I know there are a lot of top superfood articles out there, so I thought I’d get on the band waggon and put in my two cents.
A superfood is a specific food with not only nutritional value, but also extra added benefits for a person’s overall health.
My top 10 superfoods you can eat raw
I was going to limit this to five, but there were too many to choose from, so I made it 10.
Number One - Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah)
This is closely related to the spinach family and the grain family. It is gluten free and is high in amino acids. It is full of protein, vitamin B and potassium. It is also a great source of copper, zinc, iron and magnesium. Believe it or not it also contains calcium, which makes it great for vegans and people who are lactose intolerant. It can be thought of as a complete protein because it contains all of the eight amino acids required for development. It also contains twice as much fibre as most other grains. As far as I’m concerned with all this, it is the mother of all superfood!
*This can be eaten raw if it is first soaked and sprouted.
Number Two - Omega-3 Fish – salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines
I was going to pick one fish above others, but all of them help to lower cholesterol with this healthy fatty acid. Omega-3 has so many health benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease to improving lung function (helping those with asthma) to aiding stiffness in joints to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Number Three - Blueberries
Now there have been a lot of arguments about whether blueberries should be called a superfood because other berries contain more vitamins. But I like blueberries because their deep blue colour tells us that they are full of flavonoids which protect neurons in the brain from inflammation which preserves memory function. These flavonoids also eradicate free radicals which cause damage to cell walls and DNA. I say ‘go blueberries’. For being so small you do a lot of good.
Number Four - Beans
Not only are they an excellent source of protein and fibre which help keep you fuller for longer, they are low in fat and a good source of magnesium and potassium which help to lower blood pressure keeping your heart healthy. Not only that, but let’s face it, they are not exactly expensive.
Number Five – Spinach
Popeye knew what he was talking about ‘ug ug ug’. Spinach is a great source of iron which is fantastic for hair and nail growth and strength. On top of that it is filled with antioxidants including vitamin C and K, which important for cardiovascular and bone health.
Number Six - Oats
You might not think of oats as a superfood, but they are one of the best sources of soluble fibre. This helps to lower cholesterol and keeps blood sugar levels under control, which of course is great for diabetics.
Number Seven - Eggs
I think eggs are one of the most versatile superfoods out there. You can do practically anything with them. Not only do they contain an amazing amount of nutrition including Vitamin A and D, selenium, iodine, Biotin and in their raw form Vitamin B6, the whites are also low in calories and fat free. I’m not saying don’t eat the yolks, but if you are looking for a low calorie, high protein food go with egg whites.
Number Eight - Pumpkins
Another surprise superfood for some I’m sure. Not just good for carving at Halloween, these delicious squashes are loaded with nutrients for your heart, eyes, bones and skin. They contain Beta-carotene which the body converts into Vitamin A required for healthy skin and immune system. As an antioxidant it protects the body from free radicals lowering the risk of certain illness such as cancer and heart disease.
Number Nine – Nuts
Okay, so not all nuts can be classed as a superfood. But almonds, pistachios and walnuts are definitely three that I would class as super.
Pistachios are full of protein, fibre and unsaturated fats.
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, protein, calcium and potassium.
Walnuts contain Omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant melatonin which helps to regulate sleep.
Number Ten - Garlic
I put this in because not only does it contain vitamins and enzymes but raw garlic contains the amino acid acillin. And this in my humble opinion is what puts it on the superfood list. Allicin is a primary component which helps to prevent illness such as cancer. Garlic itself is a powerful disease fighter which can prevent the growth of bacteria, including e-coli.
*These are not in any particular order.
So there you have it; my list of superfoods that you can peruse at your leisure. And yes, all of which can be eaten raw!
If you strongly disagree with my choices please feel free to comment below or if you have some other ideas that I may not have thought of, don’t be afraid to let yourself be heard.
Coming next week – Foods you might not have thought you could eat raw!Google+