Whether you are trying to improve your diet as a New Year’s resolution or just like to keep your plate filled with the healthiest food choices-you’ll want to keep reading.  We’re going to look at the most nutrient dense foods out there and you may discover some have already been a regular at your dinner table. 

Berries pack quite a healthful punch for their tiny size and unlike other fruits, they tend to be less sugary and full of vital vitamins, minerals and those free-radical avenging antioxidants. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of an antioxidant known as anthocyanin.  All berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are rich in vitamin C, another free radical ravaging antioxidant known to boost our immune systems and help combat stress as well.  Berries are also rich in the cancer stopping compound, ellagic acid which detoxifies carcinogens and stimulates the activity of enzymes that fight cancer growth.  This duel action makes it that much more effective at blocking cancer when it tries to wreak havoc on your body.

Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth.   It’s high in fiber which helps prevent cancer, lowers cholesterol, reduces risk of heart disease, improves skin, helps maintain a healthy digestive system and reduces risk of stroke.  Broccoli also contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.  Mom was right, you should eat your broccoli if you want a healthy digestive system and to decrease your risk of cancer. 

Fresh spinach is rich in antioxidants, protein and fiber.  Antioxidants fight off free radical damage which causes cancers and age related diseases.  Protein help with tissue repair, provides energy and keeps our immune system functioning properly.  Fiber keeps our digestive system running smoothly, helps with weight management, lowers cholesterol, lowers your risk of cancer and heart disease. 

Kale is the most nutritious food, loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber and amino acids.  It’s also rich in important antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and K that reduce inflammation and can prevent cancer.  It has more iron than beef and per calorie, more calcium than milk.  Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, and proper liver function.  Calcium aids in preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. 

Chia seeds, used for centuries in Mayan and Aztec diets- have lost their popularity but not their health benefits.  They are rich in omega fatty acids that reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.  Two tablespoons contain two-thirds of the RDA of Fiber, which is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life since they last almost two years without refrigeration. Two tablespoons of chia seeds also contain 18% of theRDA for calcium, 35% for phosphorus, 24% for magnesium and about 50%for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.

Spirulina is a natural “algae” (cyanbacteria) powder that is incredible high in protein and nutrients. When harvested correctly from non-contaminated ponds and bodies of water, it is one of the most potent nutrient sources available. It is largely made up of protein (65%) and all essential amino acids.  It contains vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, B-9, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E. It is also a source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc.  It’s extremely high in Chlorophyll, which helps remove toxins from the blood and boost the immune system as well. 

So if these foods aren’t a regular in your diet yet-why not give them a shot?  They are the most nutrient dense foods available to us and will improve your health and vitality when eaten regularly.

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