Top 5 Superfoods for Optimal Health: From Your Gut to Your Brain
Superfoods are whole foods from nature that are loaded with phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to boost the immune system and fight illnesses. They also keep energy levels up, joint pain down, and promote healthy, glowing skin. When superfoods are used strategically, they can promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria to encourage brain health, focus, motivation, and concentration.
We have come to learn that we are comprised of more bacteria than we are comprised of cells at a 10:1 ratio. We are still discovering how profound that information is and what control bacterial cells have over our wellbeing, but we think it’s safe to say it’s a powerful one. That’s why we love and use superfoods for health support, gut balance, and brain function.
With so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know what will yield the best results. Should you add a super greens or greens powder to your smoothie? Are there a superfoods powder you can add to your coffee, or some fruit and vegetable supplements you can take daily?
Green supplements, green superfood powder, super products, the list goes on and on. That’s why we made this shortlist of the top superfoods for health to support you from your gut to your brain. Before we get into that, let’s discuss the gut and how it thrives best.
Prebiotic vs Probiotic
There is a powerful link between good bacteria and good gut health. The “good” bacteria do more than just support digestion. They also regulate weight, influence mood, metabolism, and the immune system, all while keeping harmful bacteria in check.
Although probiotics have been a hot topic for a while now, they are inefficient without prebiotic. The right combination will lead to a stronger, more resilient gut, better digestion regulation, and improve the immune system overall.
Let’s now discuss the difference.
Prebiotic help keep a balance of good bacteria and serve as food for the good probiotic bacteria. They pass through the small intestine undigested, then travel to the large intestine where they ferment.
Fermented prebiotic is necessary for the gut to fuel the good bacteria and help them replicate. Prebiotic can be thought of as a fertilizer of sorts, providing valuable nutrients to feed good probiotic bacteria and ensuring a diverse microbiome.
Some key benefits of prebiotic are nutrient absorption, fat metabolism, and immunity.
- Jicama Root
Probiotic are the good gut bacteria found in the intestines. They produce vitamins, digest food, and destroy harmful microorganisms that weaken the body.
The gut biome of humans consists of roughly 100 trillion bacteria cells. 10 times more than there are human cells in the body if you remember from earlier. Some would say the gut biome functions as its own organ within the body.
Gut bacteria control the mind, mood, appetite, and stress levels, so it’s vital to keep a proper balance in check.
Probiotic can be found in a variety of supplemental forms, but there are also food sources that we recommend.
- Grass-fed yogurt (raw if you can find it)
Now that you understand how to keep the gut balanced, let’s discuss what foods it thrives off of.
5 Superfoods for Gut Health
Berries are abundant with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. A nutritional powerhouse, if you will. When combined with other therapies, berries are effective in treating various digestive ailments and immune-related disorders.
Garlic works as an antimicrobial and anti-fungal agent. It is rich in vitamins B complex, C, phosphorus, selenium, calcium, zinc, potassium, sulfur, and allicin. Garlic is effective at detoxing the body, it helps maintain gut flora balance, reduces LDL cholesterol, boosts immune function, is a liver and bile cleanser, a natural antibiotic, and dispels intestinal parasites.
Ginger is rich in a multitude of vitamins like B complex, vitamin C, potassium, copper, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Ginger stimulates digestion, helps promote circulation, alleviates nausea, is a cleansing agent, has calmative effects, and is anti-inflammatory. Ginger’s main bioactive compound is gingerol, which is responsible for a large majority of its medicinal properties and has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Cacao has been cultivated since 1900 BC off the Pacific coast of modern-day Chiapas, Mexico. It is an integral part of our society, being the foundational component of the beloved chocolate bar.
Cacao (and chocolate) contain prebiotic fibers that our gut craves. Some beneficial bacteria can ferment it into short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate and acetic acid, which help fight off harmful microbes and fortify the gut barrier against invaders and harmful antigens.
Due to the instability of travel for cacao, it is not easy to find in its raw form. The two most common ways to consume it are in a chocolate bar or by adding a superfood powder to your coffee or smoothie.
Wild Cocoa Powder is an organic superfoods powder that makes a quick and delicious addition to shakes, smoothies, or your morning coffee.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are an abundant source of nutrients including zinc, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, and fiber. They contain high levels of carotenoids, which are anti-inflammatory compounds that have the potential to protect against certain illnesses.
Dark leafy greens support the immune system, fight belly bloat, relieve stress, make your skin glow, improves the inflammation response, boost digestive enzymes, protect the brain, support healthy aging, and generally support optimal gut health.
If kale or spinach isn’t your thing, you can always opt for green supplements or a green superfood powder, such as Wild Super Greens.
Foods to Avoid
Wheat and grains have come a long way from their origins. The way they are structured today: modified, adulterated, and hybridized form contains a significant amount of gluten that is less digestible and tolerable than it once used to be.
Gluten and grains are highly inflammatory. They lead to brain fog, bloating, painful joints, intestinal permeability, and a reduction in gut biome diversity.
When it comes to sugar in foods these days, it’s like we’re playing a reverse Where’s Waldo. Sugar is everywhere and hidden in everything. Fruit juices, sports drinks, greens powders, snack bars, salad dressings, you name it.
Sugar affects blood sugar and may lead to late day energy crashes. It is also highly addictive and has a powerful pull over the mind, making it difficult to quit.
When sugar enters the bloodstream, our body secretes insulin. The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body will release. This is a hallmark of causing obesity and being overweight. To reduce the insulin in the blood, the body must release a cascade of other hormones to regulate blood sugar levels. The more frequently you consume sugar, the more often this cascade happens. It’s a lot of work for the body and it’s detrimental to health.
Related: Tribe Chat About Sweeteners
Alcohol has health consequences on many levels. From a hormonal perspective, consuming alcohol interferes with glucose regulation (similar to sugar), which disrupts hormone balance. This can lead to systemic and widespread inflammation, which is now known to be one of the most common causes of disease and health conditions.
Alcohol disrupts gut bacteria balance, is a neurotoxin, and alters the normal activity of the nervous system, which can damage nerve tissue and even kill neurons.
Processed food should not be looked at as Real Food. It is nutritionally devoid of nutrients, generally high in sugar, and is associated with obesity and metabolic diseases. Processed foods are made in laboratories and usually contain food colorings, hydrogenated oils, and are typically highly addictive.
When processed food breaks down in the gut, it provides food and energy for all the bad gut bacteria we don’t want. This leads to an overgrowth of bad bacteria and a reduction in beneficial bacteria. Additionally, the constituents in processed foods, such as food colorings and additives, are known irritants to the digestive system that cause inflammation and increase intestinal permeability and decrease nutrient absorption.
Cooking oils such as canola oil, vegetable oil, corn, soy, peanut, and flax oil are all unstable oils with powerful inflammatory properties. They should be avoided at all costs.
High-quality fats like ghee, grass-fed butter, avocado oil, cocoa butter, and MCT oil are much more stable and provide many health benefits.
Related: What Are The Healthiest Cooking Oils? THE TOP 5 HEALTHY FATS
Wild Foods Superfoods
Super Greens Powder
Wild Super Greens is a green superfood powder with 3-way digestive support. It is formulated with prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes to support digestion by balancing gut health and encouraging nutrient absorption. Many claim it is the best green superfood powder they’ve yet to try! Learn all about greens in our Wild Guide.
Wild Turmeric comes in extract capsules or as an organic superfoods powder.
Turmeric root powder has been used for medicinal purposes and as a cooking spice throughout Asia for thousands of years. It is one of the most medicinally potent foods we have on earth. It is full of antioxidants, manganese, iron, copper, potassium, vitamin B6, and fiber.
The extract capsule is not only potent with curcumin but combined with black pepper extract to increase bioavailability. It is often used to support joint health, circulation, and digestion.
Wild Cocoa Powder is a non-alkalized, chemical-free superfood powerhouse. It is hand-crafted using artisan techniques without solvents or harsh high-heat processes. It is grown in the ideal high-altitude climate, making it a superior product to many others in the market.
You can cook with it, bake with it, use it as a superfood powder for smoothies and shakes, add it to coffee, or top yogurt bowls with it. It is loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Wild Prebiotic/Probiotic with Enzymes is a fruit and vegetable supplement for men and women alike.
It supports a healthy digestive system, boosts beneficial gut flora, and reduces gas and bloating. It provides essential digestive enzymes that promote gut, hair, and skin health.