I am sure everyone has heard or experienced the hype around superfoods, but what exactly are they? What do they do and how do I incorporate them into my daily diet?
The dictionary defines superfoods as “nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.”
Currently there are no regulations or legal definitions as to what can and cannot hold the label of superfoods in countries such as the United States but in general, superfoods are considered to contain a wide variety of essential nutrients while packing large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Many of these superfoods are now readily available in supermarkets, such as quinoa. But how do you benefit from these amazing superfoods?
Oats has always been a firm favorite of mine when it comes to breakfast, but recently I have moved over to eating overnight oats instead of cooking it. Soak some oats in coconut milk in the fridge. Add some chia seeds to your oats and even some goji berries. Chia seeds have a super high content of omega fatty acids for healthy brain function and also packs a punch of protein, fiber, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, iron and calcium and not forgetting antioxidants. Goji berries are definitely at the top of my list of tasty superfoods and are high in antioxidants and amino acids. On top of that, these berries carry more than 20 vitamins and minerals that strengthen eyesight, fight viruses, and balance hormones.
Lunch and Dinner
Quinoa and other ancient grains such as amaranth, barley and farro are rapidly growing in popularity and is one of my go-to sources for carbs for clients. The reason I love quinoa so much is not just because it has twice the amount of fiber as most other grains, but it’s packed with protein! Quinoa also delivers an impressive amount iron, lysine, magnesium, Vitamin B2 and manganese. Another way to add some superfoods to your diet is to make the switch to using coconut oil for cooking or adding it to your smoothies. The fatty acids in this superfood fight body fat by converting into energy that boosts metabolism as opposed to animal derived saturated fats that add body fat.
Quick, simple and easy is definitely my motto when it comes to meal planning. As a busy trainer, nutrition coach, wife and mom, I simply don’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing food. So why not create your own superfood trail mix? I mix goji berries, white mulberries, almonds and of course, my chocolate fix, raw cacao nibs together. Cacao gives me that chocolatey taste whilst also providing me with much-needed antioxidants which boost your immune system and helps to resist those nasty colds and sickness. You can also blend two to four tablespoons of cacao powder with your daily smoothie and enjoy the warm flavours. Or sprinkle some cacao nibs on top for just a hint of goodness.
It all comes down to experimenting and playing around with the different flavors and combinations. Nothing beats finding that perfect combination of taste and nutrition to help you eat healthy and help our world.