Superfoods – What the hell makes a food super? When you first research superfoods you may realize that since there isn’t actually a strict scientific definition as to what they are, there are A LOT to choose from. According to the American Health Association, there is no standard criteria for an approved list of superfoods. But the agreed consensus is that a superfood is something that is really good for your body and packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Superfoods don’t have to be organic, but are considered even more superb if they are (seriously!).
When you visit a natural or health food store, you may run into an aisle dedicated to superfoods. This is what it was like at the store I once worked; you may have heard of it – Essence of Life Organics in Toronto’s Kensington Market. Usually the superfood aisle is one full of exotic seeds, dried berries, powders and formulas you may have never heard of before. Think chia and hemp seeds, moringa powder, turmeric and lucuma powder. Though labelled as such, these are not the only superfoods in the store. In fact, you don’t even have to go to a specialty store or strain your wallet to get superfoods, because unbeknownst to some they are all around at your local supermarket.
Here is a list of superfoods you may already be eating or missing out on! The best part is that you don’t have to buy them at Whole Foods.
Whether it is blueberries or pomegranates, these delicious fruits are full of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium. Berries are also great for fighting inflammation. When shopping for your super berry of choice, remember that the darker the berry usually means the more antioxidants it contains.
This is really a superfood. Studies found that dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help protect the body from cancer and heart disease.Try grabbing some 70% cacao for the most antioxidants and health benefits! WARNING: Do not heat the chocolate or you are destroying all of it’s many health properties.
Not only are they are made up of monounsaturated fats – some of the best fats for you (great for lowering cholesterol) – just half of one counts as one of your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. They also contain lots of fibre, antioxidants, potassium and vitamin E. Oh and they’re delicious. So why wouldn’t they be considered super?
The same goes with greens as it does with berries, the darker the colour means the better they are for you. Opting for some high fibre vegetables like kale, collard greens, spinach or broccoli is a good decision if you’re looking for easily digestible vitamins, enzymes and nutrients. Not only do they fill you up, they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer!
It’s packed with omega-3 fatty Acids, and is a perfect food for optimum heart health. It’s omega-3’s are known for helping prevent depression as well as containing anti-inflammatory properties. Since it is low in saturated fats and high in protein, salmon is easily digestible and a great option for those looking to shed weight. This superfood really is amazing. if you don’t like salmon try sardines, tilapia or mackerel!
This superfood can be prepared hot or cold and contains no calories. Green tea is full of powerful antioxidants that protect you from cancer as well as bioflavonoids that protect from infection. With regular consumption, green tea is said to not only protect you from cancer, but Alzheimer’s, liver damage and even sometimes osteoporosis. Green tea is not a food, but it’s a drink that can be easily added to anyone’s diet.
Dried Plums (PRUNES)
They have not stopped being super since your grandparents have been eating them. Prunes are excellent in aiding digestion (trust me), contain iron, lower the risk of colon cancer and can help protect you from emphysema. They will help you stay full for longer and are even great for your bones.
I am talking about the sugar-free steel cut stuff. This understated superfood is high in fibre, antioxidants and other nutrients that help keep you feeling vital and full! This cheap breakfast favourite helps aid digestion, lowers cholesterol and speeds up your metabolism. Check out these recipes for overnight oats and you will not regret it.
The world of superfoods can sound complex and expensive. But being healthy can be simple. You can find superfoods at your local grocery store or market, in addition to the ones available at natural food stores. Maybe you are like me and need spirulina to help with an iron deficiency. The more research you do, the more you’ll know. Word on the web is that watermelon seeds are the next big superfood trend. Rest assured you should no longer be afraid that eating the seeds will grow giant melons in your stomach.