Often when we hear about health foods or see them in the grocery stores we see numerous claims of ‘superfoods’. This term has become fairly popular recently. What does it really mean though? These superfoods are simply nutritious foods believed to have extra benefits for health and wellness.
Here are a few of my favorites and what they do. This list is not all inclusive though- there are MANY other foods that are SUPER too!
Spinach: Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, these greens are one of the top superfoods. It is high in Vitamins A, C and folate and also a good source of magnesium. It may help boost your immune system.
Try it- Swap out your lettuce and use baby spinach instead, add a handful to your smoothie- with its mild flavor you won’t even notice except for the color, sneak it in pasta sauce and add to sandwiches or wraps too.
Chia Seeds: When I was little I used these seeds to make my plant/pet grow. I thought it was the coolest. Little did I know these seeds were a nutritional powerhouse. These tiny seeds are full off fiber, omega-3s- which is a type of fat that makes you less likely to produce blood clots that cause heart attacks. It is also a good source of protein, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.
Try it- Add these to your Greek yogurt, in a smoothie, sprinkle on your cereal or morning oatmeal. (Don’t eat them by the spoonful though, they tend to absorb water and can get stuck in your throat.)
Hemp Hearts: (Shelled Hemp Seeds) These are a fave of mine. They add lots of nutrition in a tiny crunchy seed! Hemp is high in fiber and a great source of protein and omegas. It is protective for your heart and brain.
Try it- Add to oatmeal, sprinkle on salads, or yogurt etc.
Flax Meal: As a great source of fiber, omega-3’s and 6’s. Flax is good for digestion, vision, inflammation and cancer prevention. Always use flax meal as our bodies cannot get the full benefits from the whole seed as we cannot easily digest the shell.
Try it- Add to oatmeal or other cereals, yogurt or baked goods for added nutrition.
Try it- Enjoy as a snack with nuts to satisfy your sweet tooth, use in baked items to sub for sugar.
Wild Salmon: Rich in protein, vitamins D, B6, B12, selenium omega fatty acids. This helps protect against cancer and cardiovascular problems. Look for Wild Alaskan Salmon for the least amount of contaminants.
Try it- Grill or bake it for dinner or add to your lunch salad.
Walnuts: When it comes to nuts I think these are underrated. These little powerhouse nuts are higher than any others in omega’s. They are also a good source of protein, and fiber- both help you feel full longer!
Try it- Add to salads, cut up an apple, add cinnamon and a few walnuts.
Try it-Add to salads, spread on a sandwich instead of mayo. – Just be somewhat cautious that this is a calorie dense food.
Oatmeal: A whole grain that is a good source of fiber which helps reduce cholesterol, and aids digestion. Although prepackaged packets can be convenient, most can be high in sugar. I recommend buying plain oats and making your own or opt for low sugar or no sugar options.
Try it- Oats don’t have to be just a breakfast food! Enjoy them as a snack, cold as make ahead oats or sprinkle them in with other foods.
Try it- Use it instead of pastas to created filling protein packed dishes.
Tea: For years we’ve know teas have had some beneficial properties. The more we learn the more we discover the health potential.nof course it helps with hydration but it is also full of antioxidants- known for having anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Try it- The main thing to remember is that the benefits are negated when sugar is added so finding a recipe you like like sans sugar will give you most benefits.
I hope you find this to be helpful and add some of these foods to your everyday diet.