Superfoods 101: The Ultimate Guide
While the first use of the term “superfood” dates back to early 20th century, its popularity in the mainstream hasn’t been recognized until fairly recently. But as we’ve become more health concious, the importance of superfoods has become apparent.
Though many people are quick to dismiss new buzzwords and diet fads, the science, and nutrition behind superfoods for weight-loss, is very real and effective. With the right intake of these nutrient-rich foods in your diet, you are helping to protect your body from disease, obesity, depression, and low energy.
I absolutely love the way Superfoods make me feel.
Eating superfoods doesn’t need to be complicated, and there’s no need to spend ridiculous amounts of money just to eat healthily. With a few smart ideas and a good understanding on each of the super foods, you can put them to work for your body and feel the instant effects of this amazing food group.
What are Superfoods
Although there’s no technical or scientific definition for superfoods, there have been attempts to label it. According to the European Food Information Council, a superfood is anything that with a high nutrient content that far rivals other foods. Generally, this includes fruits, vegetables, spices, and other vitamin-rich sources.
As new superfoods are discovered all the time, the superfoods list continues to grow. Some of these foods enjoy far greater success than others, such as quinoa or kale, both of which have taken off tremendously in popular culture and nutrition.
Other superfoods, while still extremely good for your health, remain unknown or widely undiscovered, either due to their unusual taste or texture, or the lack of availability to the western world. Most superfoods have already been discovered by ancient cultures many hundreds of years ago, and when this information reaches modern society it takes off in a big way.
Why Do We Need Superfoods
While it’s true that following a healthy diet with the right mix of essential food groups and enjoying treats in moderation is the recommended way to get healthy, there’s no denying the appeal of superfoods which can offer you more,nutrition with less food.
As we become increasingly busy and find less time to prepare nutritionally sound foods for ourselves and our family, these superfoods have become the easy way to get our health back on track. Not only are they great for keeping our weight at a healthy level, but they taste amazing too.
In addition to being great for maintaining a healthy weight, superfoods can also help to prevent diseases. Many of the popular superfoods contain elements which can fight cancer, reduce the risk of diabetes, and even increase your energy and vitality, so they really are “super” as their name suggests.
Superfoods on a Budget
Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. Many people assume that it’s easier and cheaper to pick up a burger from your local takeout to prepare something full of nutrients and vitamins, like those found in super foods.
When planned correctly, shopping for superfoods will end up costing the same as your regular grocery shop, and for those items that are a little more expensive you need to consider their worth. For the times when you can only afford a little, a superfood extract powder can provide you with the recommended servings of vitamins and nutrients with just a spoonful, so they’re great for adding to your meals.
Eating a superfood friendly lunch will keep you satisfied for longer without reaching for another snack just half an hour later, however not the same can be said for unhealthy eating. By making a meal plan in advance, you are more likely to stick to your healthy eating and you’ll save yourself loads of money in grocery bills due to the lack of food wastage.
There are plenty of superfoods available that don’t cost a lot but give you just as much of the benefits of the pricier items. Sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, avocado, oatmeal, berries, and more are all well within even the strictest budget. As the popularity of superfoods increases, the price decreases, making more of these foods available to everyone.
How to Prepare Superfoods
There is often debate about how to prepare superfoods to keep their nutrients in, and each one differs. While it is true that many fruits and vegetables serve a far greater purpose eaten raw, there are other superfoods which should be consumed heated.
Green and black tea works best when heated, and other superfoods such as lentils and quinoa should be cooked to help release their nutrients. Treat each ingredient differently and refer to the superfoods list for specific information on each product.
For many of the superfoods, they’re ideal for simply placing into recipes or meals you’ve already made, and they’ll simply enhance the flavor. Soups, smoothies, salads, dressings, desserts, there’s an easy way to sneak superfoods into every meal of the day to make them more enjoyable and nutritious.
Best Superfoods for Breakfast
As the most important meal of the day, this is the ideal time to get your superfood fix. With the right choice of foods, you can give yourself a day-long energy boost and leave yourself feeling full until lunch time.
Goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, and acai berry are just a few of the delicious fruits that can be incorporated into your breakfast foods. Whether you prefer to make a shake or smoothie, eat a fresh bowl of oatmeal, or bake them into some nutritious muffins, berries make a great addition to any of these.
There are also superfood powders available that work well when mixed with water, juice, or smoothies, and they’re packed full of extracted nutrients. Ingredients such as chlorella and spirulina make up these green powders, and they’re one of the most effective ways to get an instant energy boost and increase your consumption of superfoods.
Lunch with Superfoods
It can be hard to know what to prepare for lunches every day, and the task can become a little mundane. Yet, even kids can love superfoods, if prepared properly. You never have to be bored with your food choices again, as half the fun is in experimentation.
As you’ll want to keep yourself full so you can make it through the afternoon with high energy and a good attitude, why not incorporate some sweet potato superfood into your lunches. Whether you want to oven bake your own fries, mash some up as a deliciously sweet side, or use it to make a dessert, there are countless options for this amazing root vegetable.
Prepare some quinoa in the morning and take it along to work so you can add it to your salad. With a good mix of carrots, fresh spinach, kale, beets, and quinoa you can get a filling lunch. Treat yourself to a green or black tea once you’re done to help aid digestion and get in another serving of superfoods.
Superfoods for Dinner
Dinner is the ideal time to focus on the good green stuff. Many superfoods are green and leafy, and it’s no surprise that these amazing vegetables and fruits have been long known for their health benefits.
Chop up some fresh kale, broccoli, and spinach to add to your side salad, or steam some alongside lean meat and quinoa for a delicious and nutritious stir fry. If you’re after something a little fattier, you can add in avocado, wild salmon, or even toss through some nuts to get the amazing powers of Omega-3 fatty acids in as well.
Superfood recipes don’t need to take a lot of time or effort, and even if you don’t have many ingredients you’ll always be able to find a way to throw at least one of these nutrient rich products into the mix.
Filling Superfood Snacks
Superfoods make up some of nature’s greatest snacks as there’s no need to cook or prepare them to be able to enjoy their flavors and nutrients. When you’re starting a healthy eating plan, it’s essential to find nutritional snacks to keep you full in between meals and help resist temptation against junk food.
Superfood snacks can include anything from a handful of almonds to half an avocado spread over some fresh rye, depending on your taste. For something a little sweeter, mix in a few strawberries and blueberries to a tub of natural yogurt for your very own mid-afternoon dessert.
As superfoods gain popularity and we look for more ways to eat healthy conveniently, superfood snack bars and other snack options are beginning to enter the market. These snacks provide all natural, organic ingredients that contain spices, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, to be enjoyed on the go without feeling guilty.
By incorporating at least one serving of superfoods into each meal of the day, including snacks, you’re guaranteed a healthier body and an improved mood within just days. Superfoods continue to prove how useful they are at disease prevention and alleviating symptoms of common illnesses, so there’s no reason not to add some to your next grocery shop.
How Superfoods Help to Fight Common Health Problems
They aren’t called super for no reason, as these amazing products have been proven to help cure and prevent a whole range of health problems. Most superfoods known in civilized society have had knowledge of their healing powers passed down from ancient cultures, with hundreds of years of use behind them. These are just a few conditions which can be treated or alleviated with the right blend of superfoods in your diet.
According to the US National Institute of Health, 1 in 5 Americans suffer from fatigue, and this problem can be debilitating when in the case of chronic fatigue. Superfoods are a great way to fight fatigue and give yourself a natural boost of energy that will last far longer than sugar or caffeine ever could. Green tea and oatmeal and just two natural energy boosters that can be effective in fighting chronic fatigue.
Our livers sustain a lot of damage from everyday lifestyle choices such as fatty foods and alcohol consumption. A few daily glasses of warm water with lemon is a simple and cost-effective way to improve your liver health and try to reverse some of the damage done.
Disorders such as rashes, acne, and fungal diseases can be aided with the consumption of some superfoods. The best cure for problem skin is good fats and Omega-3s that can be found in many superfoods such as avocado, wild salmon, and coconut oil.
Nervous System Disorders
As one of the most complex parts of our body, it becomes very apparent when our nervous system begins to fail us. To help repair your nervous system the best superfood is bee pollen. This amazing food can actually restore your pH balance and improve your nervous system’s functions due to the high levels of vitamin B within.
Depression and Low Moods
Instead of reaching for the candy, we should be focusing on the healing powers that superfoods can have on depression. A 2010 study found that people with low levels of vitamin D were more susceptible to depression, and thankfully there is a superfood full of it. Wild salmon, eaten a few times a week, can improve your mood and help to prevent from further depressive episodes.
Favored by traditional Asian cultures, ginger has been proven to be essential in improving your immunity and helping to fight off various diseases and illnesses. Furthermore, a study concluded that this superfood was able to kill ovarian cancer cells which shows great potential in treating this deadly disease.
High Blood Pressure
This affliction is common among Americans and one that can be easily helped with one simple superfood. Garlic has been proven to stimulate your body’s production of nitric oxide which relaxes your blood vessels, lowering your blood pressure. Add some to your stir fry or salad dressings for a quick fix.
As a major health problem for many, there are many superfoods that can actually help to reduce your blood sugar levels. Sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, broccoli, lemon, blueberries, strawberries, and oatmeal are all effective in helping to treat and prevent diabetes.
While there are quite a few superfoods which help with heart disease, one is a clear winner. According to WebMD, blueberries are packed full of essential antioxidants which have been proven to reduce buildup in your arteries, helping to prevent strokes and heart attacks.
Superfoods for Weight Loss
Health benefits aside, superfoods are also great at helping you to lose weight quickly and keep it off forever. While it is nice to think about the good impact that a superfood diet can have on your physical wellbeing, it’s great to know there’s a solution to your physical and self-esteem problems too.
Green tea is one of the most powerful weight loss superfoods available, and it tastes great too. By having three of four cups of warm brewed green tea each day, you’re feeding your body important antioxidants that specifically target fat around your belly. It’s also a great way to stave off hunger when enjoyed with a handful of almonds too.
By replacing some of the traditionally unhealthy foods in your diet with superfoods, you can lose weight without giving it too much thought. Swap your white bread and pasta for whole grains and quinoa, pack an extra serve of broccoli or kale into your salad to fill you up, and trade sugary drinks for a cup of warm water with lemon. Just these few simple superfood swaps can help you shed pounds rapidly.
Beautiful Skin and Hair with Superfoods
Another aesthetic benefit of superfoods comes from the amazing power they can have on your hair, nails, and skin. Not just great for curing diseases and lifting your mood, certain superfoods can actually take years off your appearance and give you a makeover from within.
Many popular superfoods such as avocado and pomegranate have moisturizing and repairing powers that can reverse aging and keep your skin looking and feeling supple. By implementing just one serve of these super fruit foods into your daily diet, you can have a far greater effect on your skin than costly beauty products.
Our hair is often a great tell for our overall health, and a diet packed with superfoods will be reflected with luscious locks. To improve the health of your hair, a handful of raw organic almonds eaten each day or thrown into a salad is all you need. Their vitamin B and calcium are ideal for promoting hair growth and strength.
The Future of Superfoods
Many of the superfoods we know and love today were virtually undiscovered by the Western world just 10 years ago. Recent superfood phenomenon such as kale and goji berries have taken the world by storm and made a name for themselves in popular culture.
As more research goes into the health and nutrition and a greater focus on what we eat becomes apparent, new superfoods are likely to emerge each day. Some trends suggest that future superfoods will include many African fruits, vegetables, and produce that has been known to their culture for centuries.
Some other upcoming trends in the world of superfoods include:
This native Australian super fruit has more vitamin C than any other super fruit in the world and five times more antioxidants than blueberries. A tart fruit, it goes well crushed into a powder and added to a range of recipes.
Just one spoonful of this amazing superfood has more antioxidants than a handful of blueberries, so it may be set to top the list of superfoods in health benefits. Add this rice to stir fry, cereals, soups, and biscuits to make them more nutritional.
From the African Baobab tree, this super fruit is packed full of high levels of vitamin C. This product is also known to increase energy and provide amazing support for your immune system.
This plant creates tiny grains that are gluten free and slightly resembles quinoa. The reason it’s set to take off is its levels of calcium, iron, carotenoids and other minerals are higher than most fruits and vegetables.
As more and more people begin to realize the effects that superfoods can have on their health, appearance, and mood, a wider range of these nutrient-dense power sources will become available. There’s no telling what the future of superfoods will bring, and what undiscovered benefits researchers will find with these amazing products.
Superfoods – The Miracle Food Group
While still a relatively new term in popular culture, superfoods have certainly been gaining popularity over the last few years. As we place more and more importance on what we put into our bodies, the trend of superfoods will continue to grow. We are now seeing superfood restaurants, snack bars, and recipe books appearing everywhere, indicating the power that these amazing products have on our health and wellbeing.
Eating well and utilizing the power of superfoods doesn’t need to be expensive, and with a little forward planning and the right ingredients, you can satisfy your hunger while getting the very best in nutrients and vitamins that our food has to offer. There’s a superfood option to meet every meal of the day, and amazing opportunities to be completely creative with your food.
It’s obvious that this food trend is one that won’t be slowing down. And it’s a good thing cuz having access to superfoods is the perfect way to ensure we keep our health in check, fight off deadly diseases, and fuel our bodies with the right type of energy in a way that’s convenient to prepare.