The 10 Super-Foods You Should Never Be Without!

Garlic

Safe, easy and effective, garlic is considered one of Mother Nature’s antibiotics because of its antimicrobial effect within the body. Thanks to a compound called allacin, this smelly little powerhouse proves effective in killing off a variety of bacteria, viruses and parasites. Garlic is also known as a carminative, meaning that it stimulates digestion and absorption of nutrients by warming the digestive tract. Chalk-full of antioxidants such as vitamin c, flavoniods and sulphur, garlic keeps free radicals from damaging our bodies. The sulphur and vitamin c offer another beauty bonus… the vitamin c protects our skin from free radicals (good-bye wrinkles) and boosts skin’s collagen production, (hello plumped-up, healthy-looking skin!) while the sulphur stimulates skin tissue repair.
 

Green Tea

Research studies have shown that drinking 2 cups green tea a day (space out those two cups for greater absorption) helps to boost production of detoxifying compounds that neutralize cancer-causing substances. For this, give thanks to one of green tea’s most potent antioxidants, epigallocatechn gallate (EGCG).
 
 
 

Kale

This dark, leafy green, which can be eaten raw or cooked, is an essential item to grab each time you hit the grocery store. A compound called isothiocyantes stimulate natural detoxifying enzymes in the body, while diindolylmethane protects against numerous cancers. Add a pinch of selenium to protect against free radicals, and you got a green superstar!
 
 
 

Beets

Do you feel like your poor liver has been through the ringer lately? Never fear… beets are here!!! Both the roots a nd tops are highly effective liver detoxifiers and well as blood-builders. Not only that, they aid in digestion and stimulate the kidneys and the lymphatic system, both very important areas of detoxification in our bodies. Juicing proves to be easy and effective, though if you do not have a juicer handy, make like those smart Ukrainians and make a big pot of borscht!
 
 

Salmon

Omega-3-fatty acids cleanse the circulatory system and reduce blood viscosity, reducing “bad” cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, thus preventing heart attacks and strokes. Known for their moistening and lubricating properties within the body, omega-3s support healthy cognitive function, reduce joint inflammation and cushion degenerative cartilage. An added beauty bonus will be your moisturized skin, your strong nails and your long, shiny hair. Score!
 
 

Walnuts

For all the vegetarians out there, I have not forgotten about you! You need not be denied the glorious benefits of omega-3s simply because you do not eat salmon. Chow down on walnuts instead and go are good to go!

 
 
 

Apples

The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” might actually be true. Apples contain quercetin, a potent flavoniod which has been shown to reduce histamine in the body. This is especially helpful for anyone looking to moisten the lungs and protect against asthma, allergies or cigarette smoking. Apples also contain malic and tartaric acids, which help to maintain a healthy digestive tract.
 
 

Blueberries

Packed with antioxidants to combat free radicals, blueberries are a sweet treat that you can feel good about. Sprinkle some on top of your oatmeal, add to a salad (combines beautifully with walnuts for this purpose) or use them to make a healthy shake on those mornings when you need some extra shut-eye.
 
 
 

Yogurt

Okay, right off the bat; the best yogurt to eat is plain yogurt with a certain amount of fat in it. Sugared and zero-fat varieties need not apply, as sugar creates insulin imbalance and zero-fat yogurt robs us of all the calcium that yogurt provides. Without the fat, calcium cannot be metabolized by our bodies. Another reason plain yogurt is such a super-star is the large dose of probiotics it provides, which maintains healthy bacterial flora in the stomach.
 
 

Water

Okay, okay, so this is not really a super-food, but we all need the reminder. Adequate consumption of water is critical to a healthy body. Without water, every process in our bodies take a hit, resulting in fatigue, headaches, mental confusion, anxiety and heart palpitations.

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About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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