If you’re like me, you usually roll your eyes a bit at the term “superfood” because really, there is no true way to specify which food is a superfood. In my opinion all whole foods are super in their own way! According to Google, a superfood is a nutrient dense food that is beneficial for your health and well being. Even though I love all the yummy plants, I thought I would discuss a few that aren’t that well known so you can be hip and trendy when talking to your green juice loving yoga friends.
Starting with a personal favorite, açai (ah-SIGH-ee) berries are not only delicious, but filled with antioxidants! The antioxidants they have are known to help fight cancer and heart disease. It also has oleic acid which isn’t common in fruits. I have yet to see fresh açai berris in stores, but you can buy powders and frozen packets at grocery stores! I love getting unsweetened açai packets and using them to make smoothie bowls.
These guys are packed with vitamins and minerals as well as obviously containing some healthy fats and protein. I eat one of these every single day because just ONE of these nuts has your daily recommended dose of Selenium. They help in keeping a functioning thyroid gland, help in digestion, and also help in cell repair.
Although I’m not a fan of chocolate, I LOVE putting cacao in my banana nice cream and into other recipes. Cacao is the raw version of cocoa and just like cocoa it has flavanoids which are known to help lower blood pressure and help blood flow to the brain and heart. Chocolates also known to help increase happiness, and who doesn’t love being happy!
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and calcium. They have a very subtle nutty taste and are perfect for smoothies, toppings, salads, oatmeal, etc. You can also mix chia seeds with your favorite plant based milk and leave it to sit for a few hours to create a pudding like consistency.
These tiny things are full of vitamin c and help to boost the immune system. You can typically find dried goji berries or goji berry powder at your local grocery store. They’re also loaded with beta-carotene which helps your skin look healthy! I like mixing these into my oatmeal or using them as a topping on my smoothie bowls for a pop of color!
These seeds have a delicious nutty flavor and are high in protein, as well as essential amino acids. They have a high amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, magnesium, and potassium. My favorite thing to do is to put these in my salads to add a little bit of a fatty taste. They’re also great on smoothies and in sauces.
Maca is a root vegetable that is dried and turned into a powder. It’s a great alternative to caffeine in boosting energy, and can also increase endurance and libido. It’s known to be an adaptogen which is something that helps our bodies regenerate from fatigue and damage. It has an earthy, nutty flavor that I like mixing it into my smoothies.
This stuff is truly amazing. Not only does it add an awesome cheesy taste to your meal, but it’s also very rich in many nutrients. Nutritional yeast (nooch as I like to call it) has a full spectrum of B vitamins, chromium, sixteen different amino acids, B12, and phosphorus. It’s also an excellent source of plant based protein. I love making cheesy sauces with this or just simply sprinkling it over my meal. Another idea is to sprinkle it on some popcorn!
Sea grown vegetables are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and seaweed (or nori as most people know it) also has iodine which helps thyroid function! It’s also packed with minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. My favorite, and probably most peoples favorite, way to incorporate nori into my diet is by making sushi! Or if you’re lazy, just rip up a sheet and sprinkle the pieces into a sushi bowl.
Turmeric is one of my favorite spices and is great in aiding inflammation. The curcumin which gives turmeric it’s lovely color is said to help protect against cancer and Alzheimer’s along with improving circulation and helping prevent blood clotting. Turmeric is an essential ingredient in curry and I also love using it to make a tofu scramble. I also love making “Golden Milk” with it in the colder months!
Finally there’s this guy, not my favorite to swallow, but packed with nutrients. It basically has all minerals known to man as well as vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, I, and K. It’s super rich in protein and contains 17 amino acids. Wheatgrass juice is 70% chlorophyll which is essential in blood building and helps hemoglobin. You can buy wheatgrass powder and mix it into smoothies to mask the taste or stop at your local juice shop and take a shot of wheatgrass juice to start the day!