What Super Foods Are & Why You Need Them

What Super Foods Are & Why You Need Them

Some of the things we eat earn the title of "Super Foods" because they have few calories but are jam-packed with nutrients. They are also superior sources of antioxidants and the essential nutrients your body doesn´t produce on its own.

So, why do you need antioxidants?

The simple answer is that they 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 accelerates aging.

Here is a list of my all-time favorite Super Foods:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Beets
  • Avocados
  • Kale
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Lentils
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Wild Salmon

These nutritional, powerhouse foods are loaded with nutrients and low on calories. That´s why I make a point of adding a variety of them to my diet on a daily basis...and you should, too!

Not-so-common Super Foods To Try

Don´t let not being familiar with these more exotic Super Foods keep you from giving them a try. Look for them in health food stores like Whole Foods in the US or you can order them online...

Chia Seeds

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, which I love and it’s super simple to make. 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. Then add your favorite fruit or granola to jazz it up a bit. Yum!

Hemp Seed

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

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.

Maqui Powder

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

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 I don´t want to overwhelm you. The list here is a good starting point for supercharging your day. Make a point of adding 1-2  super foods to your meal plan, every day. You´ll be amazed at how good they taste and how much better they make you feel!

About the Author Jan Marie Mueller

Jan Marie Mueller is founder of the inspirational blog ThinkBrilliantly and The Brilliance Community, a free Facebook group dedicated to empowering women to let their inner brilliance shine! Her mission is to help women everywhere shift the way they think about themselves, their world and those around them so they have the confidence to do, be and have what they want most in life!

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