“Superfoods” are nutrient-rich foods that provide medicinal effects. Though no scientific criterion exists to determine a food’s superfood status, nutritionist and author of “Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future,” David Wolf describes them as natural foods containing multiple, potent health benefits. When consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet, superfoods may improve immune system function, prevent or help treat illnesses and reduce the physical signs of aging.
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Goji berries are nutrient-rich berries, grown throughout Asia. According to Wolf, goji berries can help reduce inflammation, improve digestion and promote healthy collagen production—proteins required for smooth, young-looking skin.
Acai is a bluish-colored berry native to Brazil. Acai is rich in antioxidants (disease-fighting nutrients) and essential fatty acids (EFAs)—healthy fats associated with positive heart health, brain function and, according to Wolf, anti-aging.
Low-Fat Dairy Products
Positive bone health promotes positive posture, which can lead to a more youthful appearance. Dairy products, such as low-fat milk and yogurt, provide lean protein, which supports lean muscle mass, and valuable amounts of calcium and vitamin D—nutrients vital to bone health.
Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale and mustard greens, provide valuable amounts of nutrients, including beta-carotene and lutein—plant-based nutrients that support the health and appearance of eyes. The American Dietetic Association also recommends leafy greens as a valuable calcium-source for older adults.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers provide significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium. According to a study published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2001, elderly individuals in Greece and Sweden who consume diets rich in vitamin C develop markedly fewer wrinkles than those who do not.
Strawberries are also rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Strawberries are low-glycemic, meaning they have a mild impact on blood sugar levels, and serve as healthy alternatives to sugar-laden sweets.
Alaskan salmon is a cold-water fish that provides rich amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and iron. Salmon is also rich in niacin and vitamin B6—nutrients that promote the healthy appearance of skin.
Whole grains, such as whole wheat, bulgur, barley, oats, spelt, quinoa and long-grain rice, offer rich amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Natural health expert Andrew Weil, M.D. recommends whole grains as vital components of an anti-inflammatory diet that promotes healthy aging.
Flaxseed is a nutritious seed variety that provides EFAs and rich amounts of fiber. Flaxseed also serves as a valuable source of omega-3 fats for people who do not consume fatty fish regularly.
Avocados supply rich amounts of nutrients, including vitamin E—a nutrient associated with improved hair and skin tone. Monounsaturated fats in avocadoes are linked with improved heart health and reduced risk for a variety of conditions and disease.