You’ve probably heard the term ‘superfood’ tossed around in the media lately, or perhaps how certain foods are rumoured to have some medicinal properties in them- all in all great information, but it just might be leaving you to question ‘what exactly is a superfood and why should I reach for them’?
In short, superfoods are basically nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial to health and well being. Cool right? But I’m guessing you are probably thinking ‘ya, I figured that much’- so not to worry babe, there are a lot more reasons to reach for them other than just general wellbeing, and we’re going to explore them together below!
To add to the continuously growing list of benefits, superfoods are currently known for meeting (and exceeding) our required mineral and vitamin intake, as well as assisting with weight-loss, preventing chronic disease, and helping to slow down the effects of aging. Not only that, but they have also been shown to heal infections, boost the immune system, increase metabolism, promote fat-loss, aid digestion, increase energy and promote better sleep patterns.
It likely comes as no surprise that if we were to pump our system full of junk-food and processed goods, we are likely to feel sluggish, bloated, and just down right awful. So, on the contrary, feeding our beautiful bods with real, whole foods- superfoods at that- is likely to promote many positive changes within us. The best part? The list of superfoods is growing each day as more medicinal properties are found among our everyday foods, making it easier (and more accessible) to incorporate them into our daily routine!
So, what’s to give then? If there are an incredible amount of benefits to eating superfoods, and an endless supply of superfoods, why is most of the population still not using them?
The answer is simple babe- even with such an extensive list of readily-available superfoods, today’s society is conditioned to reach for items of convenience. AKA: Processed Goods. Bummer, right? But who can blame us anyway- in today’s world where everything is expected to happen quickly, it’s hard to find the time to slow down and put our health first.
The good news, is that the following list of top superfoods for 2019 contain a lot of items that we can grab and go- or easily incorporate- to help us get our health back on track.
TOP 2019 SUPERFOODS:
#1. Fermented Foods
Think things like sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, etc. All of these wonderful foods are known to help increase our good gut bacteria, and aid in digestion. Helping us to reduce inflammation and detox naturally, these superfoods are essential to our wellbeing! Try replacing your glass of wine with a glass of kombucha- I even drink mine from a wine glass too!
Containing nearly 20 vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, B vitamins, and folic acid- this amazing fruit doesn’t stop there. They are also packed with healthy monounsaturated fat and dietary fiber, helping to keep you full and satisfied, and diminishing cravings!
Small, but mighty, seeds are quite the nutritional powerhouses! Think of things like chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, or pumpkin seeds. They’re loaded with dietary fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants- making them the perfect salad topper!
Nuts are also one of the healthiest snacking options, related in part to their healthy levels of unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. I love to incorporate them into my smoothie bowls, oatmeal or in trail mix!
Containing high levels of phytochemicals—including flavonoids, anthocyanins, and resveratrol—they help the body combat inflammation naturally. In addition, they have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as memory loss. And they are rumoured to contain the highest levels of antioxidants out of all of our food sources too.
Containing high levels of vitamin B, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, they have been shown to drastically reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses. I love to add them to juices or smoothies, or roast them in the oven with a little garlic and pink Himalayan salt.
#6. Ancient Grains
Quinoa isn’t the only whole grain you should be incorporating this year. Experiment by using ones you haven’t before! Grains like Amaranth, Faro, and Millet can be used to top salads, bulk up grain bowls, or in baking.
#7. Exotic Fruit
Rich in antioxidants, heart-healthy fatty acids, and solid sources of fiber- these yummy options (such as acai or goji berries), are fantastic additions to salads or smoothie bowls!
If you seen my blog post on coconuts, you’ll know there is no surprise that they made my list! Coconuts are found to be rich in antibacterial, anti-aging, antioxidant, wound healing, and anti-inflammatory properties. They also help in treating various skin problems that include eczema, psoriasis, UV radiation, dermatitis, dry skin, wounds and burns. Plus a whole lot of other benefits you can read HERE.
A blue-green algae and cousin to Chlorella, earns its spot rightfully in this list! With over a 60% protein content, it is loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Proven to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol), balance blood sugar AND promote growth of healthy gut bacteria, there isn’t much this superfood can’t do! I add it to my smoothies, and I recommend starting in small amounts to get accustomed to the taste.
Big Kale fan over here! Incredibly high in nutrients, and low in calories, it’s an ideal weight-loss aid and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Kale contains ALL Essential Amino Acids, is an anti-inflammatory superstar, loaded with vitamins A, C, & K, contains powerful antioxidants, helps to lower cholesterol and has cancer fighting properties. WOWSA! If that isn’t a superfood- I don’t know what is!
So there you go babe.
Incorporating this master list of superfoods into your daily routine doesn’t have to be hard, and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive!
Let’s commit to better health and wellness in 2019 and promise to show our bods some love. The biggest step you can take towards mindfulness this year is to be aware of what you are eating and how it is making you feel.
Good luck trying out some or all of these items and be sure to tag your creations on Facebook or Instagram with @therealholisticrn.