Superfoods are nutrient-rich and a catalyst for good health and overall well-being. Not only do they optimize your immune system (fewer missed workdays), but they also have body-healing compounds, reduce inflammation (bad disease instigator), and can kill off harmful bacteria. Added bonus: People who regularly consume super foods are healthier and thinner. What could be better than that?

Obviously, your success and happiness depends on being in the best health possible, both mind and body. The great news is making these super foods a part of your routine can help you do just that. Here are 14 superfoods that just may help you live a more productive, longer, and healthier life.

1. Avocados

This monounsaturated fat fruit contributes to an increased healthy blood flow and brain health. Avocados can lower blood pressure, decreasing the chance of cognitive decline.

2. Beans

Beans are a great source of iron and fiber and can keep your cholesterol levels in check, lower heart disease risk, reduce cancer risk, and keep your body humming for longer periods of time. Studies have proven that those that eat beans on a regular basis weigh 7 pounds less and have a slimmer waist than their bean-abstaining peers.

3. Berries

It doesn't really matter what kind of berry you eat--they're all packed with fiber, compounds, and antioxidants that, when eaten regularly, help keep your mind and body strong. Blueberries can help improve memory and can reduce the effects of Alzheimer's and dementia. And, a mere cup of strawberries packs a full-day supply of vitamin C, which contains skin-firming properties.

4. Broccoli

This green vegetable is packed with bone healthy vitamins like C, A, and K and can quell tumor growth and reduce the overall risk of cancer.

5. Dark chocolate

In moderation--no more than an ounce a day--dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and natural stimulants that can increase focus, concentration, and enhance your mood.

6. Eggs

Egg yolk contains antioxidants that help keep your eyes healthy, reduce the risk of macular degeneration, and may even protect your skin from UV damage. Eggs also contain brain development and memory-enhancing choline.

7. Fish (the oily variety)

Salmon and sardines are packed with omega-3's that are incredibly important for brain function and even contain substances that fight off nasty disease-causing inflammation.

8. Nuts and seeds

Eat nuts and live longer--the number one reason to eat a handful daily. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health, reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, and can even improve your mood. Rich in omega-3's, flaxseed--touted as one of the most powerful plant foods available--can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

9. Oranges

We all know that oranges are packed with vitamin C, but what some may not know is that vitamin C is crucial for the production of white blood cells and antibodies that are powerful infection fighters.

9. Quinoa

Touted as one of the best grains to eat, quinoa is packed with protein, iron, and fiber and can help control weight, lower risk of heart disease, and help prevent diabetes.

10. Spinach and kale

Spinach has the power to form healthy new cells and is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. And studies have shown that kale may decrease the risk of ovarian, breast, and other cancers.

11. Sweet potatoes

They are rich in vitamin A strengthening the immune system, eye and bone health.

12. Tea

There is a reason why every mall in America has a new tea store--tea contains high-quality antioxidants called flavonoids, and because of this, tea can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cancer, promote healthier bones, gums and teeth, and heighten memory, focus, and mood. For maximum benefit, drink your tea freshly brewed--hot or on ice.

13. Tomatoes

They have something hard to get in any other food--lycopene. And, because of this, tomatoes can help protect skin from UV rays, lower cholesterol, and even prevent some cancers.

14. Yogurt

Yogurt contains good bacteria for a healthy gut and reduced intestinal illnesses. And, because it's so rich in calcium, it also aids in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Published on: Feb 23, 2015