5 Super Foods Everybody Should Eat

You don’t need to be a fitness nut or someone who shops at alternative food stores to eat delicious nutrient packed super foods.  You can get all of these foods at nearly any farmer’s market or grocery store.

What are Super Foods?

They are really just regular foods. Regular foods with a fancy name attached by marketing types to sell you their açaí juices and blueberry slurry.

Super foods are nutrient dense foods – usually loaded with anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids, and fiber.

They are known to come with a number of long term health benefits, including:

  • Regulation of metabolism
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Potential to protect against heart disease and cancer
Instead of listing every health benefit, let’s just say that these foods are good for you and you should eat them.
Onions and garlic and stuff. All fancy though, you know, black and white.

Image by David Blackwell via Flickr – Creative Commons

1. Garlic

Garlic is a super food that nearly everybody can get behind. It’s loaded with health benefits. It has been linked with:

  • Lowered cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of blood clots
  • Destroying viruses and bacteria
  • Could possibly help fight against Alzheimer’s
  • Detoxification effects
  • and more…

Garlic is pretty much the one food that you can never have enough of.

There’s one minor catch, though. Cooking garlic reduces (or flat out eliminates) most of the health benefits.

So you may need to start eating a raw garlic clove every now and then.

2. Onions and Leeks and Chives and… (The rest of the Allium family)

Garlic isn’t the only member of the allium family of foods that has impressive health benefits.

Leeks, chives and just about every type of onion are loaded with an antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione helps your liver deal with toxins and carcinogens. And since your liver is responsible for clearing bacteria, alcohol, and excess glucose from your blood stream, you definitely want to keep it running smoothly.

3. Everything Green

Green foods in general are good for you. Leafy green vegetables, specifically. It shouldn’t be any surprise that salads are going to keep you healthy.

More specifically, though – adding a bit of wheatgrass or barley grass to your diet will increase the health benefits dramatically. Both are more similar to vegetables than grains as they are still in their early stages of development, but at this stage they are loaded with antioxidants and help reduce inflammation.

Most people find them fairly disgusting, though. Blend them up with something more appetizing and call it juice.

4. Hot Peppers

Hot peppers don’t just add spice to your food. They add the spicy compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is known for anti-inflammatory, heart healthy effects, as well as a potential link to reduced cancer risk.

And if that’s not enough to convince you, hot peppers contain more vitamin C than citrus foods.

Specifically in smokers, who often suffer from a vitamin C deficiency, this can be a serious benefit.

You don’t want to end up with scurvy, do you?

5. Beans (Lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, etc.)

Beans are low in fat, calories, sodium, but very high in fiber. A single cup of cooked beans can provide well over half the recommended dietary fiber intake recommendations. They also contain protein, which makes them an important staple for anyone on a vegetarian diet.

Compared to grains, beans and lentils are extremely low on the glycemic scale, which also makes them an important food for diabetics looking to increase their fiber intake.

With this combination of five foods, you can create a meal plan that will cover most if not all of your dietary requirements. You can also do it extremely cheap.

And you will be healthier than most people for doing it.

Basically, if you spent your days dipping jalapeno peppers and raw garlic cloves into a hummus dip and eating it with a side salad topped with wheatgrass and onions, you might just live forever.

For recipes using some of these super foods, check out How to Cook Hero or sign up for their weekly food newsletter.