Superfood is a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. In other words, superfoods contain the highest nutritional value per calorie as opposed to just regular food. These are foods your diet needs to function and perform at its best. Here are 5 great examples of superfoods you need:
Quinoa is actually a seed with a grain-like appearance and texture. This superfood is one of the few seeds or grains that contain all 9 essential amino acids that we don’t produce naturally. It also contains 8 grams of plant-based protein per 1 cup serving! Try adding a sliced avocado, diced red sweet peppers, a touch of cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for the perfect healthy summer meal!
Blueberries not only taste great in yogurt, oats, smoothies and muffins, they’re also full of vitamin C, rich in fiber and contain cancer-fighting compounds. The daily recommended allowance of fruit is 2 cups. Researchers have also found that these berries can even improve cognitive ability and memory!
Kale is a dark leafy green that is by far the healthiest of all the salad greens in the produce section. Kale contains higher quantities of antioxidants than nearly all other vegetables or fruits. It is also a great source of (dairy-free) calcium which is perfect for Vegan diets, has tons of fiber and rich in iron as well. There are many ways to enjoy kale: in green smoothies, roasted, steamed or stewed. Keep in mind that the more cooked it is, the fewer nutrients it will have so eat kale as close to its natural raw state as possible to get the most out of this superfood.
Yes, Chia as in Chia Pets! These tiny black seeds contain huge amounts of the fatty acids most essential to our health – more than any other known plant-based food! In one serving of Chia seeds provides full daily values of magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium. To use Chia seeds in your food you’ll want to soak them overnight in water first. Add to smoothies, salads, sandwiches, cooked dishes and even Chia pudding!
Broccoli may not be a child’s favorite food on earth, but it’s certainly one of the healthiest superfoods in existence. This tree-looking veggie contains tons of minerals, vitamins, fiber and contains compounds that even help fight disease. It is a cruciferous vegetable which means it is a relative of the mustard plant family and very nutritious. Broccoli has surprisingly high amounts of folates and vitamin C which are known to reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. For picky eaters, try adding chicken, noodles and a cheese sauce for a healthy and easy dinner, or serve it with a low-fat dressing to make it more appealing. Otherwise it is delicious raw or steamed.
Other superfoods for diet and nutrition-conscious people:
Strawberries – One cup contains the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C (90 mg for men and 74 mg for women)! Full of antioxidants, this fruit helps repair cells damaged by free radicals and boosts immunity.
Salmon – A great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and tons of lean protein. Eating this fish actually keeps your skin healthier by protecting it from the harmful rays of summer sun.
Watermelon – Sweet tasting, but low in sugar, watermelon contains high levels of vitamins C and A, and makes the perfect low-calorie summer snack. It also contains a good amount of lycopene, another superfood ingredient.
Spinach – this leafy green is iron-packed, full of antioxidants to prevent premature aging and is a natural anti-inflammatory. The vitamin K and calcium in spinach supports strong bones and protects eye health.
Pistachios – full of protein and fiber and they are delicious roasted, in salads and on top of desserts! They are also naturally cholesterol-free, and a single one-ounce serving has as much potassium as a fresh banana!
Almonds – Raw or roasted almonds make the perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack and have the highest per-calorie concentration of essential nutrients of all the other nuts. One serving is just 190 calories and is great for keeping blood glucose levels steady throughout the day.
So as you can see, adding as many of these superfoods to your everyday diet really amps up the nutritional value of your daily calorie intake. This is perfect for people trying to eat healthy and/or working on losing weight. Either way, you want every bite to count! It is highly recommended to buy locally grown, organic and sustainably sourced superfoods whenever possible. Beware canned or processed foods as they will likely contain unwanted preservatives and high amounts of sodium and canned foods lose most of their nutritional value as soon as they are processed. Eat foods as close to their natural raw state as possible and supercharge your lifestyle with these awesome superfoods!