What are superfoods, you may ask?
“Superfood” is a non-medical term that essentially divides certain foods into an exceptionally healthy food category. What makes super foods so healthy? They are packed with large doses of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. Superfoods nourish the body with an extreme amount of nutrients that assist with reducing chronic diseases, prolong life, help with weight issues, and can even assist with emotional issues. Although their is no medical definition for “superfood,” the category of foods that fit into this category are, in fact, packed with exceptional amounts of nutrients that will make your body happy! And that’s what really matters, right? With that being said, here are five superfoods that you should start adding to your diet:
Chia seeds are actually part of the mint plant family in Central America. Chia seeds are rich in calcium, protein, and fatty acids which help increase your energy levels while improving your digestive system and lowering cholesterol levels. You can simply add the seeds to yogurt, smoothies, or even baking recipes. The longer the chia seeds sit in liquid, the more they create a gel-like substance. This gel-like substance is good for you and it helps thicken drinks, sauces, and can even be used as a replacement for eggs in baking recipes. Chia seeds also don’t have much of a taste to them at all, making them an easy addition to just about anything you eat.
Coconut oil is dried coconut “meat.” It often comes in a jar but more often than not, it needs to be melted before using, sort of like butter. You may be surprised that an “oil” is beneficial for your body, but coconut oil is absolutely great and is often used primarily due to it’s health benefits. Coconut oil is full of lauric acid and dietary fiber. It helps with your digestive health, cardiovascular health, weight loss, immune function, and in it’s solid or liquid state is an amazing substitute for creams and lotions for the skin.
Goji berries are from a Chinese shrub and are full of antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamins (they have more vitamin C by weight than any other food!) The berries help with immune function, cardiovascular health, and even mental function. They come in a dried form, sort of like raisins, and can be added on top of yogurts and parfaits, and to baked items, too. But really, you can just snack on them like raisins.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae. Yup, algae. Full of antioxidants and vitamins, the algae helps in increasing energy levels and immune function. You may often see athletes take a “shot” of spirulina, which is basically a tiny smoothie primarily made of spirulina, a tiny bit of honey to smooth things out, and lemon juice. But you can add it to a smoothie, salad dressing, pesto, hummus, guacamole, in your pancakes, and the list goes on!
Found on an African palm tree, these berries are rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, and dietary fiber. They battle free radicals, increase digestive health, and cardiovascular health. The berries can come in berry form, powder or as an oil. In berry form, they can be added to baked goods, on top of pancakes, on your yogurt and so on. The powder form is often used for smoothies, but you could add it to your pancake mix which often results in some beautiful purple pancakes. The oil form is often used in health beauty products due to it’s amazing benefits for the skin!
The best places to find these super foods are online, vitamin stores, organic food stores, and some big chain stores. They are totally worth a try and are an amazing addition to your daily diet habits!