Superfoods are labeled as such because they have few calories but are packed with nutrients. So you get a big bang for the buck. They are superior sources of antioxidants and essential nutrients that your body does not produce.
Why do you need antioxidants? Antioxidants block free radicals. Free radicals form in the body and damage your cells. Damaged cells lead to diseases like cancer and heart disease. Free radical damage to your skin cells can accelerate aging.
Here is a list of my top 10 superfoods
- Kiwi Fruit
- Sweet Potatoes
- Wild Salmon
These nutritional, powerhouse foods are loaded with nutrients and low on calories. Try adding a variety of these to your diet.
Here is a list of not so common super foods. Many of them can be found in health food stores like Whole Foods or ordered online.
Ancient cultures throughout Central America have long enjoyed chia seeds as a key part of their food and medicine. The seeds were even used as currency. Chia seeds are loaded with omega fats, protein, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. They have a mild nutty flavor and, since they absorb liquid, they are satisfying for helping you feel full
Try chia pudding. It has a similar texture to tapioca pudding. It’s simple to make and all you need to do is combine 2/3 cup of chia seeds with 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk. Let it stand for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator or overnight. You dress it as you would do yogurt by adding fruit or granola.
Hemp is a well-balanced, vegetarian protein source that includes all of the essential amino acids. Not only is hemp one of the best veggie sources of protein, it’s easy for the body to digest and assimilate. Hemp contains many nutrients including abundant fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins, and omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids. Sprinkle hemp seeds on salads and add them to smoothies for added protein. Just 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds will add 11 grams of protein to your smoothie.
Raw Cacao Nibs
This is a good way to get “natural” chocolate chips. Cacao nibs are made from raw cacao beans that are taken from the tropical cacao fruit. If you roast the beans at a high temperature, then grind them you get cocoa powder. Make a trail mix with shredded coconut, raw cacao nibs, dried cranberries, and a nut of your choice.
Maca is a potent, ancient Peruvian superfood highly prized by Incan warriors to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue. Maca root is also thought to increase energy. Add Maca to smoothies for an extra energy boost. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should avoid Maca as not enough is known about its effect on the babies.
The purple Chilean maqui berry is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods. It contains an abundance of vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, anti-aging anthocyanins, polyphenols, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Navitas Naturals Maqui Powder has a tart, fruity flavor that’s a delicious addition to juices, smoothies, and desserts.
Goji Berries provide a number of important macronutrients, including carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and soluble fiber. There’s even more to this sweet, little, red berry including 18 amino acids, free-radical fighting antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E, and more than 20 other trace minerals and vitamins including zinc, iron, phosphorus, and riboflavin (B2). Ounce-for-ounce, goji berries contain more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, and more iron than soybeans and spinach. Munch on these goodies as your afternoon snack.
There are many other foods that can be characterized as a superfood. But you’ve got a good starting point to supercharge your day.