential component on their own—they need to ingest it in order to function optimally.
Hemp offers two key omega fatty acids in every serving! Both the brain and heart thrive on omega-3s. In fact, studies show that diets rich in omega-3s may help prevent coronary heart disease. And the omega-6s? They’re crucial to the metabolic and reproductive systems.
Kelp's main superpower: Crazy
Kelp is an interesting superfood. Though it contains some good vitamins such as A and C, it’s not as nutrient dense as other superfoods.
It does however contain a particular nutrient that’s hard to find in most foods: iodine. So why is iodine important? Great question! Iodine is important for one critical reason: it helps to regulate the thyroid, which produces the body’s hormones.
Kelp may also help a variety of issues including improving thyroid function and metabolism. Full of fiber, kelp can curb unhealthy snacking by keeping you feeling fuller longer. Diets that regularly include seaweed may also show lower levels of unhealthy cholesterol as well.
Lecithin's main superpower: Crazy
Lecithin is a type of phospholipid which is present in every single cell in our body and is crucial for optimal organ health, especially the brain, heart, kidneys and cellular membranes.
It allows valuable nutrients to enter the cells and hazardous toxins to leave. Lecithin is also crucial for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels since it breaks up cholesterol in the body. It even contains inositol, which aids in fat burning.
It is essential to have an abundant supply of lecithin for proper brain function so supplementation of lecithin can help those who suffer from lack of concentration, memory loss, and mental fogginess.
Those who are likely most in need of lecithin supplementation are children and the elderly, those who are under emotional stress and vegetarians (due to a lack of lecithin in vegetarian diets). Soybeans are a plant source of lecithin however 2kg only produces about 8 grams of lecithin.
Maca's main superpower: Crazy
When you think maca, think energy, stamina, and hormonal balance. Native to Peru, this plant thrives among the high plateaus located in the Andes mountain range.
Cultivated and revered by native peoples for over 3,000 years, this tasty plant is grown for its roots. Related to the radish, but more tubular like a potato, this superfood offers fatty acids as well as crucial vitamins including B-12. It’s also a great vegetarian source of calcium and magnesium.
But the best thing about maca is that it offers energy boosts without the side effects that accompany caffeine as well as adaptogenic properties that help balance hormones as well as increase sexual function, particularly in men.
Matcha's main superpower: Crazy
Matcha is a ground powder form of green tea leaves and 'though most of us are familiar with the myriad health benefits of green tea, many of us don't know that matcha is actually a superior form.
Why? The main reason is that the leaves used to make green tea are tossed away while matcha is simply ground tea leaf so you get all the chlorophyll, vitamins, amino acids and ECGC that can be had.
Thanks to this, matcha comes with an array of health benefits. As a rich source of antioxidants, matcha helps the body fight against aging and even has been thought to fight cancer due to the activity of antioxidant Catechin EGCg, which also boosts our metabolism aiding in fat loss.
Although matcha does contain caffeine it helps energize us in a calm way because of L-Theanine, which is an amino acid which calms the brain while allowing it to remain alert, making matcha a favorite among those meditating.
Maqui's main superpower: Crazy
This superberry is native to the southern Chile where it was traditionally used by the Mapuche Indians to heal chronic disease, improve energy and treat fatigue.
A quick glance at the berries' rich, purple color is enough to give away what's so great about this food: it's bursting with the antioxidant anthocyanin, which works in your body to reduce oxidative stress and prevent the onset of chronic illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
Moringa's main superpower: Crazy
Let’s travel to the Himalayan region…India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to be exact.
There you can find moringa, a plant whose entire self can be used to strengthen different aspects of the body. In fact, it’s earned itself the nickname “miracle tree” for its ability to purify and nourish the body and is often dubbed "the world's most nutritious plant" for its all-around nutritional properties: its leaves contain over 90 nutrients and 46 anti-oxidants.
The bark, flowers, leaves, fruit, and roots have long been used to treat a variety of ailments ranging from anemia to kidney stones. This superfood can also be topically applied as an astringent to fight bacterial and stave off infections.
MSM's main superpower: Crazy
Methylsulfonylmethane is a naturally occurring sulfur compound which is found in many different raw foods but is destroyed when food is cooked.
It is a necessary precursor to collagen production in the body, so a healthy supply of MSM helps in skin, hair and nail health and has been found to help in cases of skin disease such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne and dandruff.
The collagen it helps produce also can improve joint health, making it very useful to those who suffer from arthritis. It has also been shown to help with gastro-intestinal disorders and helps your body balance its internal chemistry and maintain a good pH level.
Propolis's main superpower: Crazy
Prop what? Propolis is a product made by bees; it’s the stuff that keeps beehives together.
It’s basically a combination of beeswax and plant material mixed together. It can be found in health food stores or obtained from a beekeeper. Want to be germ free?
Studies show that propolis has significant germicidal properties. In fact, it’s been used for hundreds of years to treat wounds and infections. It also contains antibiotic properties.
Want to know more about this superfood? Research suggests it may also be able to help reduce allergies, reduce bone density loss, lower blood pressure, and kill colon cancer cells.
Raw honey's main superpower: Crazy
Remember Mary Poppins signing “A spoonful of sugar…”? Well, though sugar isn’t great for your body, raw honey is.
The best foods are always those in their purest form. Unlike mass-produced honey, raw honey is unfiltered and never heated beyond 115 degrees.
This ensures that all the goodness (and there’s lots of goodness) remains intact, which is why raw honey is rich in enzymes, antioxidants, probiotics and minerals. In fact, honey contains pinostrobin, which encourages healthy enzyme activity in the body.
Because bees sources their honey from a wide variety of plants, the honey itself is rich in an extraordinary number of vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B6, and C. Raw honey also contains minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc—just to name a few. Regularly enjoying raw honey can also lead to increased energy!
Reishi mushroom's main superpower: Crazy
Used for centuries for their medicinal qualities, this fungal superfood earned itself the nickname “king of herbs”.
This superfood contains high concentrations of a variety of antioxidants. Because of the high antioxidant count, and their ability to remove free radicals from the body, reishi mushrooms may be able to combat cancerous cells.
These mushrooms also contain beta glucan, a polysaccharide which supports the immune system, and ganoderic acid, which can trigger the release of histamines and reduce symptoms of allergies.
Used regularly, Reishi can help to build immunity to disease and treat health conditions like liver disease, depression, autoimmune disorders, and even hepatitis and cancer. Its most popular use, though, is to heal and regenerate liver tissue.
Reishi mushroom's main superpower: Crazy
Spirulina is a type of algae, or cyanobacteria—algae isn’t actually a plant! It is commonly called “blue-green algae” due to its appearance.
It prefers growing in tropical areas with salt water, but can be found in some freshwater lakes. This superfood exists as a significant source of vegetarian protein, iron, and B-vitamins. In fact, this superfood is 50% or more protein by weight.
Spirulina also offers iodine, calcium, magnesium, and potassium in addition to 18 different amino acids. Its high antioxidant content helps it combat serious health issues such as precancerous growths. Spirulina can also help with weight loss, allergies, depression, and increasing energy just to name a few.