What the **** are Super Foods?
Superfoods are super special (I promise I will try to limit my use of the word ‘super’ but it’s a super word and it’s hard to do 😉). They are their own special category of foods found in nature. What makes them so… special (see what I did there? Will power!) is that they are usually naturally low in calories BUT high in nutrient density, meaning you get more bang for your calorie buck so to speak. They are superior sources of antioxidants and essential nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves (and hence must come from our diet). This gives us more energy and leaves us feeling Ah-Mazing!
So yep they’re pretty awesome - but even more awesome is that they’re actually pretty easily found these days in your local Coles or Woolies. The tricky part is finding a way to incorporate them (and their inherent goodness) into your daily diet.
Top 10 Superfoods:
- Kiwi Fruit
- Sweet Potatoes
- Wild Salmon
These nutritional, powerhouse foods are loaded with nutrients crucial to a healthy, long life. Think salads, smoothies, juices and the like (it’s coming up to perfect salad and smoothie weather here – and these ingredients lend themselves beautifully to salads, smoothies and juices! Next time you are planning your meals, plan to add some superfoods in to supercharge the nutritional profile (and your energy levels whilst you are it 😉).
If you can include a variety of them in your diet every day, I promise they will change your life!
I have also included a few of my favourite superfoods that you may or may not have tried:
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 fibre. They have a mild nutty flavour and, since they absorb liquid, they’re ideal for hydration and feeling full. Check out this recipe for Chia Pudding: http://essentially-inspired.com/blog/2017/6/12/surprisingly-instant-chia-pudding/
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 also features plenty of other nutrients, including abundant fibre, 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:
Nature’s chocolate chips! Cacao nibs are made from pure cacao beans that come straight out of the tropical cacao fruit. Cacao was a culinary treasure to Mesoamericans for thousands of years and touted as the "Food of the Gods" for its superior nutritional profile and exceptional flavour. Make a trail mix with shredded coconut, raw cacao nibs, dried cranberries, and a nut of your choice.
Maca is a potent, ancient Peruvian superfood highly prized by Incan warriors to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue. The maca root was prized throughout the Incan empire for its adaptogenic-like qualities that enable it to nourish and balance the body's delicate endocrine system and to help cope with stress. It also energizes naturally, without the jitters and crashes of caffeine, and it can aid in reproductive function, helping to balance hormones and increase fertility. Add maca to smoothies for an extra energy boost. This is always a favourite addition to my morning smoothie- or my protein/bliss balls.
Goji Berries provide a number of important macro-nutrients, including carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and soluble fibre. 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.
Give one of these superfoods a try today and super-charge your day!
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