A while back I did research on super foods. I used the Google to find all of the credible sites that had lists of superfoods, some were top 10 lists, or top 25, even top 100. I compared them all to each other, and compared which foods appeared the most, and which were most consistently at the top.
I then made a list of the top 25 foods, and what I discovered is that many of the lists disagreed and contradicted each other, but without fail two foods topped the list… always.
The two super foods at the top of all these lists are berries and green leafy vegetables.
Since then, I have done my best to get a cup of mixed berries every day, and 2-3 servings of green leafy veggies. The health benefits of this one single, simple habit can’t be over stated.
In this article I will dive into the various types of berries and greens, what makes them so super, and practical ideas on how you can add them to your own daily regimen.
It could be the single biggest health change you could make right now.
Here’s why. First of all, berries…
Berries. The healthiest food on the planet.
I’m sure there’s people out there that might argue with me. This is just based on my research. When I went through the list of all these experts who had itemized and categorized and put together the list of the healthiest foods, berries topped the list time after time after time.
What is it that makes berries so great?
First of all, they’re loaded with antioxidants which protect yourselves from free radical damage.
Secondly, they help improve blood sugar and insulin management. Something that is a major problem in societies. This is a wonderful advantage of berries.
They’re high in fiber.
- Raspberries: 11.9 grams of carbs, 6.5 of which are fiber
- Blackberries: 10.2 grams of carbs, 5.3 of which are fiber
- Strawberries: 7.7 grams of carbs, 2.0 of which are fiber
- Blueberries: 14.5 grams of carbs, 2.4 of which are fiber
They’re packed with nutrients.
Vitamin C, as a matter of fact, one cup of most mixed berries should have more than the RDA of vitamin C that a person needs. You don’t have to supplement vitamin C if you take a cup of berries every day.
Berries also contain a significant amount of:
Folate, which is basically a B, and they have a variety of different amounts of the B vitamins in berries.
Berries have anti-inflammatory properties.
Next, inflammatory is another major problem in our society. We have a product just to deal with anti-inflammatory. Mimi’s Miracle Turmeric is specifically designed to aid with joint pain.
Well, if you’re taking berries every single day, that would help a lot in your anti-inflammatory quest to keep down your joint pain and keep down inflammation.
If you are over the age of 40, and have joint pain, and are finding it harder and harder to “loosen up,” an incredible recipe for increased flexibility and lowered pain would be:
1. A cup of berries daily
2. Mimi’s Miracle Turmeric morning and night
3. 1500 MG of glucosamine chondroitin every morning.
I bet if you try it for a month you’ll never go back. Moving on…
Berries also may help lower cholesterol. The research is not conclusive on that, but most researchers agree they probably do lower your cholesterol.
Berries reduce your risk of cancer. This one is unarguable. All the research points to this. We would all love to avoid cancer. Getting a cup of berries. And by the way, a cup of berries is the serving size. You know, sprinkling a few on your salad is nice, but what we’re shooting for here is trying to get an entire cup.
Another advantage of berries is they fit every diet imaginable. I don’t care what named Diet you’re on. Paleo, Keto, South Beach, high carb, high protein, high fat. It doesn’t matter. Berries will fit within every single type of diet that a person is trying to do. As a matter of fact, I would suggest that if a cup of berries doesn’t fit into your dietary protocol, you should probably rethink your dietary protocol.
Daily Superfood number two… green leafy vegetables.
Unfortunately, they, they’ve got a bad rep. There’s a lot of people out there that consider them rabbit food and hippie food. And I will admit I have said those things and thought those things in the past. But as I get older and appreciate my health more I now appreciate salads. But there is that stigma out there and we’ve just got to get over it because…
Green Leafy Veggies are super good for us.
Green leafy vegetables are very high in the B vitamins.
They burn fat. Now you may know that they’re low-calorie. A lot of people think that because of the low calorie nature of them they help burn fat, but in actual fact, green leafy vegetables have a direct fat burning effect. They work directly on the fat cells to reduce them.
The next benefit of green leafy vegetables is anti-aging. Here is a quote from the super life website.
“A study carried out at Rush University medical center reported a significant decrease in the amount of cognitive decline for those participants consuming higher amounts of dark green leafy vegetables. The researchers associated the high vitamin K, folate, beta-carotene and lutein present in these greens as influencing this anti-aging effect. Green’s antioxidants, brain protection, cellular support, anti-inflammatory benefits, and essential fatty acid nutritional contribution (in particular, the much-appreciated ALA omega-3 fatty acid) all contribute to anti-aging as well.”
Number four, they fight diabetes by managing glucose imbalances. We all should be thinking about and trying to manage our blood sugar and keeping diabetes at bay.
Number five, they feed your gut. According to Dr. Leach at the human food project, the high fiber content in plants provide substrates for Gut microbes to digest and that create byproducts that effect various gut metabolic activities including Ph balance, gut permeability, immune balance, bowel movements and so forth.
Failure to consume high amounts of plants in our diets leads to severe compromise in our gut microbial communities. We’re hearing more and more about our gut microbiome and one of the best things you could possibly do to improve that is get yourself some green leafy vegetables every day in your diet.
Number six. Green leafy vegetables act as a natural sunscreen. It’s part of the anti-aging effect that they have, they strengthen the cells so that the cells can reject those are harmful sun rays all by themselves and help prevent burns.
Number seven, they render carcinogenic toxins inert. This is huge. There are plenty of carcinogens in our environment and that get into our body and green leafy vegetables directly work against them.
Number eight, they build enzymes. Enzymes are catalysts in our body that help our health in many different ways and we get them naturally through these green leafy vegetables.
Eat a variety of greens.
One of the things you have to be careful of with green leafy vegetables is to not over consume one particular type of green. This is kind of an interesting thing, but there can be unwanted side effects from a lot of one particular green. Some greens bind calcium so your body can’t absorb it.
Now, I’ve heard this argument before, I know that over at greensmoothiegirl Robyn Openshaw has talked about this and said that get this effect you’d probably have to O.D. on the green leafy vegetables.
And in her book she talks about how her green vegetable of choices, spinach, is just so readily available, affordable, and it’s what goes in almost all her green smoothies.
So buyer beware on this one, making spinach a staple is the easiest way to go, but it’s better to add variety.
If spinach is your mainstay, try to mix in other things as well such as beet leaves, Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens, Kale, mustard greens (a little spicy), Parsley, green and red lettuce varieties, Romaine lettuce, and Swiss chard.
A word about buying organic.
You don’t have to buy everything organic, in my opinion. But these are two items that you’ve got to buy organic. And the reason why is because out of the dirty dozen, those foods that are most likely contaminated with pesticides, strawberries are number one. Spinach is number two. Kale is number three, cherries are number eight. The fact is green leafy vegetables and berries have very thin skins and the pesticides that are put on them stay on them and they get inside of them and they contaminate you. And so one great thing that’s happened the last few years is that as organic foods have gotten more popular, they’ve gotten more affordable.
For example, we keep bags of mixed organic frozen berries in our freezer all the time. It’s a staple in our house and honestly it costs about a dollar more than the regular bag of of berries. So it’s the same with with spinach, it’s a little bit more expensive, but it’s way worth it.
Here’s another tip for you. I already mentioned we keep them in the freezer. That’s a great tip. Both berries and green leafy vegetables go bad very quickly. Well, we not only keep frozen berries in our freezer, we actually freeze bags of spinach. We always have a frozen bag of spinach in the freezer. That may sound really weird to you, but again, the stuff goes bad so fast, right? Next thing you know, you’re filling up your sink with all these leaves and rinsing through and trying to get all those dark yucky ones out of there. Don’t tell me I’m the only one who’s ever done this? 😉
How to get more berries and green leafy veggies in your diet.
Buy those organic, premixed plastic containers of mixed greens at the grocery store.
Yes, it’s a little more expensive. But again, if they’re prewashed they’re so convenient that odds are a lot of people would eat more of them if it was convenient. And so you think to yourself, well, it’s five bucks for that. If I bought those things separately, it would be $3.
Well those containers last about a week, so five bucks a week for your health is not a bad investment. And so consider it from that point of view. It might be more expensive, but the convenience factor and the fact that you may actually do it makes it worth it.
Use home made dressings. Delicious and easy.
Have you ever tried balsamic vinegar and a good olive oil as a dressing? It’s so much healthier than the stuff that you’re buying at the grocery store. It’s easy to make too.
Or apple cider vinegar mixed with some olive oil or avocado oil.
Next tip, make smoothies. The easiest way to get a cup of berries and some dark green leafy vegetables is to make a smoothie out of it.
-1.5-2 cups water
-1 cup berries
– big handful green leaf vegetables
-Anything else you feel like it, including other fruits, coconut oil, flax seed or oil, chia seeds… you know the drill.
A green smoothie is an incredible delicious drink that is easy to make and has given you your servings of veggies and berries before you even leave your house in the morning.
So smoothies are just an incredible convenient way to go as far as getting more vegetables and fruit and other whatever else you’re going to put in there.
Tip number five, eat more salads. You know, one of the problems that we have with salads is typically iceberg lettuce is the main ingredient.
And there’s really no nutritional value in iceberg lettuce. The dark green is what we’re going for. That’s where the nutritional value is.
So have a salad with lunch instead of fries. The nutritional difference between fries as a side and a salad as a side is massive. If you’re at a decent restaurant, chances are it’s not going to be one of those awful iceberg lettuce salads. It’s going to be a healthy one. Even Wendy’s uses dark leafy greens in their salads.
I promise you if you add these two foods to your diet on a daily basis, you’ll have significant health benefits, not only because of all the health benefits that I mentioned, but the health benefits of getting these foods instead of whatever else you are going to have for breakfast or whatever else you are going to have for lunch.
So by getting rid of some negative foods that you are going to have and adding these highly nutritious foods. And instead that’s a huge step up in your game and you’re adding what I consider the two healthiest types of food on the planet into your diet every day.
There is no downside to this. Even if you don’t like green leafy veggies, or berries, you can still incorporate this habit by putting them in a smoothie, and flavoring it however you like.
To your health!
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