Superfoods. What is that you ask? Superfoods are everywhere. They pack a “super” punch to one’s health, wellness, and nutrition without the calories! No more counting calories.
Superfoods are “Super” healthy and contain more nutrients versus other foods- hence the term “nutrient dense.” They contain an abundance of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, fibers, and healthy fats—which promote a strong immune system and is great for disease prevention. Life without heart disease, cancer, and inflammation… Isn’t that super?
If you’re already eating a wide range of colorful fruits and veggies, chances are, you’re probably consuming these foods without realizing it.
So, what makes these foods so “super?”
Food scientists don’t offer a clear-cut definition. These foods are usually nutrient-dense, and their health benefits have been proven by science.
So, your superfood could be a vegetable, legume (bean), fruit, herb, or spice. In fact, most of these can be found in your grocery store or farmer’s markets.
From kale and turmeric to lentils and cacao, you have a whole lot of plant foods with exceptional nutritional value to the mind, body, and soul.
Read on if you’re wondering how seemingly regular foods can protect you from disease, balance your mood, and keep you active. Superfoods are here to save the day!
How can superfoods help you on your wellness journey?
Our bodies and minds are like biological machines. They need proper maintenance to work at maximum potential. In order to achieve this state of wellness, incorporate foods that are minimally processed, not genetically modified (non- GMO), and contain medicinal or wholesome elements that boost your staying power.
Some foods are endowed by nature and prove to be highly potent in a positive and nourishing way.
Some contain antioxidants. For others, it could be a specific vitamin or mineral that repair and keep your body functions running smoothly.
As part of a well-balanced meal, they help you get stronger, more focused, and content.
This guide showcases a mix of seven ancient and new foods that offer varied nutrients.
7 Basic Superfoods to Add to Your Grocery List
Super nutritious berries
From acai and goji berries to cranberries and blueberries, all berries possess a vital element – antioxidants. The amount and type differ. These tiny balls of deliciousness protect you from free radicals or waste products that cause inflammation and degrade your body at the cell level (very important!).
They also contain good amounts of minerals and vitamins that provide support to the digestive, central nervous, and respiratory systems.
Powerful ancient grains
Although grains have been facing a lot of hate from low-carb dieters, whole grains offer substantial benefits to your body.
These slow-acting carbs boost energy levels and contain proteins that help repair muscle. Not to mention the gut-friendly fiber.
Oldest cultivated grains like farro, amaranth, millet, freekeh, and quinoa are loaded with vitamins and minerals as well.
Quinoa is one of the few plant foods with all 9 essential amino acids, the base elements that make proteins.
Interesting fact: Freekeh, a Middle Eastern staple, is loaded with manganese, zinc, niacin, and phosphorus. Some nutritionists consider it on par with quinoa.
Mustard and Collard greens
Greens are one of the most affordable, abundant, and powerful superfoods you can find on the planet.
You remember when Popeye the sailor man would open a can of spinach to save the day? Did Olive Oil ever eat spinach? Hmmmm
But did you know that collard and mustard greens are the new Superfood Royalty? Mustard greens are bursting with isothiocyanate, a naturally occurring substance found in plants that fights inflammation. They protect from chronic disease including diabetes, heart disease and cancer, as does a bowl of collard greens.
Collard greens contain higher amounts of vitamins A and K, and on the plus side, they taste sweeter than other greens.
Bok Choy is another inflammation fighter, with its anthocyanins.
Arugula or rocket leaves contains life-boosting minerals to protect your heart, help with weight loss, and control blood pressure.
If broccoli wasn’t badass enough, you have the younger version – sprouts or micro greens. Broccoli contains a potent anti-inflammatory, sulforaphane. Guess what? The sprouts contain 20-50 times more of this cancer-fighting chemical.
They are great sources of calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, and antioxidants. The best part is that microgreens including alfalfa, cabbage, and lettuce are easy to grow at home. Also, they are fairly simple to incorporate into any meal- add to your smoothie, sandwich, salad, or sprinkle over dinner for that extra zing!
Basil doesn’t just make a tasty pesto but it is food medicine. It has antioxidants, combined with antimicrobial and anti-inflammation properties. This herb can prove effective in preventing and controlling diabetes.
Have you smelled fresh basil? OMG!!! The smell is indicative of the terpene profile… We will discuss this later.
If you can get your hands on some Thai basil and holy basil (Tulsi), you enjoy the medicinal benefits of three superfoods from the same herb family.
Flax Seed Power
Flaxseeds promote overall health when it is not being an egg substitute and plant milk for vegans. One of the oldest superfoods., this is a significant plant source of omega-3 fatty acids along with hemp, chia seeds, and walnuts.
It protects your heart and provides energy for your vigorous workout sessions. With a low carb and high fiber seed profile- flax can aid in weight loss.
This super seed is also good for a hair supplement.
How to add superfoods to your diet?
No single food can give you all the nutrients your body needs to keep you feeling energetic, active, and mentally strong. Focusing on one ingredient, however nutritious or useful, can have negative effects.
To get maximum value from these plant foods, make sure that you add a variety of them to your everyday diet, superfoods or otherwise.
Here is a substantial list of superfoods you can slowly add to your meal.
Remember the key to good health is to have as many superfoods as you can, but always in moderation.
Take Home Message:
“Put Good In, Get Good Out”