These dynamic dozen are “perhaps the most nutritionally dense, bang-for-your-buck super foods nature has to offer,” according to functional diagnostic nutritionist and trainer Andrew Terman of Bradenton’s Fit Crew. “There are many more powerful foods naturally available, but here are the 12 highlights.”
1. Organic Pastured (not pasteurized) Eggs "Just one egg contains nine essential amino acids—the highest-quality protein you can find," says Terman.
2. Kale Beneficial to your stomach, liver, lungs and immune system. Also an excellent source of nutrients including vitamins A, B, and C, calcium and iron.
3. Wild Alaskan Salmon High levels of the essential, animal-based omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA—nutrients that are significantly lacking in most Americans' diets.
4. Organic Grass-Fed Kefir Boosts immunity and increases energy. Fermentation adds a ton of beneficial micro-organisms, making the food easier to digest and helping your body maintain balanced, healthy "gut flora," says Terman.
5. Avocado Most Americans are seriously deficient in the kind of healthful fat that's abundant in avocados. They also provide fiber, potassium (twice the amount of a banana), Vitamin E, and more.
6. Organic Coconut Oil Half of the fat content in coconut oil is lauric acid—a fat rarely found in nature. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Coconut oil can also increase the activity of your thyroid.
7. Blueberries Of all berries, blueberries contain the most potent antioxidants. And blueberries are very high in fiber and relatively low in calories.
8. Organic Grass-Fed Butter Believe it: "Butter is an excellent source of nutrients," says Terman, including vitamin A, copper, selenium, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and healthful fats that boost metabolism and are required for healthy brain and skin function.
9. Grass-fed Beef Grass-fed beef contains exponentially more omega 3 fats than regular beef and averages about 100 fewer calories (per six-ounce serving).
10. Macadamia Nuts Among the healthiest nuts, offering protein, fiber and many other vitamins and minerals, plus the best ratio of omega-3 (good fat) to omega-6 (bad fat) of any nut.
11. Broccoli Incredibly rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, low in calories.
12. Whey protein A byproduct of milk and cheese, whey protein concentrate is a rich source of amino acids. It's also the best food for maximizing your glutathione ("the master antioxidant") levels. To be the proper quality, whey protein must be derived from grass-fed cows, cold pressed, free of hormones, chemicals, artificial sweeteners and sugar.