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32 NUTRIENT-DENSE FOODS
WITH SUPERPOWERS

32 Nutrient-Dense
Superfoods and
their Benefits

32
NUTRIENT-DENSE
SUPERFOODS AND
THEIR BENEFITS

32 Nutrient-Dense
Superfoods and
their Benefits

32
NUTRIENT-
DENSE
SUPERFOODS
AND THEIR
BENEFITS

HIGH-POWERED SUPERFOODS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR HEALTH

Your goal of eating well is likely to feed your body so that it can do all the incredible living that you want to do. The fuel for your life matters, and just like fuel for an engine, there are different levels of fuel that you can choose. Going the supreme route—adding superfoods to your diet—will give you that added power you’re looking for.
 
What exactly are superfoods? Just like a superhero, superfoods have radically higher levels of power, brimming over in nutrient density that makes them the cream of the grocery-store crop. These foods have undeniable health benefits because of their high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And they’re your secret power to aging well and living your best.
 
In this guide, when we say superfood, we take into account three factors:
 

NUTRIENT DENSITY

These foods are not only nutritious, but extremely nutritious, with high levels of the nutrients your body needs.

BENEFIT VARIETY

A superfood isn’t a one-hit wonder. These foods provide a spectrum of nutrients, and thus a wide range of benefits.

ANTIOXIDANT CONTENT

Antioxidants are healing compounds that help fend off harmful free radicals, offering a balm for stress and aging. Superfoods are high in antioxidants.

Let’s be clear: Superfoods aren’t just berries and kale. There’s a plethora of superfoods, and we bet you probably have some of them in your fridge or kitchen cupboards right now.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

To help make sense of them all, we divide superfoods into nine categories: fruits, fungi, vegetables, ancient grains, proteins, fats, sweeters, nuts & seeds, and herbs & spices. You’ll find the vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant profile of each superfood, giving you a better sense of how to curate a multi-dimensional superfood diet. With this variety, you can pick and choose the most nutrient-dense foods that can help you with your specific goals: aging more slowly, repairing your body, maintaining your health, or healing from specific ailments.

01 | FRUITS

FRUITS

Let's be real—all fruits are good. As slow-digesting plant sugars, they are chock-full of nutrients and still give you the fulfilling sweet flavor we often crave. But some fruits are better than others—some fruit are absolute superfoods due to their abundance of antioxidants and vitamins.


POMEGRANATES


Pomegranates have more antioxidants than almost any other food, with three times the antioxidants of green tea or red wine. This fruit has long been associated in myth with longevity and fertility. Now, we’re discovering why. Pomegranates protect against Alzheimer’s and cancer, ease arthritis, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. They reduce oxidative stress, amping up fertility, healing, and sports performance.
 

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C, E, and K, Folate, and potassium

ANTIOXIDANTS

Polyphenols


GOJI BERRIES


These tiny berries, also known as wolf berries, have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over two millennia. They contain 11 amino acids—more than most fruits—and high quantities of powerful antioxidants, including carotenoids, lycopene, lutein, and polysaccharides. They’re also high in protein and fiber. Goji berries have been shown to inhibit the aging process and boost energy.
 

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C, A, B2, iron, copper, selenium, and zinc

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Carotenoids, lycopene
lutein, and polysaccharides

Carotenoids, lycopene
lutein, and polysaccharides


AÇAÍ


These purple berries grow on the acai palm in South and Central America. With an earthy taste that’s a cross between dark, unsweetened chocolate and blackberries, this fruit packs a punch. The berries are high in good fats and fiber. But their real superpower comes from their antioxidants—three times the antioxidants of blueberries!

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin A, trace amounts of chromium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins


BLUEBERRIES


Blueberries contain the same powerful antioxidants as acai, in amounts much higher than found in normal fruits. In fact, out of all the common fruits and veggies, blueberries are the king of antioxidants, reducing DNA damage, lowering bad cholesterol and blood pressure, and even improving memory and brain function.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C, K, and manganese

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Flavonoids (particularly anthocyanins)

Anthocyanins

02 | FUNGI & ALGAE

FUNGI & ALGAE

Fungi and algae are unlike almost everything else we eat. Not vegetables or plants, these earthy crops and tiny organisms boast high levels of vitamin D—and have been used medicinally for centuries. And if we've learned anything about vitamin D recently, is its importance in the body to help fight off illness, not to mention its converter-properties to help increase absorption of other vitamins and minerals.


CHLORELLA


Chlorella is a type of algae—a single-celled water plant—that grows in freshwater. Although there are many types of algae, good and bad, this one is particularly nutritious. It’s 50% protein with all nine essential amino acids and is high in omega-3s, iron, and vitamin C. It binds to heavy metals, helping with detox, and can benefit your immune system. Because of its hard-walled cells, it must be taken in supplement form as a powder or a pill.
 

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C, iron, omega-3s,
small amounts of magnesium,
zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, folic acid, and B vitamins

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


SPIRULINA


Another type of algae, this blue-green organism usually comes in powder or pill form. Spirulina was consumed by the Aztecs and is now used as a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamins B1, B2, and B3, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, omega-3s

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Phycocyanin

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


MUSHROOMS


Other than the sun, these fungi offer up more vitamin D than most other sources—and they’re the only vegan food source of vitamin D. They’re also high in anti-inflammatory, liver-aiding selenium. Mushrooms are packed with fiber and can help with heart health and diabetes. They also contain two powerful anti-aging antioxidants.
 
 

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin D and B, selenium, folate, potassium, copper, iron, phosphorus, and choline

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Ergothioneine and glutathione

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein

03 | VEGETABLES

VEGETABLES

Everyone knows vegetables are good for you—but which veggies reap the most benefits? (Hint: It’s usually the most darkly colored ones.) These vegetables are packed with plant fiber, folic acid, and many nutrients.


DARK LEAFY GREENS


Dark green plants are great at reducing your risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, spinach, as well as beet, collard, and turnip greens are packed with nutrients and high in cancer-fighting antioxidants.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Folate, zinc, calcium
iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and fiber

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Carotenoids

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


BRUSSEL SPROUTS


Believe it or not, Brussels sprouts contain more vitamin C than oranges! Just half a cup provides almost all of your daily recommended intake. They’re also rich in vitamin K, which helps with bone health and blood clotting, and have cancer-fighting properties. Plus, this inflammation-reducing veggie is high in fiber.
 

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C, A, K, folate, manganese, and glucosinolates

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Kaempferol

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


WATERCRESS


This green leafy vegetable boosts immunity and fights cancer—plus, it’s proved particularly effective in improving thyroid health. With more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach, this leafy green can even improve eyesight and brain health and aid in pregnancy! To top it off, folate acts as a powerful antidepressant.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C, A, B6, B12, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and phosphorus

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Beta carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein

04 | ANCIENT GRAINS

ANCIENT GRAINS

The right types of grains are packed with fiber, protein, and vitamins and digest easily in our bodies. As you can imagine, there are a few options that are 10 (or 100) times better than a slice of processed white bread. For a real bump, try nutrient-packed ancient grains. These grains have been around for centuries and evolved alongside humans. That’s why they’re among the easiest to digest. Many ancient grains also pack high amounts of protein and are full of fiber. Try sprouting your grains to get access to the most nutrients.


FARRO & BULGUR


Think there’s only one way to consume wheat? Think again. Bulgur, or cracked wheat, is standard fare in the Middle East, and farro is a whole-grain wheat relative. Both are packed with protein—between 6 and 10 grams per cup—and high in digestion-aiding fiber, making them a much better option than a loaf of bread.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Manganese, copper, magnesium, niacin, zinc, selenium, and beta glucans

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Polyphenols, carotenoids, and
phytosterols

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


QUINOA & AMARANTH


Quinoa is an edible seed that has been harvested in South America for more than 5,000 years. Amaranth, a pseudocereal, hails from the same region. Both contain high amounts of protein, between 8 and 9 grams per cup—but even better, they’re some of the few non-meat foods that are complete proteins, containing all of the amino acids our bodies need. They’re also gluten-free—and ready in 20 minutes, with inflammation-reducing properties to boot.
 

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Manganese, phosphorus,
magnesium, folate, thiamine, and iron

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Phenolic acids

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


MILLET & SORGHUM


Millet, a cereal grain, is a great prebiotic that helps balance gut flora and pH levels. Studies have shown that millet can help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease and cancer, and this grain contains tryptophan, an amino acid that ups serotonin production and lifts your mood. Plus, it has 11 grams of protein per cup. Sorghum, a cereal grain originating in Ethiopia, is antioxidant-rich and makes an easily adaptable flour.
 
 
 

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Magnesium, niacin, and phosphorus

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Polyphenols, including tannins, phytic acid and flavonoids; policosanols

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein

05 | PROTEINS

PROTEINS

One of the three basic macronutrients in our diet, protein is necessary to build strong muscles. But some protein choices offer a lot more than just protein, packing in healthy fats and nutrients too!


EGGS


Long scorned, eggs have made their way back to the top of the health-food pyramid. Eggs are a great source of protein—6 grams per egg—and healthy fats. They can actually help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Look for pasture-raised and omega-3 enriched eggs for the highest nutrient levels.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamins D, B6, B12, A, D, & K,
zinc, iron, selenium, copper,
lecithin, and omega-3s

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


WILD FISH


We’ve all heard the health benefits of fish oil. Wild fish offers up those benefits in whole-food form, rich in protein and healthy fats, including lots of omega-3s, without any of the harmful toxins and chemicals that can be produced during the fish-farming process. This food is a powerful aid for heart and brain health.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, and omega-3s

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


YOGURT & KEFIR


Fermented milk products, including yogurt and kefir, could be listed as a superfood simply for their probiotic properties. Packed with gut-enriching good bacteria, these dairy products are also high in protein and bioactive compounds—plus, the fermentation process removes the lactose.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamins B2 and B12, calcium, phosphorus, and manganese

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Bioactive peptides

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


LENTILS


Legumes are a great vegan source of protein and fiber, and lentils are at the top of the pack. They’re excellent for heart health, packed with B vitamins and seven necessary minerals, and the highest in protein of all the legumes, with 18 grams per cup of prepared lentils. Their tannin content helps fight cancer, too. Lentils are legit—even for meat-eaters. Learn how to incorporate them into recipes for huge health benefits.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, molybdenum, and folate

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Tannins

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein

06 | FATS

FATS

We hear a lot of bad things about fats, but fat is a necessary component of our diets. Fat helps us absorb and optimize foods and the nutrients in them. But there is a difference between bad fats, like highly processed vegetable oil, and good ones. These good fats have been shown to produce lasting health benefits.

Did you know? Fats help unlock the nutrients in many of these superfoods. Here's tips on the best healthy oils to help you add a super-fat to every meal.


OLIVE OIL


A classic component of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is one of the best fat sources there is. It’s rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, including oleic acid, which reduces inflammation, a many common diseases.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Mogroside

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


AVOCADO


Technically a fruit, this fat source has become ubiquitous for a reason: It’s rich in both monounsaturated fats and nutrients and packed with omega-3s and vitamins. Avocados are great for your bones, eyes, heart, and gut—a whole-body benefit!

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C, E, K, and B-6, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, and omega-3s

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Lutein and beta-carotene

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein

07 | SWEETENERS

SWEETENERS

Everyone knows sugar is bad for you—but there are actually some sweeteners that do much more good than harm. These sweeteners are not only nutrient dense, but can also help your body recover from and fend off illness, with none of the icky side effects of artificial sweeteners. Fun fact: Lakanto has the most sustainable manufacturing process for the first on the list—monk fruit.


MONK FRUIT


We’re evolutionarily wired to crave sweet things, and monk fruit offers an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, low-carb, low-sugar option. It’s been called the longevity fruit for its ability to fight cancer and the effects of age, and it’s one of the only natural sweeteners that has no effect on blood sugar. Feel free to pause now and shop our monk fruit products...

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Mogroside

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


LOCAL HONEY


Although honey is high in sugar, it’s one of the best natural sweeteners for its antioxidant content. Dark, local honey is richest in these inflammation-fighting compounds. It’s also great for use outside the body, with antimicrobial, wound-healing properties.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamins Phenols and flavonoids

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


LUCUMA


This fruit can be dried and dehydrated then used as a low-sugar sweetener. A South American fruit known as the “gold of the Incas,” it’s high in antioxidants and fiber.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin B3, iron, zinc, calcium,
and magnesium

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Phenolic compounds, and carotenoids

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein

08 | NUTS & SEEDS

NUTS & SEEDS

If we think of a seed as holding the full potential of a grown plant, then it’s no wonder they’re so nutritious. Nutrient-dense nuts and seeds are the perfect superfood snack, with all three macronutrients plus lots of micronutrients, too.


CHIA SEEDS


Well-known as a secret superpowered food for ultra-runners, chia seeds are great for the rest of us as well. These tiny seeds are high in fiber and omega-3s. They expand in your stomach, making them a long-lasting fuel source. Plus, they’re rich in protein and fiber and great for digestion.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Calcium, manganese,
phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, omega-3s, zinc,
potassium, vitamins B1, B2, and B3

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


HEMP SEEDS


Hemp seeds are the seed of all seeds, with 10 grams of protein in just three tablespoons. They’re packed with vitamins and omega-3s, too. And while CBD is the hot topic of late, we recommend looking at whole hemp as the superfood with more than just CBD.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Sulfur, iron, magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Vitamin E and phytol

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


NUTS


Even including peanuts, which are actually a legume, nuts have it all: healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Each nut has its own superpower: Walnuts are packed with polyphenols, while Brazil nuts contain high amounts of selenium. Try a mix of walnuts, pistachios, pecans, and almonds, plus a Brazil nut a day.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, antioxidant minerals including selenium, manganese and copper, omega-3s

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Polyphenols

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein

09 | HERBS & SPICES

HERBS & SPICES

The category we think of as an “extra” actually boasts some of the highest nutrient superpowers, planting these enhancements firmly in the superfood arena. Amp up both flavor and nutrition by incorporating more of these heart-aiding, longevity-encouraging ingredients.


CINNAMON


Cinnamon is the world’s No. 1 spice for a reason. Not only does it taste great in sweet and savory foods alike, but it also has the highest antioxidant levels out of 26 common herbs and spices and is antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-diabetic.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, Vitamin A

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Polyphenols

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


GINGER


Ginger is so good for treating many common ailments—digestive issues, nausea, and pain—that it’s no wonder it’s on our superfood list.

Ginger and monk fruit can make your smoothie next-level.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C, calcium, zinc, sodium, phosphorous

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Phenols including gingerol and shogaols

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


TURMERIC


A common curry ingredient, turmeric is more than just powerfully yellow. Circuminoids, especially circumin, give turmeric its powerful health benefits, including its ability to fight inflammation and free radicals. For maximum digestion, eat turmeric with black pepper and healthy fats.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C, calcium, flavonoids, fiber, iron, niacin, potassium, zinc

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Curcuminoids, beta-carotene

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


GREEN TEA


This caffeinated superfood is packed full of bioactive compounds, particularly polyphenols, which help prevent cell damage, fight cancer, and lower inflammation. It offers energy without the jitters, helps stabilize weight, and improves brain health.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Amino acids, vitamins C, E, and B2, folic acid

Antioxidants: polyphenols, EGCG, catechins, tannins, beta-carotene, GABA, saponins

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


MACA


This root has a unique superpower: It’s particularly good for increasing libido and improving fertility—in both men and women. Typically consumed in powdered form, maca is also a great mood and endurance enhancer.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Vitamin C and B6, copper, iron, niacin, potassium, manganese, riboflavin

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Glutathione and superoxide dismutase

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein


ROOBIOS


This South African plant is consumed most often in tea form, and is absolutely packed with antioxidants that boost heart and bone health, digestion, and weight loss. It also contains alpha hydroxy acid, which is great for skin health.

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

VITAMIN & MINERAL PROFILE

Calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, alpha hydroxy acid

ANTIOXIDANTS

ANTIOXIDANTS

Polyphenols, including aspalathin

Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein

GETTING STARTED WITH SUPERFOODS

Although it would be easy to pick a food from each category and assemble a high-powered meal, that’s not actually what we intend with this guide. Superfoods are not mandatory, and they shouldn’t be the sole components of your diet. Instead, superfoods can help you optimize your health, based on your personal diet and nutrition needs.
If you’re new to the concept of superfoods—or you know the term, but want to actually incorporate them in your diet—here are three ways to get started:
 
When faced with a choice between a superfood and a less-super food, choose the superfood. Deliberating between blueberries and peaches on your yogurt? Choose the blueberries! (Or choose both.)

Include one superfood with every meal. Find creative ways to incorporate superfoods in your everyday diet: Put some turmeric in your stir-fry, or add a side of mushrooms and chard to your pasta.
 
Prioritize superfoods based on the nutrients you need. Feel a cold coming on? Look for superfoods high in Vitamin C. Focusing on skin health? Look for foods high in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and biotin.
 
Each body has highly individual needs. Superfoods can be an important element in optimizing a diet that works for you and your body. As you work toward making optimal nutrition choices every day, we hope you find this superfood guide helpful as a jumping-off point for choosing foods that boost your body.
 
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TOASTED KETO GRANOLA,
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CHOCOLATE BARK WITH SEA SALT AND ALMONDS (55% CACAO)

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