We hear the term “superfood” from a lot of TV doctors, commercials and marketing companies but what does that even mean?
By definition, superfoods are calorie-sparse yet nutrient-dense, meaning they pack a lot of goodness. They are a superior sources of antioxidants, thought to ward off cancer, or full of fiber, which can help to prevent diabetes and digestive issues. Some superfoods are considered super because of their phytochemicals, which are the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colors and smells, and have numerous health benefits. Be aware, there is not an FDA requirement for the term “superfood” and many believe companies are may be using the term as a marketing tool rather than having the product stand up to the health benefits.
Whatever your stance is on superfoods, one thing is known to be true: we all need to be eating more nutrient-dense foods. So let’s look at two superfoods that are easy to add to your diet.
These little seeds are packed with protein, omega-3 fats, fiber, and manganese. In fact, chia seeds are 60% omega-3s, which makes them one of the best plant-based sources for this fatty acid. Why is this important for your health? Omega-3 fats are essential to making the hormones that regulate blood clotting and inflammation, as well help control autoimmune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Need calcium? Two tablespoons of these seeds pack 18% of your daily recommended intake! Pretty impressive since two tablespoons is roughly an ounce.
Not to mention chia seeds pack a large protein punch. They are roughly 14% protein, which makes them one of the highest sources of protein in the plant world.
Sneak in some chia seeds in the following foods :
Or give these recipes a try featuring the super seed:
Chocolate Covered Blueberry Shake
Blueberry Chia Pudding
Spirulina is a blue-green algae, not an herb as widely believed. It is largely made up of protein (62%) and essential amino acids; in fact, gram per gram, spirulina has the protein equivalency of most animal meat. The high concentration of protein, B-12, and iron also makes it ideal during pregnancy, after surgery, or anytime the immune system needs a boost (like cold and flu season). Due to its nutritional makeup, spirulina can help wounds heal quicker, including muscular tears resulting from exercise.
Are you anemic? Spirulina has an extremely high level of bio-available iron, making it easier for the body to absorb the iron during digestion. If you are lacking in iron, your body cannot make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. The more iron readily available in your body, the more oxygen your body can supply to your muscles.
Sneak in some chia seeds in the following foods:
Island Paradise Shake
**I recommend using a juicer for the orange and mango, but a blender would work as well.