“The Top Ten Paleo Super Foods!”

paleo diet super foodsNot all foods are created equal..

Certain foods have proven themselves to be superior sources of nutrition.

Whether it’s because they’re packed full of disease fighting antioxidants –

Or because they supply a rich source of brain-boosting, joint-lubricating Omega-3 fats..

Either way, these foods are nature’s “all stars” and should be treated as such – always on the plate.

The Paleo diet itself could be considered a list of “super foods”, but these particular foods have been shown to provide the most beneficial nutrition calorie for calorie..

So without further adieu –  The Top Ten Paleo Super Foods:

dark chocolateSuper Food #10 – Dark Chocolate

Cocoa contains a potent mix of antioxidants and flavanoids that boost cardiovascular health while fighting off high blood pressure.

These are the same flavanoids normally found in fruit, wine, veggies, the coffee bean, and are very anti inflammatory.

This isn’t a free pass to go to town on overly-sweetened chocolate candy..

Moderation is key here. Have just a few squares a day of at least 80 percent pure dark chocolate, and get all the benefits this delicious super food has to offer!

kiwiSuper Food #9 – Kiwi:

OK – Which fruit do you think has the highest amounts of the all-important Vitamin C? Oranges? Nope.. It’s the Kiwi fruit.

This little super fruit doesn’t get enough credit. Not only is it delicious and packed full of Vitamin C, but it’s also a great source of Vitamin E.

While most of us know all about the importance of Vitamin C, and it’s vital role in immune system health, many forget to keep Vitamin E levels optimal. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that provides defense from free radicals, that are associated with many chronic illnesses and diseases.

Another great thing about Kiwi is it’s fiber content. Having adequate fiber helps with glucose management in the body, so if your going to be eating fruit – having the extra fiber is a great aid in utilizing those delicious kiwi calories for energy, rather than storing them as fat.

cherriesSuper Food #8 – Cherries:

These delicious fruit are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties.. and for that reason, they’re one of the primary supplements taken to ward off gout and arthritis – conditions directly related to inflammation.

As an additional benefit, cherries serve as a great natural “pre-workout”. Recent studies show that cherry juice speeds up the muscle recovery process after intense training sessions. Probably an extension of it’s powerful anti inflammatory powers!

Have some cherry juice with a scoop of whey protein isolate before, or after your workout to not only fuel your workout, but also recover from it.

coconutoilSuper Food #7 – Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, nature’s most potent source of lauric acid, has long been noted for it’s high levels of heart healthy MCTs, which is a specific type of fat that also happens to be very antimicrobial and anti-viral. A welcomed boost for your immune system.

The lauric acid found  in coconut oil is also highly concentrated in breast milk, and acts as one of the main support mechanisms for the babies immune system. Interestingly, lauric acid converts in the body, into “monolaurin” which is used to treat HIV patients and has shown some promising results.

What’s more.. Coconut oil is ideal for people looking to lean up, and lose body fat. Thanks to it’s high levels of MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides, coconut oil has been associated with increasing the bodies ability to process long chain fatty acids – Great news when your trying to drop those last few pounds.

seaweedSuper Food #6 – Seaweed

In recent years, it has come to light just how deficient in iodine the average American is. What’s more – There is increasing evidence that sufficient iodine  levels are critical in the fight against cancer – we need all the help we can get in that fight.

The goods news is, thanks to rise in popularity of sushi here in the U.S. most people have fresh seaweed salad, the best natural source of iodine, available to them in the deli section of their local supermarket! It’s cheap and it tastes great, it’d be foolish to not include this food in your diet.

That’s not all.. this super sea vegetable also helps with hypothyroidism, which is a main contributing factor in America’s obesity epidemic. A diet over-flowing with simple-processed carbs has many people’s thyroids ( insulin regulators ) basically “shot”, for a lack of a better term.

In short? – Eat seaweed. It helps your thyroid and defends against cancer. Thank us later.

blueberriesSuper Food #5 – Blueberries

Blueberries are a true super food.

They’re one of the most concentrated sources of antioxidants that nature has to offer, which explains why they’re at the very top of the ORAC scale.

The ORAC scale is used to rate the antioxidant levels of foods, and while it’s effectiveness has been debated, it’s a good way to compare anti-inflammatory properties of foods.

The deep blue color of blueberries, is representative of their strong antioxidant properties. This blue pigment that gives them color, is the same compound that is so beneficial for us – These are called Anthocyanins, and are also what’s responsible for the health benefits of red wine.

Blueberries have recently been used by doctors to treat different forms of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’sand dementia. The blueberries are said to help rehabilitate brain function.

free range eggsSuper Food #4 – Free Range Eggs

Eggs are a food in which quality is of particular importance, and here’s why..

Chickens that are allowed to truly roam free and feed on their natural diets of grubs, worms, and other various insects, produce a nutritionally superior egg, compared to those of chickens fed mostly grain based diets.

Naturally fed eggs will be full of Vitamin D and Omega-3 fats, and amino acids. A powerful combination that supports just about every important function in the human body from hormone production, to having healthy hair and skin.  Much like corn fed beef, grain fed chicken eggs are lacking in many of these aforementioned nutrients.

Look around locally for farm raised eggs and compare them to the super market eggs. You’ll be able to tell the difference between the two just by taste, but you can also simply crack them in a pan, side by side – The yolks of the the healthier, more Omega-3 rich eggs, will be a visibly darker orange than the other eggs.

This dark-orange yolk is where a large portion of the eggs precious vitamins are, so be sure and eat the whole egg not just the egg whites.. Else, you’ll be throwing away the best part of the egg! So don’t fear eating healthy fats because there are far  better ways to manage body fat.

Besides, all of the vitamins this super food provides, it also give you one of the most bio-available, or “usable” proteins available.

kaleSuper Food #3 – Kale

Including supplying the body with a good dose of Vitamins C, K, and A – Kale is also jam packed with a particularly beneficial class of phytonutrient called  sulforaphane.

Ignore the fancy scientific jargon..  What you need to know is that these phytonutrients have garnered a lot of attention lately because of their purported cancer fighting properties.

Kale is another antioxidant packed food that ranks high on the QRAC scale. All in all – Kale is one of the most nutritionally dense foods you can eat, and should be a regular part of everyone’s diet.

Try a kale and seaweed salad, topped with cut up kiwi fruit for one of the tastiest and healthiest things you could eat!

grass fed beef Super Food #2 – Grass Fed Beef

Red meat has gained a somewhat negative reputation for itself in recent years. Many experts say the fat content in beef has a negative impact on health, and is in one of the primary contributing factors in America’s battle with inflammatory related disease.

That may be true, but they’re missing an important point..

That beef the average American consumes isn’t the same beef our ancestors ate. Due to the corn feeding practices used by most all commercial cattle farms, the beef in most grocery isles are completely lacking in the very thing that makes beef so healthy – Omega-3 fats.

Corn fed beef is almost entirely stripped of Omega-3 fats, while retaining it’s Omega-6 fat profile. Omega fat ratios that are tilted heavily to the Omega-6 side of the scale are associated with high levels of inflammation.

BUT – Beef in it’s natural, intended form, with abundant amounts of Omega-3 fats, is by far one of the best protein and fat sources you can eat. Packed with tons of amino acids, creatine, fats, etc.. Grass fed beef should be a staple in any serious Paleo dieters eating plan.

salmonSuper Food #1 – Wild Caught Salmon

Hopefully by now, you know the importance of getting plenty of Omega-3 rich foods in your diet.

When you’re talking Omega-3 fats, salmon is more than one of nature’s all stars, it’s the MVP. The source of salmon’s Omega-3 concentrations can be traced back to it’s natural diet containing krill and plankton, which is known for it’s rich Omega content.

The krill not only nourishes the salmon with this healthy compound, but that’s what also gives the fish it’s deep reddish orange coloring. Compare that to farm raised salmon that is completely absent of that rich coloring, and is instead a pale grayish color. It is then dyed to appear more like a healthy fish that fed on a natural diet of krill and plankton.

It would be a wise to get into the habit of including at least 2-3 servings of wild caught salmon each week.

A quick reminder..

Not only is the type of food important, but the source and/or quality of the food is important. Small farm raised and harvested foods are not only more nutrient dense.. but also don’t contain many of the nasty chemicals that many commercial farm foods do. This is especially true for your proteins like beef, salmon, and eggs.

Valuable healthy fats are missing from the commercial farmed foods.. I think it’s safe to say that salmon that thrive on a natural diet of Omega-3 rich plankton and krill, are going to be nutritionally superior to salmon that were raised on a diet of corn?

Are we really feeding salmon corn? Is this real life?

If you’re interested in eating foods that have been fed they’re intended diets, it’s easy –  just support your local small farmers! If you don’t know where to start with that, there’s a great website that helps you find small farms in your area.

OK, Your turn – What are some foods that you think definitely qualify as “Paleo Super Foods”, that didn’t make the cut?

Let us know in the comments section below..

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Comments

  1. Are you kidding me or is this for real? Aren’t good foods usually horrible to eat? They usually taste bad or they’re extremely expensive. The top ten paleo super foods are mostly very good in taste and they’re not all that expensive either. Unfortunately I hate kale and seaweed, but I’ll find a way to eat them. Grass fed beef and wild caught salmon are very expensive and I know this because I bought them before. Even so, you’ve got to make the effort and monetary investment to improve your health. Ain’t nothing free in life.

    • Shane Dark says:

      The funny thing about the Paleo diet, is when you actually stop eating the junk foods.. You don’t miss them, because you’re not on some miserable diet that limits the amount of food you can eat. Not to mention.. Fruit is a big part of the Paleo diet, so you do get to satisfy that sweet tooth most of us have!

  2. Shane Dark says:

    I gotta say.. As great as Kale is, it was very much an acquired taste for me.. It can be borderline bitter sometimes!

  3. I put kale in shakes with coconut milk, blueberries, sunflower butter, stevia and vanilla extract.

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