In recent years, plant-powered ingredients from super foods and whole foods have gained wide attention and popularity because of their benefits. These ingredients nourish our bodies with nutrients, antioxidants and studies have shown that they have the amazing ability to balance our body pH, thanks to their alkaline forming properties.
Scroll down to find out what are the best super foods and whole foods to eat every day. For consumers convenience, they come in powder, capsules, liquid and tablet form.
Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are full of important nutrients. They are an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide dietary fibre, iron, and calcium (Bruna de Falco, et al. 2017)¹.
Spirulina is a microalga popularly known as a superfood due to its great diversity and concentration of nutrients. It is made up of almost 60% complete and highly digestible protein; it contains all essential amino acids. It is the best whole food source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Furthermore, it is rich in B vitamins, minerals, trace elements, chlorophyll, and enzymes (Capelli, Bob & Cysewski, Gerald. 2010)².
Chlorella is a green microalga with biological and pharmacological properties beneficial to us. Chlorella has a long history of use as a food source because it contains both macro and micronutrients such as protein, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, vitamins, and minerals (Yunes Panahi, et al. 2015)³.
Blue-green algae (BGA), is a cyanobacteria found in aquatic ecosystems. BGA are nutritious natural products rich in essential amino acids, γ-linolenic acid (GLA), fibres, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorous, iron, pigments such as β-carotene, xanthophylls, and chlorophyll, and other bioactive compounds (Ku, Chai Siah et al. 2013)⁴.
Carrot is packed with antioxidants such as carotenoids, flavonoids, polyacetylenes, vitamins and minerals, all of which possess numerous nutritional and health benefits. Carotenoid in carrots are potent antioxidants which can neutralize the effects of free radicals. (Dias, João. 2014)⁵.
Cucumber is a rich source of valuable nutrients and bio-active compounds and is used not only as food but also in cosmetology. It is rich in polyphenolics and cucurbitacins, that are known to possess multiple biological activities such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other health benefits (T. G. G. Uthpala et al. 2020)⁶.
Pumpkin offers a wide range of health benefits including vitamins, mineral and other healthy nutrients. Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant.
Spinach is a vegetable high in nutritional value. It is a good source of vitamins B6, riboflavin, folate, niacin, soluble dietary fibre, omega 3-fatty acid and minerals. Spinach is also rich in vitamin A, C and K, magnesium, iron, and manganese. (Tahseen Fatima Miano. 2016)⁷.
Asparagus is rich in protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, and the contents are ﬁve times higher than that of the other vegetables (Hu, 2000)⁸. In the Traditional Chinese Medicine book called Compendium of Materia Medica, asparagus contains a variety of bioactive phytochemicals, including bioactive polysaccharides, steroidal saponins, ﬂavonoids, dietary ﬁbre and bioactive oligosaccharides (Fuentes-Alventosa et al., 2013)⁹.
Red bell peppers contain up to twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits do. (Muhammad Nadeem et al. 2013)¹⁰. Bell peppers also contain large quantities of phenolic compounds or flavonoids called quercetin, luteolin, and capsaicinoids (Chávez-Mendoza, C. et al. 2015)¹¹. The consumption of these bioactive compounds provide beneficial effects to human health due to their antioxidant properties (Chávez-Mendoza, C. et al. 2015)¹¹.
Acerola is one of the richest natural source of ascorbic acid (about 50–100 times more than orange or lemon) and contains a host of other phytonutrients like carotenoids phenolics, anthocyanins, and flavonoids. Having a reservoir of phytonutrients, acerola exhibits high antioxidant capacity (Prakash, A., & Baskaran, R. 2018)¹².
Flax seed has become known as a functional food due to its nutritional composition. It contains good amounts of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), omega-3 fatty acid, protein, dietary fibre and lignan (Rajju Priy et al. 2017)¹³. Flax seed’s dietary fibre exhibits positive effect to reduce constipation and to keep better bowel movement (Ganorkar, Pravin. 2013)¹⁴.
Brown rice is a good source of nutrients like minerals, vitamin B and E, and fibre and nutraceuticals like oryzanol, phytosterols, and polyphenols that benefits health.
Bladderwrack is the common name for the seaweed Fucus versiculosus L., thallus. It is rich in iodine which supports thyroid health and other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and trace minerals.
Peppermint and Spearmint
Peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) is a prominent medicinal herb with strong antioxidant and health properties. It helps support the immune system and enhance appetite (Parv Nayak et al. 2020)¹⁵. Spearmint is a refreshing-smelling species of mint that contains vitamins, antioxidants, and vital nutrients.
Kale (Brassica oleracea Acephala group) is a leafy green vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae family. In the last decade, kale has gained the attention of the scientiﬁc community due to its high content of bioactive compounds such as vitamin C, pro-vitamin A, glucosinolates, phenolic antioxidants, dietary ﬁbre, micronutrients (iron, zinc and manganese) and macronutrients (Alejandro Becerra-Moreno et al. 2014)¹⁶.
Experience the nutritional power of super foods and whole foods to give your body the support and boost it needs to help you stay motivated, positive and strong.
de Falco, Bruna & Amato, Mariana & Lanzotti, Virginia. (2017). Chia seeds products: an overview. Phytochemistry Reviews. 15. 10.1007/s11101-017-9511-7.
Capelli, Bob & Cysewski, Gerald. (2010). Potential health benefits of spirulina microalgae*. Nutrafoods. 9. 10.1007/BF03223332.
Panahi, Yunes & Darvishi, Behrad & Jowzi, Narges & Nejat, Shirin & Sahebkar, Amirhossein. (2015). Chlorella vulgaris: A Multifunctional Dietary Supplement with Diverse Medicinal Properties. Current pharmaceutical design. 22. 10.2174/1381612822666151112145226.
Ku, C. S., Yang, Y., Park, Y., & Lee, J. (2013). Health benefits of blue-green algae: prevention of cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Journal of medicinal food, 16(2), 103–111. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2012.2468.
Dias, João. (2014). Nutritional and Health Benefits of Carrots and Their Seed Extracts. Food and Nutrition Sciences. 05. 2147-2156. 10.4236/fns.2014.522227.
Uthpala, T. G. G. & Marapana, Upul & Lakmini, Piyumi & Wettimuny, Devini. (2020). Nutritional Bioactive Compounds and Health Benefits of Fresh and Processed Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus L.). 10.13140/RG.2.2.17510.04161.
Tahseen, Fatima & Miano, Tahseen. (2016). NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF SPINACIA OLERAECEA SPINACH-AN OVERVIEW. international journal of life sciences ans review. 2. 172-174. 10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.IJLSR.2.
Hu, S. (2000). Asparagus-the king of vegetables. China Inspection and Quarantine, 46 [in Chinese].
Fuentes-Alventosa, J. M., Jaramillo-Carmona, S., Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, G., GuillénBejarano, R., Jiménez-Araujo, A., Fernández-Bolaños, J., et al. (2013). Preparation of bioactive extracts from asparagus by-product. Food and Bioproducts Processing, 91, 74–82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fbp.2012.12.004.
Nadeem, Muhammad & Anjum, Faqir & Khan, Moazzam Rafiq & Saeed, Muhammad & Riaz, Asad. (2013). Antioxidant Potential of Bell Pepper (Capsicum annum L.)-A Review. Pakistan Journal of Food Sciences. 21. 45-51.
Chávez-Mendoza, C., Sanchez, E., Muñoz-Marquez, E., Sida-Arreola, J. P., & Flores-Cordova, M. A. (2015). Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Grafted Varieties of Bell Pepper. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 4(2), 427–446. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox4020427.
Prakash, A., & Baskaran, R. (2018). Acerola, an untapped functional superfruit: a review on latest frontiers. Journal of food science and technology, 55(9), 3373–3384. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-018-3309-5.
Priy, Rajju & Katoch, Mittu & Kumar, Ashish & Csk, Verma & Pradesh, Himachal & Vishwavidyalya, Krishi. (2017). Flaxseed-composition and its health benefits. 10.13140/RG.2.2.35208.93448.
Ganorkar, Pravin. (2013). Flaxseed - A nutritional punch. International Food Research Journal. 20. 519.
Parv Nayak, Tankesh Kumar, AK Gupta, NU Joshi. (2020) Peppermint a medicinal herb and treasure of health: A review. J Pharmacogn Phytochem9(3):1519-1528. DOI: 10.22271/phyto.2020.v9.i3y.11525.
Alejandro Becerra-Moreno, Pedro A. Alanís-Garza, José Luis Mora-Nieves, Juan Pablo Mora-Mora &Daniel A. Jacobo-Velázquez (2014) Kale: An excellent source of vitamin C, pro-vitamin A, lutein and glucosinolates, CyTA -Journal of Food, 12:3, 298-303, DOI: 10.1080/19476337.2013.850743.