From Weight-Loss Benefits to Debloating Properties — 18 of the Most Popular Superfoods, Explained

POPSUGAR Photography | Anna Monette Roberts
POPSUGAR Photography | Anna Monette Roberts

Navigating superfoods can be a serious challenge, especially when these products are unfamiliar. You know everyone and their mother is talking about chia seeds and goji berries, but why? What's the deal with bee pollen and matcha? Do you need it? What are the benefits?

We'll help you cut through the clutter. These are some of the most popular superfoods readily available, why they're good for you, and where to find them.


What it is: A deep purple berry from the Amazonian rain forest; the flavor is a cross between blueberries, blackberries, and cocoa.

Why it's good for you: Antioxidants for antiaging and anti-cancer.

Where to get it: Typically in frozen form or juice from many grocery stores.

Apple Cider Vinegar

What it is: Also known as ACV, apple cider vinegar is made form crushed apples that have been fermented.

Why it's good for you: ACV can prevent diabetes, aid in weight loss, lower cholesterol, aid in digestion, boost energy, and detoxify the body. It's also loaded with vitamins E and A, as well as calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Where to get it: Any grocery store.

Bee Pollen

What it is: The dried part of "bee bread" from honeycomb.

Why it's good for you: Where do we start? The list goes on and on. In addition to being full of vitamins and minerals, bee pollen boosts energy and the immune system, relieves allergies and stress, and can help with weight loss.

Where to get it: Some grocery stores, most natural markets.


What it is: We're sure you know what blueberries are, but a refresher: small, sweet berries that are blue in color and native to North America.

Why it's good for you: One of the most unassuming superfoods, blueberries are loaded in cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamin K (along with manganese, vitamin C, and fiber), aid in digestion, fight belly fat, and may counter memory loss.

Where to get it: Any grocery store.

Chia Seeds

What it is: Tiny seeds from the chia plant, which grows in Central America.

Why it's good for you: Super high in protein, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, magnesium, and omega-3s. These add up to feeling fuller longer, having better digestion, fighting off cancer, strengthening bones, and improving moods.

Where to get it: Any grocery store or natural market.


What it is: A "chewy, nutty-tasting grain" that is similar to brown rice.

Why it's good for you: High amounts of protein and fiber, as well as magnesium, B vitamins, and iron. These nutrients give you a satiated feeling, contribute to healthy muscles, aid in digestion, and boost mood and energy.

Where to get it: The grain section of your grocery store or natural market.


What it is: A spicy root that can be consumed fresh, dry, or in powdered form.

Why it's good for you: Ginger helps with digestion and detoxification of the body, in addition to treating sore muscles, sore throats, and combating motion sickness.

Where to get it: Any grocery store.

Goji Berries

What it is: Dried berries from the Wolfberry plant (from China), used for centuries in Eastern medicine.

Why it's good for you: The list is seemingly infinite. They're mood-boosting, cancer-fighting, antiaging, immune-supporting, eyesight-aiding, and more.

Where to get it: Goji berries aren't at every grocery store, but you can find them in natural markets and places like Whole Foods.


What it is: Hemp seeds are a different species of cannabis than the one you may be imagining right now. Like sunflower seeds, there's a shell with a dry "fruit" on the inside, that can be eaten as-is or turned into a butter.

Why it's good for you: Brain-boosting, antidepressant omega-3s, plus tons of fiber and protein (with all the essential amino acids). It's also got a good amount of iron and magnesium, which fights stress and promotes a feeling of calm.

Where to get it: Some grocery stores, and many natural markets.


What it is: A type of cabbage, kale is a dark, leafy green, and is somewhat tough in texture.

Why it's good for you: Crazy high in bone-health-boosting vitamin K, as well as immune-strengthening vitamins A and C, iron, and antioxidants.

Where to get it: Literally anywhere that sells produce.


What it is: A fruit from the Peruvian Andes; like a cross between a sweet potato and an apple.

Why it's good for you: An antioxidant-rich fruit, lucuma is loaded in zinc, iron, beta carotene, fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and niacin (B3). This offers tons and tons of benefits, which affect mood, digestion, eyesight, and overall health.

Where to get it: It's difficult to find in the US, but you can order it in powder form online.


What it is: A root plant from the Peruvian Andes.

Why it's good for you: According to WebMD, it can boost energy, stamina, athletic performance, and memory. It can also treat female hormone imbalance, and a slew of other reproductive health problems; help weak bones (osteoporosis); fight depression, stomach cancer, leukemia, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis; and boost the immune system.

Where to get it: In powder or supplement form at natural markets or online.


What it is: A tropical fruit that grows in Indonesia, Southeast Asia, India, Puerto Rico, and Florida. Native to Java, Sumatra, this fruit has white flesh and a sweet and sour taste.

Why it's good for you: Mangosteen is another antioxidant powerhouse. It's high in fiber, with a good amount of folate, vitamin C, and magnesium. It's also known to be anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiseptic.

Where to get it: Difficult to find fresh in the US, you can get mangosteen powder or beverages at natural markets or online.

Manuka Honey

What it is: Manuka honey is made by bees that feed on the tea tree nectar in New Zealand and Australia.

Why it's good for you: It's higher in antioxidants, and more antibacterial than clover honey (meaning it has crazy-good healing properties).

Where to get it: Grocery stores and natural markets.


What it is: A powdered form of steamed and dried green tea leaves, with a grassy flavor.

Why it's good for you: Matcha is an adaptogen, meaning it can give you energy when you're tired, but calm you down if you're jittery. It can also help fight disease, boost weight loss, and detoxify the body.

Where to get it: At most grocery stores, natural markets, and online.


What it is: A grain crop from South America, somewhat similar to cous cous.

Why it's good for you: It's a crazy-powerful plant-based protein with high amounts of fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, and omega-3s.

Where to get it: The grain section of your grocery store or natural market, as well as Costco.


What it is: A cold-water fish with flesh that is pink in color.

Why it's good for you: It's an excellent source of lean protein, BCAAs, and mood-boosting, depression-fighting omega-3s.

Where to get it: Any market that sells seafood.


What it is: A versatile spice from a root, quite similar to ginger.

Why it's good for you: The nutrients and properties of turmeric allow it to help with weight loss, debloating, fighting depression, cancer, and arthritis, clearing skin, and helping sleep.

Where to get it: The spice section of your grocery store.