By now you’ve heard the term ‘superfoods’. They’re packed with nutrients and vitamins that benefit your health in so many ways. Find out which foods should be on your weekly grocery list for optimum health! Get ready to maximize your diet with superfoods.
Maximize your diet with superfoods!
(Recipe ideas follow.)
Apples (Try these recipes!)
There are tons of varieties of apples (over 7500 worldwide!) spanning from sweet to tart, to suit every taste. They’re available year-round and a really inexpensive healthy snack while in season. Apples are full of antioxidants and cholesterol-fighting fiber, and eating one takes care of 25% of your daily dose of vitamin C.
Avocado (try these awesome avocado recipes!)
Avocados are full of fiber and good stuff like folate, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium. They also contain a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat, which decreases total and LDL cholesterol and improves the “good” HDL cholesterol.
Blueberries (Blueberry recipes here!)
One serving of blueberries contains as many antioxidants as five servings of other fruits. They contain polyphenols to fight free radicals, reputedly guarding against wrinkles and other signs of aging. Blueberries are also anti-inflammatory, which can help safeguard against a host of diseases.
Although not actually a grain, buckwheat can be used like one, and is better for you than rice, wheat or corn. Gluten-free, buckwheat contains protein and amino acids that boost the protein content of beans and cereals. It’s a good source of fiber and vitamin B6.
Chia (Chia recipes here!)
This one may be new to some, but if you follow the #FitFluential hashtag on Twitter you know we’re all about the chia. These seeds do more than create amusing plant sculptures for your kitchen window! Chia seeds are a complete protein, full of fiber and antioxidants, and a good source of omega 3s; they also contain healthy levels of B vitamins, iron, calcium, zinc and anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Mixed with a liquid, chia expands into a gel. You can cook with this gel like you would an egg, mix it into drinks, make it into pudding, etc. Or, even easier, you can sprinkle chia seeds onto your food– they have virtually no taste and add a bit of crunch. Find out more about chia here.
Eggs (find tasty new ways to enjoy eggs here!)
Eggs are little powerhouses; one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. Low in calories, they are high in protein, antioxidants, vitamins A, B2, B5 and B12, choline, and vitamin D (filling your daily requirement of vitamin D with just one egg). Eggs contain the most essential amino acids of all the protein foods. Make sure to eat the yolk! That’s where most of the nutrition is. Katie guest-posted some great egg recipes earlier this month.
All your dark leafy greens are nutrient-rich. One serving of kale (one cup) contains about 36 calories and meets your daily requirement of Vitamin A by 354% and 1328% (!) of your Vitamin K. Kale is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and beta carotene; is anti-inflammatory, and full of fiber. Twitter chat participants overwhelmingly voted for preparing kale by sautéing with olive oil and garlic, and topping with either parmesan shavings, a squeeze of lemon, or red pepper flakes.
Probably best known for lowering cholesterol helping to manage diabetes, oats are low-calorie, high in protein and fiber. They take a long time to digest, leaving you feeling fuller for longer. Oats contain essential fats and zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron. Check out Coach’s Oats for tons of ideas for cooking with oats.
Pomegranate fruits contain healthy amounts of Vitamins A, C and E as well as folic acid and antioxidants (polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins). Studies suggest that drinking pomegranate juice may reduce blood pressure and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Quinoa is another complete protein, offering all the essential amino acids. Gluten-free and packed with fiber, it’s also a good source of vitamin B2, iron, phosphorus and potassium.
Lean steak & wild salmon
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain it, it’s important to keep up with your protein intake. Ounce for ounce, lean beef (particularly grass-fed) and wild salmon offer the best ratio of good-for-you nutrients like protein, amino acids, iron and zinc.
Courtesy of our FitFluential Ambassadors, here are 24 ways you can enjoy these superfoods— but keep in mind that in many cases the very best way is in its natural state!
6. No Bake Bird Food Balls! Made with oats, chia, dried fruit, and almond meal
18. CHIA JELLY.
22. Buckwheat Bowls (this post includes links to Blueberry Muffin Buckwheat Bowl, PB & J Buckwheat Bowl, Banana Bread Buckwheat Bowl, Pumpkin Buckwheat Bowl and more)