Today, treatments for processed foods, intensive agriculture, additives and pollutants are reducing the level of nutrients found in most foods. But fortunately for us, we have “superfoods”. What exactly are superfoods you ask? Simply put, they are highly nutritious foods that have more vitamins, minerals, fibers and antioxidants than any others. I have put together a list of some ideal superfoods that will help you stay both happy and healthy. 😉
1. CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds have an extremely rich nutritional composition which is quite impressive given how small they are! They consist of concentrated vegetable proteins, fiber and omega 3, but it doesn’t stop there. Chia seeds contains more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than similar foods including: nuts, wheat, oats and more.
As a reminder, antioxidants are essential to our health. They protect the body against free radicals (aggressive particles) and in doing so, they also act as a preventative measure against many diseases.
The composition of chia seeds produce many virtuous qualities. They can regulate digestion, strengthen bones, protect the brain, reduce both bad cholesterol and the risk of developing cancers as well as cardiovascular disease.
Daily consumption of chia seeds is therefore extremely beneficial to your health. In addition, they are 100% natural and gluten-free.
2. GOJI BERRIES
Goji berries, native to Tibet, are extremely rich in antioxidants. Like chia seed, the composition of goji berries produce many benefits. They can help strengthen your immune system, regulate digestion, increase energy and improve memory as well reverse signs of premature aging.
Goji berries and chia seeds have a fairly neutral taste and can be consumed in many ways. Some of my favorite ways include salads, yogurt or even a smoothie.
Spirulina is a blue-green microalgae which is also a superfood. It is known for its incredibly rich and high-quality protein content of approximately 65%. Further, it’s also an excellent source of iron, and carotenoids and powerful antioxidants.
Spirulina is an ideal source of protein and iron for vegetarians seeking a way to supplement the nutrient deficiencies in their regular diets.
Pomegranates are extremely rich in antioxidants. The individual berries are delicious, sometimes messy, yet are still considered an extremely healthy superfood to have at your fingertips!
Acai is a small berry from South Africa that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s also well-known for its powerful antioxidant properties and is an ideal superfood for anyone looking to stay healthy.
More often than not, it’s consumed in powder form but it can also be added to cereal or a mixed fruit medley.
This list of superfoods is not complete as there are many others. For example, acerola otherwise known as the barbados cherry is known for its rich vitamin C content not to mention turmeric root as well as blueberries, all of which, are rich in antioxidants and other cancer fighting agents.
No food can be the sole protector of our health. There is no all-encompassing miracle food. Enjoying the health benefits of these extremely nutritious foods can only occur when combining them with a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
Lastly, remember that everything in moderation is the key. Excess consumption of any of these superfoods can be detrimental to health! Too much of a good thing isn’t good at all. In fact, too much spirulina can have many negative side effects like nausea, vomiting and fever.
For example, the DRI for chia seeds is no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons per day.
Article written by Amélie Vincent, dietitian.