Have you ever wondered what are superfoods?

In simple terms, they refer to nutritionally-dense food items that are mainly plant-based like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, herbs and spices.

These items are called super foods because they contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and nutrients which are good for our overall health and well-being. (1)

Therefore, including some of them in our juicing routine would greatly boost the nutrient value of our juices.

Here is a list of superfoods that can be added to your juices or even your dishes for various purposes.

I will discuss about the diverse benefits of having these food items as part of your juices.

Besides adding them to your juices, you can also consume them as part of your diet.

P:S – I have grouped them into various categories so that you can refer to them more easily.

Vegetables

1. Beetroot

It contains a chemical, called betaines, which are designed to help your liver function better.

In addition, it has nitrates which can be converted into nitric oxide in your body to improve blood flow and lower your blood pressure.

Lastly, it is commonly used to improve athletic performance.

As beets have a very high carbohydrate content, it will be wise for you to add it to your juice a few times a week. (2)

2. Cabbage

This cruciferous vegetable is rich in vitamin K and C.

It also contains cancer-fighting substances known as indoles which are useful in the prevention of prostate, bladder and colon cancers.

Besides aiding in the prevention of cancers, it has cholesterol lowering properties for people who suffer from hypertension. (3)

For folks who suffer from peptic ulcers, regular consumption of fresh cabbage juice can be used to heal it. (4)

The red variety of this vegetable is packed with plant pigments called anthocyanins which are useful in promoting heart health, cancer prevention and inflammation. (5)

3. Carrots

The bright orange colour of carrots is a sure-sign that this vegetable is rich in antioxidants which help to fight diseases and protects your body from free radicals.

Just 1 cup of chopped carrots (128 g) provides 428% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A based on a 2000 calories diet. (6)

They are rich in carotenoids, natural fat-soluble pigments which can be converted to vitamin A when needed by the body.

These carotenoids improves night vision, blood sugar regulation and lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. (7)

4. Celery

Celery acts as a diuretic by regulating the fluid balance in your body due to its rich content of potassium and sodium.

The natural sodium also promotes good cell chemistry in your body. (8)

Due to its alkalinity nature, it is very soothing to your digestive system. (9)

Additional benefits include lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol, eliminating uric acid for people with bladder issues, promoting healthy joints, preventing cancer, improving your immune system and many others. (10)

5. Collard Greens

These greens contain large amounts of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, vitamin C, fiber, calcium along with many other powerful detoxifying agents, making them a true nutritional powerhouse. (11)

Due to its large amounts of vitamin K, it is a powerful player in promoting good bone health.

Adequate consumption of vitamin K reduces the risk of bone fracture, improves calcium absorption and reduces calcium loss.

It lowers the risk of many cancers due to the presence of glucosinolates, a phytochemical which plays a key role in detoxification.

Its high fiber content helps to lower blood glucose levels in type 1 Diabetes and improves blood sugar, lipid and insulin levels in type 2 Diabetes.

Since it is high in fiber and water, it relieves constipation by maintaining a healthy digestive tract.

Other benefits include better sleep, muscle movement, healthy hair and skin due to its high vitamin A and C content. (12)

6. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are packed with loads of hydration and restorative plant nutrients.

It has a rich source of phytonutrients, cucurbitacins, which are currently being researched for its anti-cancer properties.

Other list of phytonutrients which are abundant in this vegetable include flavonoids and lignans.

The combination of these 3 plant nutrients offer valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. (13)

7. Kale

Kale is probably one of the most nutrient dense vegetables available on this planet due its high content of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and many other beneficial nutrients for your body.

It is a powerful food for your bone health because of its high vitamin K content, calcium and manganese. (14)

Due to its high antioxidant content, it helps to fight free radical damage effectively which is the leading cause of aging and many diseases such as cancer. (15)

8. Sea Vegetables

Arame, dulse, kombu, agar agar, nori, sea palm are some examples of sea vegetables that can be purchased easily from the natural food and Asian markets. (16)

It contains an abundant amount of iodine which is lacking in our diets. (17)

Iodine is important for the normal functioning of our thyroid glands which helps to regulate the production of hormones responsible for controlling our body’s basal metabolic rate.

This is important for many of our bodily functions. (18)

9. Spinach

Loaded with vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron and many other beneficial nutrients, this vegetable is respected for its impressive nutritional profile.

In fact, it contains nutrients that benefit almost every part of your body.

Besides playing an important role in promoting bone health, it contains zeaxanthin and lutein which are phytonutrients to fight against blindness.

Research has shown its capabilities in preventing cancers of prostate and inflammation. (19)

10. Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium and amino acid. (20)

Its high chlorophyll content helps to fight against free radicals and could serve as a potential cancer therapy. (21)

Its combination of vitamin A, C, E and amino acids supports a strong immune system. (22)

Research has also shown that it may be effective against ulcerative colitis. (23)

Besides using a wheatgrass press to juice your wheatgrass, a masticating juicer like the Omega J8006 may also be used.

Fruits

1. Apples

The presence of quercetin in apples helps to reduce cellular death and inflammation which will lead to improved neurological health. (24)

It contains a lot of insoluble fiber which provides bulk to your intestinal tract to improve your digestive health. (25)

Remember to include the skin of your apples while you are juicing them.

They are rich in polyphenols which provide strong antioxidant benefits, responsible for lowering your risk of lung cancer, asthma and cardiovascular diseases. (26)

2. Bananas

Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, copper and biotin.

Besides having a solid fiber content, it is filled with pectins which absorb fluid in your digestive tract to normalize the rate of carbohydrate digestion.

Most importantly, it contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which helps to maintain the balance of friendly bacteria in your lower intestine to promote better digestive health.

This helps in calcium absorption and protects your digestive system from harmful bacteria which might contribute to gut related diseases. (27)

It may help to reduce the occurrence of cramps as well. (28)

3. Blueberries

Blueberries are rich in vitamin C which is needed for the formation of collagen, maintenance of healthy gums and immune system. (29)

They are rich in flavonoids, in particular anthocyanins, which enhances the effects of vitamin C to promote good cardiovascular and brain health.

This is also the phyto-nutrient responsible for the blue-red pigment. (30)

4. Grapefruits

High vitamin C content, soluble fibers like pectin and other beneficial nutrients can be found in this fruit. (31)

Studies have shown that the consumption of grapefruit as part of a healthy diet promotes weight loss. (32)

Pectin helps to lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides.

It also contains lycopene which has been researched to fight oxidative stress and cancer.

One notable phytonutrient that is almost exclusive to grapefruits is limonoids.

Research shows that it prevents cancerous cells from proliferating. (33)

5. Kiwis

You will be surprised to know that these bright green fruits contain more vitamin C than a regular orange and a host of other powerful antioxidants which include carotenoids and flavonoids. (34)

Studies have shown that the consumption of kiwis may protect your heart by lowering your blood pressure and reducing the risk of blood clots. (35)

Kiwis may help to relieve constipation due to its natural laxative effects. (36)

Lastly, kiwi seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which helps to combat oxidative stress. (37)

6. Lemons

Lemons contain large amounts of vitamin C and citric acid which are useful in promoting heart health, reducing the effects of arthritis and fighting cancer by boosting your immunity. (38)

The citric acid in lemons increases urine flow which helps to prevent the formation of kidney stones. (39)

Lemon helps to regulate your blood pH level due to its alkaline forming nature when consumed.

This is important in the prevention and treatment of various illnesses. (40)

7. Melons

Melon juices help to reduce oxidative stress in your kidneys and are excellent alkaline forming foods. (40, 41)

Be sure to juice the rind as well since it is rich in enzymes, minerals like potassium, magnesium and copper, and chlorophyll. (42)

8. Oranges

A medium-sized orange contains only 80 calories. It is packed full of vitamin C with reasonable amounts of fiber, potassium, vitamin A and calcium. (43)

According to the American Heart Association, eating high amounts of citrus fruits like oranges can reduce the risk of stroke. (44)

Oranges contain hesperidin which is noted for its powerful antioxidant properties. (45)

Regular consumption of orange juice has been shown to reduce the diastolic blood pressure and aid in lowering cholesterol levels. (46, 47)

9. Papayas

The deep orange hue in papayas is an indication of its high carotenoids concentration.

These antioxidants are useful for fighting inflammation and other health conditions like macular degeneration.

Besides its high carotenoids concentration, it provides an abundant supply of vitamin C, vitamin Bs (folate and pantothenic acid), magnesium, potassium, fiber and copper.

These nutrients actually work synergistically to protect your cardiovascular system and protect you from colon cancer. (48)

10. Pineapples

Pineapples are rich in vitamin C, manganese, copper, several B vitamins and fiber. (49)

It has high amounts of bromelain, a plant compound which provides many health benefits in the form of better immunity, wound healing, improved digestion, prevention of cardiovascular disorders, osteoarthritis and diarrhea. (50)

11. Strawberries

Filled with large amounts of vitamins, minerals and an amazing combination of phytonutrients like anthocyanins, ellagitannins, flavonols, terpeniods, and phenolic acids.

These are good reasons why this fruit should be included in your juicing regime. (51)

The consumption of berry fruits like strawberries reduces your risk of chronic diseases which include cardiovascular, diabetes and inflammation. (52)

It also prevents the spread of cancer due to its rich antioxidant content. (53)

Nuts, Seeds, Beans and Legumes

1. Almonds

Besides their rich protein content, it has a lot of other health-enriching nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and potassium. (54)

You can add them to your smoothie in the form of almond butter.

This is a simple and easy way to consume these beneficial nutrients.

A higher intake of vitamin E has been shown in several studies to reduce the rate of heart disease and cancer. (55)

A sufficient intake of magnesium has also been linked to lower blood pressure. (56)

2. Carob

This legume is consumed in the form of a powder, made from an evergreen flowering shrub found in the Mediterranean region. (57)

It is rich in tannins, a powerful antioxidant which protects your cells from oxidative stress, boosts your immune system and protects your body against infections. (58)

Due to its natural sweetness, it is commonly used as an alternative to chocolate for food flavourings. (59)

3. Cashews

These nuts contain large amounts of monounsaturated fats which support your heart health. (60)

Its high copper content promotes better iron utilization in your body, fight free radicals, aids in the development of bone and connective tissues, and promotes the production of melanin.

Besides copper, it also contains other essential minerals like phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and zinc. (61)

Add some cashew butter to your smoothie to enjoy the health benefits of these nuts.

4. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are well-known for its high dietary fiber and omega 3 fatty acids content. (62)

It is also rated as the no. 1 source of lignan in a human diet which act as phytoestrogens to lower blood pressure, support cardiovascular health, reduce oxidative stress and cancer risk. (63, 64)

They should be grinded or consumed in oil form to enhance its nutritional benefits. (65)

5. Macadamia Nuts

These nuts are filled with many vitamins and minerals which are needed for the normal functioning of your body. (66)

It helps to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and inflammation due to its high omega 3 fatty acids content. (67)

Its rich fiber content supports digestive health and reduces your hunger. (68)

6. Peanuts

Peanuts belong to the legume family even though it is commonly classified with seeds and nuts. (69)

Just 1 cup of chopped peanuts provides an astounding amount of protein, 40 g to be exact.

Besides its high protein content, it is filled with vast amounts of B vitamins, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and other beneficial minerals. (70)

Regular consumption of peanuts has been linked to a reduction of cardiovascular disease based on several studies. (71, 72)

You can simply add a scoop of peanut butter to your smoothie or bread to receive the full benefits of this legume without taking too much of it. Be sure to look for those organic varieties though.

7. Sesame Seeds

These seeds provide a nutty crunch and are commonly added to many Asian dishes.

It is an excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, vitamin B1 and fiber. (73)

They are readily available in paste form called tahini, which is made by grinding hulled, unroasted sesame seeds. (74)

8. Soybeans

It is a very nutritious food that is consumed in the form of tofu, bean curd, miso, soy flour, soy sauce or soy milk.

It is commonly eaten whole in Asian countries but in high processed form in Western countries. (75)

In fact, 1 cup of boiled soy beans contains a whooping 29g of protein along with high concentrations of molybdenum, copper, manganese, phosphorus, iron, omega 3 fats, fiber and many other essential minerals. (76, 77)

Soybeans are well-known for their extremely high molybdenum content which contributes to the enzymatic activities for carbohydrates, fats and protein metabolism. (78)

They also make good replacements for meat since they are rich in protein, omega 3 fatty acids and iron.

9. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds provide an excellent health promoting snack due to its high nutritional content.

In fact, it provides an excellent source of vitamin E, essential minerals like copper, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and several B vitamins. (79)

Health benefits from these seeds include a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer prevention, thyroid support, improved bone density, blood sugar regulation and better skin health. (80)

Herbs and Spices

1. Aloe Vera

It is widely used as a topical treatment for sunburns and wound healing. (81)

Aloe also promotes the production of collagen and improves skin elasticity to fight wrinkles. (82)

It contains powerful antioxidants belonging to the family of polyphenols which help to fight infections. (83)

If you have oral issues, you can use it as a mouthwash to remove plague and in patch form to treat mouth ulcers due to its medicinal benefits. (84, 85)

Besides all these medicinal benefits, it supplies the body with more than 15 amino acids, vitamins and numerous essential minerals for the normal functioning of our body.

Finally, it contains live enzymes like amylase, lipase, oxidas and alinase. (86)

2. Ashwagandha

This is a popular herb used as a nervine tonic in the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine to treat several ailments associated with the nervous system.

Studies have shown that it is possibly effective for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agents, it is useful in the treatment of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Finally, it improves energy levels. (87)

3. Astragalus

This herb has been used for thousands of years in TCM.

It is often combined with other herbs to improve the body’s resistance against diseases.

It possesses antioxidants which protects your cells from free radical damage.

This aids in the protection of your major organs like liver, prevents colds and upper respiratory infections. It may be helpful in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and so on. (88)

4. Cayenne

Cayenne have generous amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E which helps to strengthen your body’s immune system to fight against free radical damages.

It contains capsaicin which is found to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of this cayenne pepper to turn your juice into a heart-healthy drink. (89)

In addition, it acts as a temporary pain reliever by inhibiting the transmission of pain signals to the nervous system. (90)

5. Cinnamon

This delicious spice has powerful effects on your health and metabolism. (91)

In fact, consuming 1 g of cinnamon everyday can improve your blood markers in terms of lower total cholesterol and triglycerides levels. (92)

It also works as a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent due to its high antioxidant content.

Finally, it improves the health of the colon and aids in preventing colon cancer. (93)

6. Evening Primrose

This oil is extracted from the seed of evening primrose plant. (94)

It is full of omega 6 fatty acids which is used in the treatment of atopic dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis caused by chronic inflammation. (95)

Studies have shown that this oil may provide significant benefits for eczema, menopause, premenstrual syndrome, nerve pain, osteoporosis and many other health conditions. (96)

7. Garlic

Garlic has been used for many health conditions based on ancient medical texts. (97)

It is very rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and trace amounts of other nutrients. (98)

It contains powerful sulfur containing compounds, in particular allicin, which is well known for its therapeutic effects as noted in ancient medical literature. (99)

Garlic enhances your immune system to reduce the severity of colds and flus. (100)

Besides enhancing your immune system, it has been studied to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. (101, 102)

To ensure that your garlic is as fresh as possible, you can grow it on your own. (103)

In fact, garlic in its raw form is the best for antibacterial purposes.

You can add a teaspoon or 2 of chopped garlic to your juices to increase their health benefits.

8. Ginger

Several studies have shown that regular consumption of this root reduces the risk of many diseases.

It has a unique group of antioxidants known as gingerols which provides anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, and anti-oxidation benefits. (104)

It relieves nausea and vomiting in patients who undergo chemotherapy and operation. (105, 106)

For people who are active in sports, ginger helps to relieve muscle pain. (107)

Lastly, it improves fasting blood sugar levels in diabetes patients. (108)

To receive the full health benefits of this root, you can add 1 ounce of it to your juice.

9. Gingko Biloba

Gingko is one of our planet’s oldest living tree species. It has a long history of treating blood disorders and improving your mental health.

Lab studies have revealed that it improves blood circulation by widening your vessel and making your blood less sticky. (109)

Other benefits include the treatment of dementia, anxiety disorder, poor memory, schizophrenia and other health issues. (110)

10. Ginseng

This herb has been used for its rejuvenating powers for over 5000 years of China. (111)

There are 2 main types: American or Asian/Korean ginseng.

Studies have shown that ginseng boosts the immune system and lower blood sugar levels.

Additional benefits include improved concentration, learning, mood and endurance.

It may also be useful in the treatment of cancer, heart disease, fatigue, high blood pressure, menopausal symptoms and other health conditions. (112)

11. Green Tea

It is well-known for its high concentrations of polyphenols like catechins, which serve as very powerful antioxidants. (113)

Catechins improve heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

This helps to maintain a stable blood sugar level in diabetics.

Green tea also helps to reduce the formation of plagues which is commonly linked to Alzheimer’s disease. (114)

12. Maca

Maca is an oily root vegetable that is grown exclusively in Peru.

It is commonly available in powder form and you can add a 1/2 teaspoon to your juice to increase its nutritional value.

It has rich amounts of protein, vitamin C, vitamin B and minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron and manganese.

It is used to promote sexual function in both men and women.

Maca plays a key role in women health by relieving menstrual and menopause symptoms.

Additional benefits include higher energy levels, improved general health, skin and mood balance. (115)

13. Medicinal Mushrooms

Shiitake, enoki, reishi, maitake and oyster mushrooms are some examples of medicinal mushrooms. (116)

Shiitake mushrooms contain a mix of glucan and non-glucan polysaccharides to lower cholesterol levels and boost immune system. (117)

Studies have shown that reishi mushroom boosts your immune system, fights cancer, prevents heart disease, calm your nerves, relieve both allergies and inflammation. (118)

Maitake mushroom is commonly found in the northeastern part of Japan, US and Europe.

It is widely used for its antiviral action to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and cholesterol. (119)

14. Milk Thistle

This herb supports liver health and helps with blood sugar regulation in diabetics.

Milk thistle contains silymarin, which improves blood and urine markers in kidney disease, and may prove to be helpful for people with cancer, diabetes and heart disease. (120)

15. Rhodiola

Rhodiola is an adaptogen herb used to boost energy levels, fat burning capabilities and brain health.

This herb contains rosavin, an active compound which triggers the enzymatic activity of lipase to breakdown fat in your belly area.

It has anti-inflammatory benefits which promotes faster recovery of muscles and improves your endurance.

Rhodiola also balances your cortisol levels to slow down the body’s aging process.

Finally, it fights depression and improves brain function. (121)

16. Turmeric

This is a common spice that is found in curry and used in India for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. (122)

It contains curcumin, a well-known anti-oxidant known for its anti-inflammatory effects to fight ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

It also plays a role in cancer prevention by inhibiting cancer cell growth and metastases. (123)

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Published on 17 July 2017

Summary
The Wonders of Superfoods For Your Health
Article Name
The Wonders of Superfoods For Your Health
Description
Discover the wonders of superfoods and how to use them for improving your health today.
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Yeo International
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