5 Superfoods That Belong in Your Diet

By Mark Hyman, M.D.

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Mark Hyman, M.D.

I realize “superfood” carries a certain hype, but some foods do earn that status. Food is medicine, and some foods are more powerful medicines than others. Food is the most powerful tool to create optimal health. Food is the first and most powerful drug in my arsenal to treat patients. These five superfoods are examples of foods that you should incorporate into your eating plan for optimal health and wellness.

Superfood #1: Seeds

My three favorite seeds are chia, hemp, and flaxseeds. You can add all three super seeds to smoothies, puddings, or on top of coconut yogurt with berries. Let’s look at their benefits.

Chia Seeds: Provide an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that have numerous benefits, including glowing skin and mental clarity. Just one ounce of chia seeds packs a whopping 10 grams of fiber. Its insoluble fiber acts as a prebiotic that feeds friendly gut bacteria and ferments into short-chain fatty acids to support gut health. Chia seeds also contain more protein than most plant foods. And they contain more calcium than milk.

Hemp Seeds: Provide healthy omega-3 fats, protein, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and iron.

Flaxseeds: Another great source of omega-3 fats, dietary fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Flaxseeds have powerful, anti-cancer, hormone-balancing phytonutrients called lignans. Freshly ground flaxseed sprinkled into a smoothie is an excellent way to ease constipation.

Superfood #2: MCT Oil

Medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs are a special type of fatty acid derived from coconut oil. You can get them in coconut oil or as a stand-alone oil. I’ve written about how studies show MCT oil can help with weight loss, cognitive ability and much more. This super fuel becomes an instant-energy source because MCTs get rapidly burned and metabolized very efficiently, absorbing directly into the gut and then liver, so MCTs don’t get stored as fat.

You can add MCT oil to smoothies, coffee, or veggies. MCTs also provide powerful antioxidant support to strengthen the immune system. Animal studies show MCTs also benefit liver and gut function.

Superfood #3: Glucomannan

Fiber is vital for so many reasons, including feeding friendly gut bacteria. Studies show fiber can prevent obesity, reduce risk for chronic diseases, and decrease aging. That’s because fiber slows the rate food enters your bloodstream and increases the speed of food exiting through the digestive tract.

Dietary fiber also helps balance blood …read more

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