Guest Post by Sarah Jones
We’ve all heard about “superfoods” – but what exactly makes them so super? Superfoods are particular healthy foods that are thought to be chock full of nutrients. There is no designated group or criteria to superfoods necessarily, they are just some types of foods that are deemed to be exceptionally healthy. Superfoods are usually plant-based, but there are a few elements in the dairy and fish departments that have been considered to be superfoods as well. Overall, superfoods have significant amounts of vitamins and minerals that can help nourish your body and improve your diet.
What is considered a Superfood?
While the list varies depending on whom you talk to, some foods continually make the suggested superfood list. Many of these vitamin-rich foods are plant-based such as spinach and other leafy greens like moringa, sweet potatoes, squash, blueberries, beans, seeds, nuts, kale, acai berries, dark chocolate, and whole grains. Fish such as salmon and sardines have plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which offer various health benefits as well. This basic list does not include all food that have been recently been called “superfoods” and that are vitamin and mineral dense.
What Are the Benefits of Superfoods?
Superfoods are usually non-processed, whole foods. These items have more vitamins and minerals than many other food items available today. Many superfoods are also rich in antioxidants which are believed to help fight off sickness and disease. The properties of these superfoods are thought to support overall health, depending on the superfood it may support healthy digestion, sleep, energy, and our overall health. Some items such as blueberries are rich in color and taste created by phytochemicals, which are also thought to have excellent health benefits.
What Can I Use Superfoods For?
The addition and replacement of unhealthy, sugar-loaded items with superfoods doesn’t mean that your quality of life has to suffer. There are delicious recipes for just about every superfoods. Try a chocolate pudding or shake using cocoa powder and avocados, or try squash brownies -an alternative to regular brownies, but much healthier and still delicious. Many substitutions can be made using superfoods for some tasty creations while maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
What Should a Superfood Diet Look Like?
Many suggest that when fueling your body, your plate should be colorful! Leafy greens and beans are excellent choices, but adding items full of color, such as berries, can help increase the antioxidant levels. Nuts make an excellent snack, and each meal should incorporate a fruit and a vegetable. Eating poorly and only using a superfoods occasionally will not get you the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you need to be healthier.
Superfoods aren’t a cure all, but they do have extra minerals and vitamins that can help boost your health. These items can be used in a huge variety of recipes and can be substituted for processed foods for many health benefits. Many are plant-based and deliver a healthy dose of antioxidants, which can also improve your immune system and help keep you well.
Bio: Since starting Simmer and Zest, Sarah has learned so many techniques, facts, and tips on how to cook properly. Learn more about food and nutrition on her blog!