People these days are on the go non-stop. Long gone are the days where most families come home from the day at work/school and eat a well balanced meal. More often than not people are eating on the go and oftentimes this leads to unhealthy “convenient” choices. One solution to this is to add so-called Superfoods to your diet — nutritionally dense foods that will provide you with a much needed boost and often confer other health benefits as well.
Following are 6 of my favourite superfoods that I try to eat on a regular basis:
Kale – Unfortunately most leafy greens while low in calories, are quite nutritionally lacking as well. Not so for Kale however! This hearty leaf is a form of cabbage and is extremely high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and manganese. Kale is also a good source of several dietary minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. But we’re not finished yet! It’s also an excellent source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Cooking tends to diminish Kale’s nutritional potency so try to eat raw as part of a salad or wrap when possible.
Oatmeal – Yep! That old breakfast staple that your parents forced you to eat as a kid is actually extremely nutritious. Buy the large flake oats when possible – they retain more of the natural oat than the processed kinds. One of oatmeal’s main benefits is its ability to lower cholesterol by means of the beta-glucan it contains. It also contains a very high amount of fibre that aids in digestion.
Salmon – Most of us simply do not get enough Omega-3 fat in our diets, which is an essential nutrient our bodies need and can’t produce on their own. Salmon (and many other cold-water fish) happen to be excellent sources of Omega-3s and are also very high in vitamin-D. It’s best to eat this one in moderation however, as there is some research that shows eating an excess of fish to lead to higher heavy-metal concentrations in the body — obviously an undesirable side-effect.
Almonds – As far as nuts go, almonds are the most nutritionally dense known to man. While high in calories, they also pack many other nutrients such as potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, and iron. Very high in fibre as well which is good for the ol’ digestive tract.
Avocados – One of the unique things about Avocados is they are what is considered a “fatty” fruit, which is quite unique! Avocados are very high in polyunsaturated fats (the Omegas) and are also very high in the vitamin B, Vitamin E, potassium, protein and fiber. They can be eaten raw (great on salad!) or made into a dip such as guacamole.
Strawberries – In addition to being the tastiest superfood on this list, strawberries are very high in vitamin C and manganese. More importantly though, their seeds are quite high in unsaturated fat and the phytochemicals present in strawberries have been shown to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects — all great stuff!
My challenge to you is to make an attempt to eat one of these superfoods per day for the next month. Try it out and let me know how you feel in the comments below!