Superfoods are foods that gained the term SUPER because of their amazing nutritional benefits. Many of these fruits and vegetables can bring you nutritional power and vitamins even in small amounts. These foods are best consumed in their natural state. Ignore the food companies who are trying to jump on the bandwagon by adding these super foods to their already processed items- that shortcut won't get you the health benefits that eating these foods will in their clean state.
Below are a list of easy to find, affordable and delicious SUPERFOODS that you can add into your daily diet.
These beautiful leaves carry protein, vitamin K, folate/folic acid and a decent amount of fiber. Spinach is all-around nutritious. Spinach is said to be the ultimate pregnancy food for the folate/folic acid inside of the delicious leaves. In addition, spinach helps fight eye disease, helps with constipation and heart disease.
Get it in: I add spinach to all of my shakes and smoothies. I have a salad at least once a day filled with spinach and or kale. I, personally, try to get in about 3 cups of spinach a day. (Try to buy organic leafy greens due to pesticide use).
Kale is a beautiful leaf that is a cousin to cauliflower and broccoli. Kale contains more tun 45 flavonoids, which help with inflammation. On the national ranking system for food nutrients kale ranks among the top in nutrient dense foods . Many researchers believe that kale can significantly reduce cholesterol.
Get it in: Kale Chips are the easiest way for me to get my kale in. I do not love the taste, unless it's in marinated salad. So, I have a bit of a hard time adding it to my shakes. There are many delicious recipes for kale salads, though. I just have a hard time perfecting them! (Try to buy organic leafy greens due to pesticide use).
-They're packed with vitamin C, high in potassium and have anti-inflaitory properties. Many doctors believe that these blue gems can reduce your risk of heart disease. Blueberries carry the same health benefits frozen as they do fresh.
Get it in: Frozen blueberries are perfect to add to a morning shake, pancakes (paleo pancake recipe) or all by themselves. I can gobble them up quickly, they're so delicious! (Always buy organic berries due to their soft skin and the use of pestesides)
I was always turned off to beets as a child. They just looked…gross. However, they're on of my favorite foods now! I can never pass up a salad with beets. Beets contain a high amount of vitamin C, folate, potassium, fiber (4g per cup) and antioxidants. The antioxidant acids found in beets are said to be great for those with Diabetes or high blood pressure.
Get it in: shredded beets are easy to add to salads. I find myself getting a large container from my local Whole Foods and that lasts me a few days. Beets are also delicious steamed and sliced, marinated in balsamic and even shredded and added into a berry smoothie.
Quinoa (Keen-Wah) is technically a seed but many refer to it as a grain. Quinoa has a nutty taste and is found in many South American countries. This superfood is about 20% protein and a great source of protein for those who are gluten free. It also contains a large amount of fiber, iron and manganese (an antioxidant that helps with anti-aging by protecting your body from free radicals). Quinoa is also one of the only foods that contains all 9 essential amino acids (which are used in helping your body build muscle and body tissue)- which makes this food GREAT for athletes, seniors and everyone in-between.
Get it in: I use quinoa in everything. I don't eat many grains, but this is one that is easy to make an exception for. I posted my recipe for quinoa stuffing on FGIP ( now make it with black rice and quinoa). I also make quinoa and add it to my meal as a side dish or an addition to my salads.
I wasn't familiar with black rice until my dietician, Kelly at Paleo Infused Nutrition, mentioned it to me! I've come to learn why she recommends it to clients who are looking for a grain with many health benefits. Black rice boasts more antioxidants per tablespoon than blueberries (which we all know are an antioxidant superfood). That in itself is enough to sell these beauties to you. In addition, black rice bring you a high amount of vitamin E. Black rice is sometimes called the "forbidden rice" because it was once kept for the nobles in China while commoners could not harvest and eat this rice
Get it in: Black rice is the perfect side dish. I enjoy adding it to my lettuce wraps for "tacos" or mixing in grilled vegetables. Keep an eye out for my Sage Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Rice recipe: coming soon.