Top 3 Superfoods for Amazing Weight Loss and Health Benefits
But those lists. I’ve seen lists of 20, 50, even 100 that include everything from Gogi berries to beef, eggs and even cheese.
So what’s going on here?
WHAT IS A SUPERFOOD, REALLY
The Oxford Living dictionary defines a superfood as “A nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.” 
In reality, there are no set criteria for determining what is, and what is not a superfood. The scientific community tends to shy away from using the word, even calling the it a ‘marketing term.’
“Superfoods don’t have their own food group,” said Despina Hyde, a registered dietician with the weight management program at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. “As a dietician, I think ‘superfood’ is more of a marketing term for foods that have health benefits.” 
But there is no doubt however, that adding more plant-based, nutrient-dense foods to our diets is a great way to get and stay healthy. Particularly here in North America.
Typically, a real superfood will have one or more of the following characteristics :
• antioxidants, thought to ward off cancer
• fiber, thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems
• phytochemicals, the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colors and smells, which can have numerous health benefits
• high concentration of vitamins and minerals
TOP 3 SUPERFOODS
New superfoods show up on the scene every season. They are typically exotic. And expensive.
But these three superfood classics will serve you no matter the season, phase of work, or nutrition goal like losing weight or gaining strength.
So what are they? I like to keep things simple. Let’s call them ‘The Three Bs’: Beans, Blueberries, Broccoli.
Forget the old-school perception of beans are somehow the poor-mans meal, hobo food etc. and the musical fruit (rinse them baby, you’ll take care of 90% of the issue.)
Beans should top your superfood list for many reasons, here are just the top 5:
- Beans are packed with protein to help build muscle! “About ½ cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat, or fish.” 
- They are heart healthy due to that soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. 
- Beans balance blood sugars: “With a low glycemic index, beans contain a beautiful blend of complex carbohydrates and protein.”
- They are nutrient-dense and loaded with phytochemicals including antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc. 
- Beans are a weight loss secret. Because they are metabolized slower than other complex carbs, “they may aid in weight loss by keeping us feeling full without being excessively high in calories.” 
Beans are also cheap, versatile, and convenient. Pop open a can, rinse, and serve!
Good options to start with are black, pinto, red, kidney and garbanzo beans. Move on to lentils when you’re ready, then, keep exploring.
As always, don’t forget to read labels to avoid additives like sugar, preservatives and fat.
Goji berries may be the superfood of the moment, but good old blueberries are still tops in my book.
In addition to being high in fiber and low in calores, here are the top 5 reasons blueberries make the cut:
- Antioxidants: These little wonders “protect our bodies from damage by free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage cellular structures and contribute to cellular damage, aging and diseases like cancer (2, 3). Blueberries are believed to contain the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.” 
- Heart health: “The antioxidants in blueberries, specifically anthocyanins, are associated with reduced risk of heart attack.” 
- Blood sugar regulation: Several studies have shown that blueberries have “anti-diabetic effects, helping to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.” 
- Reduced recovery time: exercise induced oxidative stress can cause muscle soreness and increased recovery time. Antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to reduce recovery time in athletes. 
- Brain power: A recent study suggests blueberries boost memory and concentration in children. Another study showed improved cognitive function in alzheimers and dementia patients. 
Berries in general are a terrific addition to any healthy, holistic diet. Keep it fresh and experiemetn with what is in seasons.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be exotic and $40 per pound to be a superfood.
Finally, the veggie your mother could never get you to eat. Turns out, she was right: it is great for you!
Broccoli is a good source of vitamins A, C, K, and folate as well as calcium, fibre, beta-carotene and other antioxidants like indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane.
And while Kale and Maqui berries and Chaga mushrooms are grabbing headlines, broccoli is making a comeback for good reason. Here are the top five reasons to give broccoli another look:
- Cancer crusher: Broccoli is loaded with vitamin C and folate: (which reduces the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and stroke)”
- Vitamin powerhouse: you won’t need to spend your cash on expensive vitamins when broccoli is loaded with vitamins A, C and K, as well as fiber, calcium and other minerals.
- Weight loss: the high fiber content in broccoli, as in all cruciferous veggies, will keep you fuller longer
- Blood pressure reduction: Broccoli has a good amount of calcium and is loaded with glutamic acid — which has been associated with reduced blood pressure.
- Heart Health: Broccoli is also fiber-rich, which can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. In addition, studies show broccoli stimulates thioredoxin production which protects the heart muscle from damage.
And a cancer bonus benefit: “Broccoli is a great source of the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane,” says nutritional therapist and kinesiologist Melanie Flower. “This increases the production of detoxification enzymes, which help the body rid itself of potentially carcinogenic substances.” 
A broccoli word of caution: if you’re on blood thinners, the vitamin K in broccoli can interfere with the medication. Be sure to talk to your doc about recommended servings of this superfood.
Blueberries are best fresh. I hardly ever soak my beans. Too much hassle. They are great straight from the can and rinsed.
And if you’re like me and not into raw broccoli, you can preserve the most benefit from your broccoli by limiting the time you expose it to heat. Steaming your broccoli in the microwave for 90 secs or until ‘al dente’ preserves the most nutrients.
Give these three a try. You can work them into just about any meal.
And let me know your favorite superfood recipe in the comments below!