Do Superfoods Give You Super-Powers?
Superfoods seem to be all the rage right now. From chia seeds to acai berries, some claim that eating superfoods have changed their lives but are they really all they’re cracked up to be? Let’s look at the health benefits of some of the most popular superfoods on the market and how you can add them into your diet.
1. Chia Seeds. These little seeds can really pack a health punch. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid and contain 10 grams of fiber per ounce (about 2 tablespoons). They also contain a great amount of plant protein and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. How to Eat Chia Seeds: There are multiple ways that you can add chia seeds into your diet. They can be eaten raw by sprinkling them on salads or into your morning cereal. Chia seeds are super absorbent and create a gelatinous texture when soaked in liquid. Try this Chia Seed Pudding Recipe for a great health kick in the morning.
2. Acai. Go into your local smoothie shop and you’re bound to see an “acai bowl” on the menu. Although acai has just become popular, there are actually many health benefits to this tiny berry. Acai berries contain a great source of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, healthy fats and even proteins. They are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and sodium. How to Eat Acai: Acai berries can be eaten raw but are often difficult to find in your local grocery store. The best way to find acai is in the frozen section or in a powder form. Add in acai to your morning smoothie or stir it into your yogurt for an extra health boost. Try this Tropical Acai Bowl Recipe.
3. Cacao Powder. Cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. This form is much less processed than cocoa powder which increases its health benefits. Raw cacao powder is high in antioxidants and flavonoids which have been shown in many studies to have beneficial effects on the vascular system and cerebral blood flow. How to Eat Cacao Powder: If you love chocolate, try changing out your usual cocoa powder for cacao powder for extra health benefits. Blend a couple of tablespoons with a banana, yogurt and ice for a rich and decadent smoothie or try this quick and easy Peanut Butter Cup Recipe for a sweet treat at night.
4. Hemp Seeds. Hemp seeds are high in protein and contain all the essential amino acids needed for growth and repair. They also have a perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. How to Eat Hemp Seeds: Just like Chia Seeds, there are multiple ways of using them. They can be eaten raw so add an extra boost of protein by adding them to a salad or soups. Try this Quinoa Salad with Hemp Seeds Recipe.
5. Nutritional Yeast. Nutritional Yeast has a nutty cheese flavor and is completely dairy free meaning if dairy doesn’t sit well with you, you can still get that cheesy flavor in your meals. Nutritional Yeast is high in Vitamin B12 which is usually found in animal products such as meat and dairy. It is also high in folate which encourages cell and tissue growth and niacin which is essential for supporting your body’s metabolic rate, producing energy and aiding your body in fighting disease and infection. How to Eat Nutritional Yeast: You can sprinkle nutritional yeast on almost anything. Try adding it to the top of your pasta or popcorn before the movies. Try out this Pesto Recipe to pour over pasta or use as a dip for an appetizer.
Superfoods aren’t necessary in your diet; you can get all the vitamins and minerals you need from a healthy, balanced diet but superfoods can be an additive to any to a meal for an extra health boost.