The term “superfoods” is very popular these days. Often times you see it on protein powders and supplements. They are labeled as such because of the many health-promoting qualities they provide. Superfoods often contain higher levels of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Your mind may think of Goji or acai berries, but superfoods are not so mysterious. Many are easily found in grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Let’s take a look at the many choices you have to easily incorporate some of these healthy foods into your daily diet.
Let your eyes help you in choosing the healthiest foods, because many dark and brightly colored fruits and vegetables are considered superfoods. The brighter the color, the more health promoting properties they provide.
Berries. No surprise here! Just look at the deep color of a blueberry or blackberry. Among most fruits, berries are the lowest in sugar, and highest in fiber. They are also high in potassium and vitamin C. You don’t have to limit your intake to blueberries or blackberries. Raspberries and strawberries are just a healthy. You can eat these super berries alone, or add them to yogurt, salads, smoothies, or hot cereal. I recommend purchasing organic berries. According to the Environmental Working Group, berries, and particularly strawberries, are the most heavily spray with pesticides.
Fatty Fish. Low in saturated fat, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies provide not only a good source of protein, but also an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s no wonder most fish oil supplements are primarily made from anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. If eating fish is not your thing, I highly recommend supplementing with fish oil so you reap the health benefits from omega-3s.
Dark Leafy Greens. “Hold the Kale Chips!” I can hear what readers are thinking. Kale and spinach are truly superfoods in the family of greens. They are both great sources of potassium; iron; folate; and vitamins A, C, and K. Potassium plays a key role in regulating fluid in the body. Whenever I hear someone complain about “retaining water,” I think of potassium deficiency. Vitamins A and C support immune health while vitamin K plays a crucial role in bone health. You can get a week’s worth of vitamin K by eating just one spinach salad. And, if you don’t like cooked kale, chop it in small pieces and make a super salad. Simply mix the kale with chunks of mango, blueberries, and sliced almonds. Next, stir in extra virgin olive oil and a vinegar of your choice.
Pinole. Here’s one may have never heard of before. Pinole is a super grain made from rare purple maize. Aztecs used it in their diets over 500 years ago for energy and endurance. It has four times the antioxidants of blueberries and is high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Pinole has three times the protein and two times the fiber of oatmeal. It’s also gluten-free. You can use it as a hot cereal, put it in smoothies, or even bake with it.