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Our 10 Favorite Superfoods
As you probably know, health and obesity are large issues around the world, and have become a growing point of interest in the United States. There are many factors that contribute to this health concern which include but are not limited to poverty, lack of knowledge and our “never stop to rest” culture which gives us less and less time to spend in the kitchen. Even though the obstacles to eating healthy, balanced meals on a daily basis are very real, with the proper knowledge and planning, eating right can be a reality and not that hard to do.

In order to eat healthy, your meal does not need to look like it came from a five star restaurant or be boring and bland. Even though we are programmed to be attracted to things that are visually appealing, a simply prepared meal can have just as many or even more nutrients as a meal that looks like it came from an expensive to hire nutritionist or private chef. To many the best ingredients for these meals by far are superfoods. But what are these superfoods?

Although they are not officially recognized by health professionals, the marketing term is used to describe “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being,” according to the Oxford dictionary. That being said, we are of course not doctors and cannot verify the absolute truth of the following statements.

Because there is no official “superfood” stamp, there are literally hundreds of foods that can and do use this disclaimer. We rounded up our 10 favorite superfoods to share with you to help start your new year with a bang!

Green Tea
- Green tea contains antioxidants, but one extra perk is the Catechins it contains. Catechins are antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage and lower cholesterol and blood pressure, according to WebMD.

Blueberries - Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants and are the number two fruit eaten in the United States, only topped by strawberries. Blueberries are good for your memory and help banish belly fat. To take full advantage of the health benefits of blueberries, they should be eaten raw, instead of incorporated into a baked item.

Dark Chocolate - Dark chocolate, or cacao, in its most natural form is what you want here. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants. Cacao also contains high levels of the essential amino acid tryptophan. Getting tryptophan into your system from food produces serotonin which is our "defense shield" against stress.

Beans - Beans are high in fiber and water content, which keeps you fuller longer and helps prevent overeating. This in turn it good for those individuals who want to shed a few extra pounds.

Wild Caught Salmon - When it comes to seafood, salmon is by far the most nutritious. Farm raised salmon is decent, but wild caught salmon should be purchased whenever possible.

Chia Seeds - Chia Seeds are packed with heart healthy Omega-3s (even more than salmon!) and antioxidants. They are also extremely high in fiber and calcium, but they are recommended as an addition to your meal instead of a supplement.

Seaweed - Seaweed is an ingredient found primarily in Asian cuisine in sushi and Miso soup. Seaweed contains vitamins A and C and calcium which makes it healthy, but because the serving size is so small, these vitamins are not what makes Seaweed a superfood. It contains Iodine, which is a nutrient that is incredibly hard to find in foods. Iodine helps to maintain a healthy thyroid which balances your metabolism.

Barley Grass - A type of whole grain, this leaf of the barley plant is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is claimed that barley grass can have positive effects on many health problems including but not limited to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and insomnia.

Eggs - Eggs are sometimes called natures’ perfect food. They contain more vitamins and minerals than I can name which have a variety of healthy benefits including raising good cholesterol and improving vision. They also are easy to prepare and fill you up so in turn you end up eating less calories, which leads to weight loss.

Pumpkin - Not only are pumpkins delicious, they’re extremely healthy, too (even the canned kind as long as it doesn’t contain sugar)! Pumpkins are said to improve your health in many diverse ways. Pumpkin seeds lift your mood, boost your immune system, aid in weight loss and keep your eyesight as sharp as a pin.

There are so many super foods that we couldn’t name all of them here, but this list is a great start to help you add some more nutritious ingredients to your everyday diet.

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