There has been a lot of discussion over the past few years about “Superfoods” and how they can help improve your health. Whether it be Oprah, Readers Digest, famous athletes, or even your friends and family, superfoods (and their impact on your health) are being talked about all over the place. At this point almost everyone is aware of the health benefits of blueberries and pomegranates so I want to introduce you to some of the superfoods that are becoming more popular but that many people don’t yet know about. Please know that this information is being provided for educational purposes only and Kaela Scott Counselling is not recommending that you consume these foods.
1) Hemp Seeds: Hemp Seeds have an incredible amount of Omega 3, 6 and 9. There is no other plant-based food that contains all three. An added benefit is that hemp seeds are a complete protein, meaning that the seeds contain all the essential amino acids required to meet your bodies nutritional needs. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds has 16 grams of protein! To top it off, hemp seeds have anti-inflammatory properties which means they are a perfect food to eat after any form of exercise to help repair your muscles. In terms of taste, they have a nutty flavor that can go well in smoothies and salads.
2) Quinoa: Quinoa is also a seed but tastes like a grain. Another high protein food, quinoa also boasts high levels of iron, potassium and B vitamins which play a role in supporting and increasing your metabolism. Quinoa doesn’t tend to have much of a flavor when cooked so I often recommend cooking it in broth. You can eat it as a side (like rice) or can mix it into salads to turn your salad into a meal.
3) Cholorella and Spirulina: Both Spirulina and Chlorella are blue-green algae’s that are high in protein, help remove heavy metals from your body and contains a high amount of vitamins, minerals and enzymes essential for your body to function properly. These foods have been shown to improve immune functioning, increase energy, and accelerate healing/tissue repair. The best way to consume chlorella and spirulina is in shakes. They can have an intense flavor if you put too much in so using a small amount to begin with is important in order to adjust to the taste.
4) Goji Berries: Goji berries are a dried fruit that are bright red in color and look similar to a raisin. This fruit is very high in antioxidants (which help fight cancer-causing free radicals) and vitamin A. Some studies have shown that goji berries can help keep Alzheimer’s at bay and can reduce the risk of heart disease. They are also high in amino acids (protein) and other trace minerals such as iron, zinc, vitamin B2 and vitamin E. Goji berries are a great addition to any breakfast cereal (warm or cold) as well as baking and soups. You can eat them by themselves but often people find the tangy aftertaste a bit overpowering.
5) Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a great addition to any diet because they are high in protein, vitamins and minerals, and help strengthen your immune system. When left to soak for a few minutes Chia seeds become gelatinous. Chia seeds can help remove toxins from the body as well as help regulate blood sugar which decreases appetite and can help prevent a food binge. Add chia seeds to shakes, oatmeal, pudding (you can make your own homemade pudding using chia seeds!) or any food that requires a thickening agent.
Superfoods are gaining popularity because of their incredible ability to heal and nourish our bodies even in small quantities. Take some time to think about what areas of your diet could use a bit of extra nutrition and what superfoods you may want to incorporate into your daily routine.