Lots of people are on a health kick these days. More and more health food stores are popping up everywhere, people are growing their own fruit and vegetable gardens and even fast food restaurants are putting healthier items on their menus.
With the help of the internet and the thousands of cookbooks that are available to us, it’s gotten easier to find healthy snack ideas. But it’s not always so black and white when trying to make your favorite recipes even healthier. The following super foods will help you to add variety to and give the foods you snack on a healthy upgrade.
You read that right — cocoa is actually good for you. It’s a chocolate powder that is ground from roasted cacao seeds, and it has several health benefits. These include decreasing blood pressure and lowering LDL cholesterol levels. It also helps with depression, as it has been shown to elevate serotonin.
Adding cocoa to your morning or post-workout protein smoothie can give you a great boost. It also contains caffeine, so you may even want to replace your coffee with it every once in a while.
Avocado is one of the healthiest fats known to man, offering close to 20 different vitamins and minerals. You can add this delicious and nutritious fruit to pretty much any meal or snack, and they are even tasty on their own.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is another healthy fat that should be part of everyone’s diet, but be sure to choose the right kind, as not all olive oils are created equal — it’s all about the extraction process. When shopping, check the label for the North American Olive Oil Association or the International Olive Council’s stamp of approval. Use it to make salad dressings or sprinkle it on your freshly diced avocado.
Turmeric is a spice that is used in Asian cooking. Think curry. It is an incredible super food that benefits highly to your health and is a great healer. This spice holds the power of reducing inflammation, which is the root of all disease. It’s used for many things, including arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, headaches, cancers, depression, diabetes and so much more.
To reap the benefits of this super food, add it to soups, vegetables, scrambled eggs, tea and even smoothies.
Chia seeds are a nutrient-rich food that contain great health benefits and can be added to things like smoothies, salads and vegetables in order to up their nutritional quality. They date back to the Mayan era and contain omega 3s, vitamins, minerals, protein and more. They also help with digestion.
Pea Protein Powder
Pea protein is a good substitute for many of the foods vegans don’t eat. It is also a great substitute for soy protein powder, as we have realized that soy isn’t so good for us and could cause estrogen problems. Pea protein is a wonderful powder to add to your morning smoothies.
There has been a lot of buzz around coconut oil over the last several years. It has numerous health benefits and is great for cooking. It’s best to go for coconut oil with the “virgin” label, as this type of coconut oil has not been deodorized, bleached or refined in any way.
Coconut oil has many uses. As mentioned previously, it is used in cooking. When taken by mouth, it can have health benefits for breast cancer, clogged arteries, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid problems and more. When used as a topical placed directly on the skin, it works as a moisturizer, easing dry skin, psoriasis and eczema. Drop some in your smoothie, use it to cook veggies or make bulletproof coffee —mixing coffee with grass fed butter and coconut oil. It’s delicious.
This super food has been around for thirteen centuries. It contains fiber and omega 3s, and may reduce the risk of certain cancers — including breast cancer — as well as lung disease and cardiovascular disease. It can also help with diabetes and inflammation. Flax seed can be purchased ground already or you can grind it yourself. You can add it to many things including smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal and soup.
Hemp seeds are a natural food source that comes from the Cannabis plant. This super food offers protein, fiber, potassium, vitamin A and iron. They help with inflammation, heart disease and immune health. Hemp seeds can be ground into powder and sprinkled on a variety of foods, like rice, vegetables, salads, smoothies — you name it. Even try it on guacamole.
As we’re watching our health closer and looking for more variety in our foods, adding these nutritious items to your snacks can really boost your well-being all around. Try some of these suggestions if you’re looking for ways to be more health conscious yourself.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.