The term superfoods gets thrown around a good deal lately, generally for things like antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, kale, spinach -- you name it, it's probably got some "superfood" properties according to someone. There are, however, some other less-heard-of items that you should be incorporating into your diet because, well, they're super when it comes to health benefits. What are these secretive ultra-nutritious vittles we speak of? Well, allow us:
Wild Blue-Green Algae: Algae?! While no one would reach into the ocean and munch on a handful of it, new supplements and powered versions make it easier than ever to add this powerful superfood to your morning smoothie. Wild blue-green algae contains virtually every nutrient, while packing a 60% protein content and a more complete amino acid profile than beef or soy beans. When it's a part of a normal diet, it has been shown to improve brain function and memory, and strengthens the immune system.
Goji Berries: Forget botox and expensive anti-aging cremes, these little berries (pictured above) are the fountain of youth. A powerful anti-oxidant, they help reverse aging and protect against disease. They are very rich source of vitamin C, having 500 times more per ounce than oranges and more than any other fruit we currently know of. They are a superb source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E and contain a full complement of protein with 18 amino acids and 21 trace minerals.
Coconut oil: Are coconuts delicious to drink out of while sitting on the beach? Sure. But, even more delicious is that coconut oil will actually help you look better in that bikini! The oil speeds up your metabolism, so your body will burn more calories in a day which can help contribute to weight loss. Coconut oil supports healthy metabolic function and is a revered anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal agent. Pacific islanders deem coconut oil to be the cure-all gift from nature for all illness. Plus, the “coconut water” you are seeing pop up in stores everywhere is something you may want to get in on. The molecular structure of coconut water is identical to human blood plasma, which means that it is immediately recognized by the body and put to good use.
Aloe vera: There's a good chance this has been in your bathroom cabinet for years to help soothe a sunburn, but there is much more to this perennial succulent. It has over 75 healing compounds including natural steroids, antibiotic agents, amino acids, minerals and enzymes. Aloe vera has been used as a skin moisturizer, and healer for burns, cuts, bruises, acne and eczema -- but it’s also recommended as a delicious drink. Aloe juices alkalize the digestive tract, preventing over-acidity, a common cause of indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn and ulcers.
Raw Cacao: The Cacao bean, also known as the cocoa bean, is not just any old chocolate. The beans are the base for chocolate, but to get the true health benefits you need to get certified organic raw cacao in a powder, nib or whole bean form. Chocolate is created when the bean is heated to a temperature, but then most of the product's superfood power is ruined. Raw cacao beans are high in iron and magnesium, but take the cake for antioxidants with 14 times more flavonoids than red wine and 21 times more antioxidants than green tea. Say hello to cacao, and goodbye to your wrinkles!
Have any secret superfoods you eat? Share them in the comments!
As a dancer, Keltie Colleen appeared with the famous Radio City Rockettes and on tour with artists like Taylor Swift, Fergie and Beyoncé. Now a correspondent for CBS’s Omg!Insider, Keltie has interviewed dozens of established and aspiring rock stars, TV personalities and celebrities with her characteristic charm and cheeky personality. Her popular blog aprettyheart.com, and her book, Rockettes, Rockstars and Rockbottom, have been read by millions. She is a tireless and passionate supporter of To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit organization that aims to help young people dealing with self-harm, suicide and depression.