Top 10 Superfoods You Should Always Have In Your Pantry
Every day around the world, more and more people are beginning to realize that what you eat definitely matters. The foods you put inside of your body can affect everything from your mood to the quality of your skin. They can also reduce inflammation and certain diseases such as cancer.
The bottom line is when you eat better food, you feel better on the inside and look better on the outside.
A safe rule of thumb to follow when you are out shopping for groceries is to only purchase natural whole foods. Avoid most products that come in a box, have a long list of ingredients and an extended shelf life. These foods are filled with harmful additives, refined sugars, and MSG. Instead, stick with items where the only ingredient is the food itself.
Here is a list of the 10 best superfoods you should keep stocked in your pantry, and as a bonus, they are all vegan-friendly as well. Everyone can enjoy the many nutritional benefits packed into these foods.
Top 10 Superfoods You Should Always Have In Your Pantry
The first item on our list is loaded with the right kind of healthy monounsaturated fats. Many people shy away from fats, but research shows that eating the right kind of healthy fats may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. (1)
Fats also help to increase satiety when you eat them, making you feel fuller longer which helps prevent overeating. Avocados are also nutritionally dense, containing vitamin B-6, C, E, K along with other important vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin and folate.
Often called the “alligator pear”, avocados are native to Mexico and certain areas of South America. There are many ways to enjoy avocados. You can eat them plain, mash them up and spread them on toast, and even add them to smoothies and protein shakes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your own recipes.
Blueberries are the next superfood on our list, and for good reason. They get their color from flavonoids known as anthocyanins. These flavonoids have antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation and protect your body from free radicals and disease. Blueberries actually rank the highest of any fruit for their antioxidant content. (2)
They are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, while also protecting against heart disease due to being sodium and cholesterol-free. One preliminary study even found that eating blueberries every day may help to improve memory. The flavonoids found in berries seem to demonstrate lower rates of cognitive decline in adults.
Blueberries can be enjoyed on their own as a healthy snack, added into smoothies (they are great with other types of berries) and even used in baked goods such as muffins and pie. Whether fresh or frozen, you can’t go wrong by adding this delicious superfood into your diet.
It’s commonly recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. In reality, however, many folks find it somewhat difficult to remember to hit that daily amount. Luckily there are some foods out there that contain quite a lot of water as well.
Watermelon is one such superfood, not only being quite tasty but also helping you to stay hydrated.
For male readers, there is also evidence (3) that eating watermelon can help improve erectile dysfunction. This is due to the amino acid citrulline, which is found in the rind of the melon. Not only that, but eating watermelon could also help to prevent prostate cancer. It contains lycopene, an antioxidant with potential cancer-fighting properties. (4)
Many people are also surprised to find out that the entire watermelon is edible. It isn’t just the pink interior, but the green skin on the outside as well. For all of the reasons above, watermelon more than earns a spot on this list.
Next up on the list is beets. They are high in vitamin C, fiber and several other essential minerals. One of the best ways to get the many benefits of beets is through beetroot juice.
A study done in 2012 demonstrated that athletes who drank 2 cups of beetroot juice daily boosted their athletic performance by increasing their plasma nitrate levels. (5) Those same nitrates also help to lower blood pressure, leading to lower risk of heart disease and strokes.
If you decide to add beets into your diet to receive the many health benefits that go along with them, you’ll be happy to know they combine well with the next entry on our list, in both juices and salads for a one-two punch superfood combo.
There’s a reason why Popeye was such a huge fan of spinach. This leafy green superfood is packed with antioxidants, vitamin A, C, E, K, zinc, and beta carotene, which may help to boost our immune systems.
Leafy green vegetables in particular are noteworthy for being loaded with nutrients and disease-fighting phytochemicals. (6) Spinach is healthiest when it is cooked as little as possible, but light cooking does actually enhance its vitamin A and lets other nutrients be released from oxalic acid.
Spinach can be enjoyed in fresh salads, added to stir frys, or made into delicious green smoothies or juice.
6. Chia Seeds
Big things can indeed come in small packages. Chia seeds prove this old saying twice over. The word “chia” translates into strength, which would explain why ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures used the seed as an energy booster. The tiny seeds contain protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
There is increasing evidence mounting that inflammation is the leading cause of many modern diseases, such as cancer. With the potent dose of healthy Omega-3 fats found in chia seeds, they are one of the top seeds used to fight off inflammation in the body. (7)
Chia seeds can be eaten on their own, but truly shine when added to any type of beverage. Add them to water, coconut milk or juice for a satisfying drink that will leave you feeling full.
Next on our list is another great, easy-to-prepare seed superfood.
Quinoa is actually a seed that is cooked like a grain, much like rice. It is easy to prepare and contains all nine essential amino acids in one convenient food. This makes it the perfect carb source for anyone looking to gain muscle.
It’s also rich in B vitamins, zinc, calcium, fiber, and iron. It can be particularly great for anyone with diabetes due to the protein content and dietary fiber. (8) Another great benefit of quinoa is that it’s a gluten-free carb source for anyone who deals with gluten intolerance.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for another great carbohydrate fuel source, we have you covered with the next superfood on our list.
Oatmeal is another classic breakfast superfood. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and improve intestinal health. Oatmeal is also great to help you maintain a healthy weight, as it contains enough protein to leave you feeling full for longer and prevent mid-morning snacking.
It is also full of minerals that your body needs, like magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese. And provided you avoid the sugary varieties that can be found in the breakfast aisle, oatmeal is also naturally gluten-free as well.
You can add all sorts of extras to your oatmeal to give it a bit of extra flavor. For another winning superfood combination, try it with blueberries added along with a dash of cinnamon.
9. Coconut Oil
A lot of people will raise an eyebrow at the inclusion of coconut oil on this list, mainly due to its high saturated fat content.
The fats from coconut oil however, are mainly comprised of medium-chain triglycerides, which your body is able to process much better than the kind of fats typically found in fatty cuts of meat. These medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs for short) help to raise the good HDL cholesterol in your body while lowering the bad LDL cholesterol. Due to this coconut oil does not increase cardiovascular risk in healthy adults. (9)
Coconut oil also has some uses beyond being edible as well. It can be used as a facial moisturizer, as a cooking oil, and even used to clear out bacteria from your mouth in a process known as “oil pulling”.
Another popular use of coconut oil is in coffee along with butter as a breakfast replacement used with intermittent fasting. The healthy fat combination can lead to feeling full longer without breaking a fast in the morning.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Finishing off our list is another superfood powerhouse, apple cider vinegar. The benefits of this particular kind of vinegar are near endless. Everything from assisting with acid reflux to whitening your teeth to lowering blood pressure, apple cider vinegar takes care of it all.
You can apply it topically to your skin to help remove warts and ease sunburns, or mix it in with salads or your favorite beverage for some incredible gut healing properties. The benefits continue in some unusual ways, such as being used to clear a stuffy nose.
Just be sure to dilute it properly if you want to take it with water, as it can pack quite a sting when you drink it.
So there you have it!
Ten must-have superfoods that deserve a spot in everyone’s pantry. Feeling and looking your best genuinely begins with good health, and good health begins with the food you eat on a daily basis.
While you can experience immediate huge gains by eliminating a lot of the unhealthy junk from your diet, you would be surprised how quickly you can feel much better by eating the right types of food. Give any of these 10 superfoods a try and see for yourself!