We love talking about superfoods around here. From discovering which foods are healthier than kale to uncovering the superfood in your kitchen, it’s a hot topic for us. The reason is because we want you to think outside the box, or the blender as it may be, when creating the meal plan that works for you. Packing a punch gives you a huge bonus when mixing up your shakes, planning your snacks, or whipping up delicious meals.
Superfoods are nutritionally rich foods that pack a lot of punch for your diet. They have high levels of vitamins and minerals as well as other beneficial nutrients like antioxidants, protein, fiber, and healthy fats. But, it’s not enough to just pick them up at the store and throw them on your plate. Creating a meal plan around seasonal items will help to lower the cost, provide you with the most flavor, grown locally, and often cuts down on chemical processing because they do not have a long transit time.
So, what superfoods should you plate up right now? Take a look!
We see them a lot during the holidays, but cranberries have some impressive health benefits. Commonly known for their role in fighting urinary tract infections, cranberries are also rich in antioxidants and play important roles in promoting heart health and, thanks to their high fiber content, digestive health.
We have done so much with cauliflower in recent years that it has become widely popular for a variety of dishes. It's low calorie (29 calories for one cup) and contains 74% of your daily value of Vitamin C. It also contains about a quarter of your RDA of many other vitamins and minerals and is a good source of fiber and omega-3 fats.It is versatile veggie that can be steamed and seasoned or transformed into a variety of dishes, like mashed cauliflower (a substitute for potatoes) or riced into a crust for pizza.
I know you’ve heard “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” almost your entire life. And there’s good reason for that! Apples are a runner-up to berries in antioxidant power, and their high fiber content helps heal digestion issues. All that fiber also helps lower cholesterol, fight diabetes, and maintain healthy weight. But, there’s a secret to getting the most out of your apples – you need to eat the whole fruit. Most of the apple’s nutrients are in the peel.
Gourds hit their peak in the fall which is why we see the many varieties hit the store at that time. The orange color of the butternut squash shows its rich carotenoid content, which has cancer-fighting properties. But butternut squash also plays an important role in heart health, as it’s another plant-based source of omega-3s.
If you suffer from arthritis or other joint pain, turmeric could help! Among other benefits, it helps with nausea and can calm heart-burn. The curcumin that's contained in tumeric can clear inflammatory agents that cause heartburn. You can often find turmeric in pill form, but don’t forget to look in the spice aisle at your grocery store.
A great snack alone or with some yogurt, walnuts certainly pack a punch! Its omega-3 fatty acids help maintain heart health. The high amount of vitamin E in walnuts is responsible for this heart healthy quality - especially in men. Walnuts are also a huge source of fiber, protein, magnesium, folate, copper, and antioxidants. We recommend not removing the skin from the nut (not to be confused with the shell), as it contains important phenols, too.
Potatoes are not really a standard when trying to maintain a healthy diet. However, you can't lump sweet potatoes in with your high starch white potatoes which contribute to excess weight gain. Sweet potatoes have the opposite effect. They are loaded with potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B6. All of this makes the sweet potato fantastic for weight loss, prostate health, and skin health.
Try adding any of these superfoods as a side to your daily lunch or dinner, or even combining them for a tasty new dish. Working highly nutritious foods into your diet will boost your health and is key to the road to a healthy lifestyle.