What exactly is a superfood?
No single food holds the key to good health. There’s no standard criteria that classifies a food as “super.” However, superfoods contain a high volume of antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.
These nutrient-packed superfoods not only make you feel better, but have shown remarkable health benefits. Incorporating a variety of superfoods into your diet could reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and even certain types of cancers. Common types of super foods include,
Common Types of Superfoods Include:
· Dark Leafy Greens
· Green Tea
· Nuts and Seeds
· Olive Oil
· Sweet Potato
It’s important to remember superfoods are not cure-all foods. Eating superfoods with an unhealthy diet such as, fried or sugary foods will not improve your health. Exercise and a healthy, balanced diet overall should be taken into strong consideration when incorporating superfoods into your diet. Focus on a super diet, rather than just superfoods.
Here are some tips, techniques, and ideas for incorporating superfoods into your diet.
Be Open Minded
Be open minded when trying new foods. Preconceived ideas can make us hate a particular food before we even try it. Your taste buds are always changing – a food you disliked when you were a child, could be a favorite in your adult life.
Super diets don’t always happen overnight. This is because it’s hard to break our daily routines. Going from a high-carb, high-sugar diet to a low-carb, low-sugar diet can be daunting. Start by taking baby steps and make small changes one day at a time, until they become habits.
Something as simple as choosing a sweet potato instead of a white potato is a baby step in the right direction. Start with simple changes that turn into positive results, in order to push yourself to make healthier choices.
Switch It Up
Switch up the you prepare your foods. The way you prepare you food can make a huge difference in flavor and can make cooking less boring. For instance, if you don’t like raw brussel sprouts, you might like them roasted in the oven. Try some of these simple techniques to switch up the way you prepare your food.
1. Blend it. If you don’t like plain fruit, try a smoothie! Blending fruits with yogurt or coconut milk can help give more flavor, and make for a great breakfast.
2. Bake it. If you don’t like raw kale, have you tried baked kale chips? Krispy kale in the oven can mask the bitter taste it has when raw and make for a great snack. Almost anything can be baked in the oven for a different taste.
3. Grill it. Mixed veggies on the grill can make for a great summer time dish. Don’t have a grill? No problem. You can broil or roast your veggies in the oven on a high heat to receive a similar result.
Swap It Out
For most of us, it’s hard to give up our favorite foods in order to eat a healthier diet. Luckily, simple diet swaps can give us the flavor we love, with the nutrients we need. Try some of these simple diet swaps that will help incorporate superfoods into your meals.
1. Hummus instead of mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is a sandwich lovers favorite, but the even a small amount contains enough calories and fat to ruin your diet. Hummus is a healthier alternative made from chickpeas, high in fiber, and contains a heart-healthy fat compared to mayonnaise.
2. Green tea instead of coffee. Don’t panic, we’re not telling you coffee is bad for you. Coffee has been linked to numerous health benefits. However, green tea contains flavonoids, has less caffeine ,and won’t stain your teeth. You don’t have to give up coffee, this option is here to consider for variety and health benefits.
3. Sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A and C, and are lower on the glycemic index, meaning sweet potatoes don’t spike blood sugar levels as much as white potatoes. Sweet potatoes can also be grilled, roasted, or mashed, you name it.
4. Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Traditional Greek yogurt makes for a great replacement in a variety of recipes. Whether it’s on top of chili or tacos, you won’t even be able to notice a difference.
5. Oatmeal instead of cereal. Many types of oatmeal contain a high volume of fiber and protein, which can help you feel full longer. Old-fashioned or steel-cut oats are minimally processed to retain their full nutritional value, and are your healthiest option when picking out oatmeal. You can add flavor to your oatmeal by topping it with berries, cinnamon, or even nut butter. Switching from cereal to oatmeal will provide you with a similar sweet flavor that doesn’t contain a high volume of sugar.
Don’t follow the latest food craze or fad diet. Pick a healthy, well balanced diet that works for you!
The best way to eat healthy is by making good choices and eating a variety of nutritious foods every day.