The term superfood is thrown around pretty frequently these days but in my opinion, a superfood isn’t always the most exotic and expensive berry discovered in the Amazon. Some of the foods we already eat or foods that can easily be found in our grocery store have amazing health properties.
I can’t say enough about this lovely, nutrient dense, leafy green. It is incredibly nutrient-rich and has powerful antioxidant properties. Kale contains calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, & K, as well as beta-carotene and lutein. Among other vegetables, kale ranks high for its ability to fight cell-damaging free radicals. Kale greens can be used raw in salads or smoothies but are also great steamed or sautéed.
Many people mistake quinoa for a grain but it is actually a seed that looks and tastes just like a grain. Quinoa is higher in protein than other grains and contains amino acids, linoleic acid, fiber, magnesium, iron and other vitamins. It is gluten-free and easy to digest for people who have celiac or are gluten-sensitive. I like to use quinoa in place of brown rice in stir-fries or add it to soups – because of its high fiber and protein content it provides more substance and satiety than other grains.
It seems like everyone is talking about chia seeds lately but for good reason. These tiny seeds have a high nutritional value, are extremely versatile and can be a great addition to any diet – especially if you are looking to lose weight. Chia seeds can absorb up to 10-15 times their weight in liquid, which makes them a good diet food because they help us to feel full and satiated. They can eaten raw as a whole seed and because of their high absorbency and mild flavor, chia seeds are a great addition to hot and cold cereals, smoothies, yogurt and can be added to foods when baking. Chia seeds are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and contain more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants than many other nuts and seeds. I like to throw a tablespoon into a smoothie or make chia pudding with almond milk and berries for a healthy dessert.
Often referred to as “nature’s Gatorade” coconut water is the liquid is extracted from coconuts that are about 7 months, before the coconut ages, turns brown and the water turns to meat. Coconut water is naturally high in potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium and calcium. It is 100% natural and low in sugar. Coconut water is isotonic – meaning it has the same electrolyte balance as blood – which allows it to easily replenish fluids and nutrients lost during exercise help our bodies rehydrate quickly.
Lemons are a great source of vitamin C. They support liver function and have an alkalizing effect on the body, which is beneficial for overall wellness. Drinking hot water with lemon in the morning is a great way to get the digestive system going. I always tell myself its better to drink hot water with lemon over coffee but I just can’t break the caffeine habit. So I drink both.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Over the years I’d heard about the weight loss benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and after some research I found out that there might be some truth to rumors. I stick to the raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar – not for weight loss – but because it is rich in enzymes and is good for digestion. Even though apple cider is acidic, it actually is alkalizing on the body and promotes pH balance.
People tend to shy away from avocados because of their high fat content but it’s good heart-healthy fat and is paired with nutrients like potassium, B vitamins, vitamin E and vitamin K. Avocados are also high in fiber. And they taste really good.