Nature Knows Best: Superfoods!
Superfoods can be a quick and easy way to add some power to your meals. Learn about a few of our favorites!
Whether you envision blueberries flying through the air wearing capes or a basket full of not so appealing items, superfoods can be a quick and easy way to add some power to your meals.
Wikipedia defines a superfood as, “…a marketing term for food with supposed health benefits as a result of some part of its nutritional analysis or its overall nutrient density.”
Marketing term or not, superfoods are a fantastic way to consume the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more needed to stay healthy, have energy, prevent chronic disease and they are even touted to be anti-aging.
Here are few of my favorites:
Turmeric seems to be the hot new superfood. It’s a spice from India that contains curcumin which may help reduce symptoms from Rheumatoid Arthritis and more. I have heard great things about Turmeric helping manage joint pain without known side effects. It is important to find a reputable source and purchase organic when possible. This spicy superfood can be put into your meals or taken in capsule form. Make sure to mention this with your healthcare provider if you’d like to try it as a supplement.
Almonds either raw or roasted are full of healthy protein, Vitamin E, Magnesium and Calcium. They are also alkaline-forming which helps maintain a healthy PH balance. Almonds are also high in calories so keep that in mind. A handful of almonds is my go-to snack while on the run and some of our kids love almond butter.
Kale is a superfood that might not sound very appealing but I think it is “growing” on people. Kale is a nutrient dense green containing Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Manganese and Vitamin A. We love to roast Kale with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. It can be used in winter soups, juiced or fresh in salads.
Avocados are a highly nutritious fruit that boasts Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, mono-saturated Fats, and Potassium. Eat it plain with sea salt and lemon juice, make guacamole or some people make chocolate avocado pudding, recipe online. Research is now being done to determine if the seed or pit is edible. Those in favor of it say it could help with Alzheimer’s and shows promising anti-tumor qualities.
Coconut Oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides which is a healthy fatty acid that can have a huge impact on repairing a damaged gut. It is also converted quickly in the liver for a quick source of energy. Coconut oil is also good for nails and hair, brain health, fat loss and kills harmful microorganisms and much more. (Healthline – Top 10 Evidence Based Health benefits of Coconut Oil.) It’s important to find virgin, cold pressed Coconut Oil which can be used in baking, put in coffee or tea and some people just eat spoonfuls. Coconut Oil can be used as a natural moisturizer.
My husband’s new favorite superfood is called Goji Berries. They are small orange berries that do not taste particularly good but pack a punch containing 12 times the antioxidant levels of blueberries and contain all 8 essential amino acids along with zinc, fiber and more! They could help prevent the growth of cancer cells, protect the skin and fend off eye disease. These berries can be purchased dried or grown at home. This superfood is not for pregnant or nursing moms, those with unstable blood pressures, have low blood sugars or on blood thinners.
Flaxseed is easily added into smoothies, oatmeal or a topping for salad. But, what is it? Flax is one of the oldest fiber crops of the world and the seed comes from the Linum Usitatissimum plant. It can be purchased whole, ground or in oil form. Flaxseed is chocked full of nutrients such as the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and more. Flaxseed has been used to help combat disorders of the heart and arteries. It has also been linked to brain health.
Last but not least, the super blueberry. Though they don’t really wear capes they are packed full of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, potassium, and vitamin C. We mix frozen blueberries in with our hot oatmeal for the health benefits and to help cool it down quickly for the kids.
I hope you feel more comfortable grabbing one of these superfoods at the store and mixing them into your routine. We are what we eat…SUPER!
Brooke DeLong, N.D.
About the Author
Brooke DeLong has a degree in Naturopathy and is passionate about educating and inspiring people. She is a wife and mom to four awesome kids.