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There’s no question about it—a healthy, balanced diet is often the cure for what ails you. Regardless of whether you’re feeling a bit sluggish, trying to reduce stress, or just want to improve your overall health, the answer can often be found in Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet.
Here are nine superfoods to revive and rejuvenate your whole self, from the tips of your toes to the roots of your soul. We always suggest organic, fresh, living superfoods.
Mushrooms: Don’t be so quick to dismiss the mushroom as nothing more than a
lowly fungus. Studies have demonstrated that mushrooms, which are packed with dietary fibre and vitamins, may help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. And the best part? Mushrooms don’t contain any salt and are low in caloric content, making this “fun guy” a welcome guest at any table.
Kale: Once considered little more than a restaurant garnish, kale has elevated its status directly to the superfood category—and with good reason. It’s loaded with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene, and nutrients including calcium, Vitamin A and Vitamin K. So you can understand why it’s the key ingredient in our Green Vitality cold-press juice.
Beets: Your mom wasn’t wrong when she told you to eat your beets. With immune-boosting vitamins and minerals such as potassium, beets may help fight inflammation and support your body in detoxification. But don’t just look to the red beets—yellow beets can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, while cleansing the kidneys.
Salmon: Don’t be a birdbrain, when science proves that you should be a fish brain, instead! Although fish (specifically fatty fishes such as salmon or sardines) is a source of protein, B12, Vitamin D and selenium, it’s best celebrated for its omega-3 fatty acids; EPA and DHA intake improves cognitive functions and promotes a healthy central nervous system. Eating fish has even been demonstrated to improve academic performance in children.
Walnuts: If you’re a vegetarian, eating salmon for your daily dose of omega-3s is out of the question. That’s why walnuts are the veg-friendly alternative (not to mention a heck of a lot easier to prepare). Eating a handful of nuts has also been linked to a reduction in ADHD symptoms, a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s and lower blood pressure.
Blueberries: A powerful antioxidant, blueberries support the areas of the brain that are responsible for learning and memory. In addition to powering up your cognitive functions (they’ve been proven to improve concentration in school-age children), consuming blueberries may also reduce the effects of aging. In one study, elderly participants who ate blueberries daily were nearly 2.5 years younger cognitively, while other studies have demonstrated that they may reduce the symptoms of dementia.
Chocolate: When we’re stressed, we intuitively reach for our secret chocolate stash—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Eating dark chocolate in small to moderate quantities daily can reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. So, as it turns out, chocolate is good for the soul—not that we ever thought any differently.
Oatmeal: The ultimate comfort food on a cold day, oatmeal doesn’t just warm your insides—it actually makes you happier by promoting healthy serotonin levels. Stay away from the instant oatmeal variety and stick to the coarse cut kind; it’s higher in fibre and takes longer to digest, which also means its calming effects will last longer.
Avocado: Avocado is another superfood that’s having its moment, if you will, and finding its way onto greeting cards, t-shirts and hipster tote bags. Its image isn’t the only thing that seems to make people happy, though—eating it does, too. Rich in vitamin B6 and B5, avocado helps fight fatigue, chronic stress and depression, which is definitely something to smile about.