We are a nation of being just plain super. We have that pinnacle of sports, the Super Bowl, and a huge cast of characters in the world of superheroes. We are superstitious, super funny, and good old super-duper.
So where do superfoods fit in this world of all things super?
When it comes to eating well and living a healthy lifestyle, superfoods offer a bounty of nutritionally dense fruits, vegetables, and proteins that…well…supercharge our bodies.
As we strive to improve our health and well-being, diet will always top the list of the nutrition goals everyone should attempt to achieve. We pay close attention to reducing salt and sugar as well as increasing foods that are whole, natural, and unprocessed by using substitutes like gluten-free flour and other healthy cooking alternatives.
Many of us have increased our water intake and maybe taken vitamins or other supplements. We are fortunate to have an abundance of healthy food choices, but focusing on superfoods can take the beneficial scope of your nutrition to another level.
What are Super Foods?
Superfoods are thought to be foods that offer increased nutritional value. They can fall into several categories with numerous examples in each. These foods are packed with nutrients that are linked to improved health and the possible prevention of some diseases or conditions. While not scientifically proven to align with many of their claims, their value in a healthy diet can’t be denied.
Some Super Foods to Add to a Healthier Diet
Kale Let’s just start with the powerhouse. Love it, hate it, not sure what to do with it-- kale is undeniably nature’s superfood brimming with vitamins A and C, zinc, calcium, iron, and fiber. It falls into the category of dark leafy greens which are a critical component of a balanced diet rich in vegetables. In addition to kale, collard and turnip greens as well as spinach are excellent choices in this superfood category.
Berries Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries-- whatever form of berry you want to include in a healthy diet, these are delicious choices to add to salads and smoothies or just as a sweet snack. They are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
Nuts and Seeds This array of superfoods is incredible for baking, cooking, and snacking. Not only are they a great source of protein, but they pack a punch with antioxidants and heart-healthy fat.
Yogurt An exceptional source of probiotics to benefit digestive health and is rich in protein and nutrients. Just be careful with flavored options because they can include significant added sugar.
Green Tea This slightly caffeinated beverage boasts a supply of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that are attributed to lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Olive Oil It’s probably fair to say we have learned about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat often linked to heart health.
Ginger This spicy, aromatic root is a powerful addition to any diet. It is known for its digestive benefits as well as its anti-inflammatory properties.
Salmon This is a superfood that swims! Loaded with omega-three fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins, this oily fish is a versatile addition to a heart-healthy diet.
Garlic This flavorful bulb is widely admired not only for its taste but also for its levels of fiber, vitamin B, and antioxidants. It is a natural for helping improve immune function.
Cinnamon A ubiquitous spice included in a range of foods, savory to sweet, this common ingredient is considered beneficial for reducing inflammation and maintaining blood sugar levels.
No one food can be responsible for all the nutrition your body needs. While each superfood is packed with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and protein that contribute to a healthy diet, balance is the key to whatever you eat. In addition to the ten superfoods mentioned above, the list of foods that contribute to a healthy, balanced diet is super in itself. Consider your current diet and find ways to add some superfoods to all your meals. You will enjoy the benefits including taste and nutrition that they all offer. They really are that super.