6 Superfoods to Boost Your Wellness
Published September 14, 2022
Some of these superfoods are very well known and some may seem a little more exotic, but they are easy to include in your diet and contribute valuable nutrition to the consumer.
In no particular order here are some super foods you should be looking to incorporate into your diet.
I would include all raw nuts and seeds here, but walnuts specifically are king. These little beauties are filled with alpha-linoleic-acid which is a very beneficial omega-3. Walnuts have been shown to help raise your good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering the harmful LDL cholesterol. Walnuts are included in the Mayo Clinic’s top 5 cholesterol lowering foods. They also contain fiber, protein, Vitamin E, folate and can help keep you fuller for longer.
2. Chia Seeds
The main ingredient in the flash in the pan Chia Pet from the 80’s is back. Well, it actually never really went anywhere as chia seeds have been used for centuries beginning with the Aztecs. Chia seeds are small and oval shape with a diameter of only 1 mm. They are primarily grown in Mexico, Bolivia, and Argentina. What's interesting about Chia seeds is that when they get wet, they secrete a gel-like substance that coats the seed. This gel is soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol and just one ounce serving contains a whopping 11 grams of fiber. Chia seeds contain protein and have also been observed to improve blood pressure.
Quinoa is a little different from other grains as it is more of a seed and, therefore, doesn’t contain any gluten. What it does contain, however, is iron, B vitamins, magnesium, Vitamin E, and fiber just to name a few. What makes quinoa very interesting is it is one of only few plant sources to contain protein and amino acides, which makes it a good choice for vegetarians. So it’s high in protein, has a low glycemic index and has been shown to reduce blood sugar, insulin and triglyceride levels - all of which make it a better option than consuming gluten-containing and gluten-free products.
As the name hints at, spirulina is a spiral shaped, blue-green algae that grow in freshwater lakes and ponds around the world. When we think high protein content, we tend to always think of beef, fish or chicken; however, when you evaluate gram for gram, spirulina contains the highest percentage of protein than do other foods. It can help give you energy as it contains iron and B vitamins. In addition, spirulina has a detoxifying effect as it is packed full of chlorophyll and can help with boosting your immunity by creating antibodies.
Spirulina is easy to find now in many health food stores and comes in powder form to mix in with whatever you like.
5. Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are awesome. They are basically the purest and rawest form of chocolate. Cocoa is what we to refer to something that has gone through processing, but cacao is the raw bean that has been roasted, separated from their husks and broken into smaller bits. They are crunchy with a nutty/chocolaty type flavor and have some awesome health benefits. They are one of the highest sources of antioxidants that help in fighting off free radical damage. They are high in magnesium, fiber, potassium and have also been shown to improve mood by their phenylethylamine content.
You can eat cacao nibs on their own or add them into all kinds of things to give better crunch and texture.
What’s a superfood list, or any health list for that matter, that doesn’t include kale? Kale is the darling of the food world and for good reason as it may be superfood #1. Kale is actually a form of cabbage that is super high in antioxidants which help fight off certain cancers, premature aging, and DNA damage. Kale also contains quercetin and kaempferol which are flavonoids found in large quantities in it. These flavonoids can protect the heart, lower blood pressure, are anti-inflammatory, and have anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects.
Wrapping It Up
These are foods that are more readily available now and not as expensive as you may think. They are easy to include into your diet and can be used in a multitude of ways. I recommend checking out bulk food stores to find these things in their raw form and at the lowest price as well. The sooner you can start including these superfoods in your meals, the sooner you can start reaping the rewards.