Acai took off as a weight loss method very quickly, once it was covered on the Oprah Winfrey Show. It failed to live up to the high expectations that were set for it, however, and “superfoods” was a label that was quickly starting to be seen as a passing fad. It’s important to understand, though, that eating superfoods is not about just finding one superfood and making that the centre of your diet. You need a balanced diet that consists of a wide range of foods with nutritional benefits. That way, you can get all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Superfoods tend to be foods that have been grown organically and that are rich in nutrients and vitamins. They give the skin a healthy glow, boost your energy and help you to feel great. Here are our top 10 picks for superfoods you should be adding to your diet.
This is a very trendy superfood right now. It is called the “gold of the Incas” by some, and it is packed with fibre, protein and iron. Most quinoa is white, but you can also find black and red varieties. Anyone who has a gluten intolerance will be happy to find out that it is gluten free. It’s the tasty, nutty flavour of quinoa that makes it so special, and it also serves as a good substitute for many foods in baking and cooking. When you cook quinoa, it turns fluffy and transparent, and that makes it ideal for salads, risottos, porridge and more. It can be purchased as a flour or in puff or flake form.
The avocado is an incredibly healthy food, and it is just packed to the brim with toxin fighting substances. They do have a lot of fat, though, but this kind of fat is actually great for weight loss. The oleic acid that avocados contain helps you feel full and produces lower cholesterol levels. The same fat also fights heart disease and regulates blood sugar. Avocados also contain a lot of fibre, which promotes a feeling of fullness and helps out your digestive system.
The chia comes from Guatemala and Mexico and is derived from a flowering plant that is native to those areas. The seeds are incredibly nutritious and contain Omega 3, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants. Your best bet when buying chia seeds is to go with the white and black ones. The red ones tend to be immature and not quite as packed with health benefits. Chia seeds don’t have much taste, so you can add them to just about any food without worrying that they will change the flavour. Lots of people add them to their cereal and salads or make them part of a smoothie. You can even put them on your ice cream.
Almonds contain a lot of protein, magnesium, vitamins and healthy fats. Those fats are mostly monosaturated fats, which are known to decrease heart disease risk and help you lose weight. Almonds also contain powerful phytonutrients, such as flavonoids and plant sterols. Anyone who is doing a paleo diet, low carb diet or clean eating diet can use almonds as part of their menu. You can grind them up into a flour and make bread and other baked goods. They can also be used as a substitute for milk or butter and many other dairy products. Or you can simply eat them raw for a delicious and nutritious snack.
Coconut oil enjoys the moniker of superfood now because it is such a healthy oil. You can use it in place of vegetable oil or other unhealthy oils in your frying and cooking. It contains lauric acid, which is a very healthy fat that fights bacteria and infection. Coconut oil can help you to lose weight more effectively, especially if you use it to replace unhealthy oils. It is a metabolism booster as well, which means it is going to boost your digestive system and help you feel fuller faster. You can use it in smoothies, to moisturise your skin or even as a treatment for your hair.
If you want to give your body a decent balance of vitamins and nutrients, then you need to eat a variety of foods. We are starting to discover some super grains that our ancestors ate long ago. These are finding new appeal in the modern health-focused market, and we are staring to rediscover all the health benefits of these incredible grains. Buckwheat, spelt, freekeh, tapioca and amaranth are some of the most notable ones, and they contain tons of dietary fibre, protein, iron and vitamins. These often need a longer cooking time, due to their wholefood characteristics, but it is worth the wait to enjoy healthy, tasty grains.
Raw Chocolate and Cacao
You would not want to confuse raw cacao with the kind of cocoa that you find in the supermarket. This is a food that’s rich in antioxidants and nutrients. Raw chocolate is something that both the Mayans and Aztecs benefited from for a very long time, and they used it in daily rituals as a healing tonic. Raw cacao has more antioxidants that even blueberries, and because it is not cooked or processed, all the nutrients are still right there for your benefit. It can also boost your endorphins and improve neurotransmitter exchange. You can use raw cacao to make raw chocolate and enjoy the tasty snack without all the guilt of eating processed chocolate. You can make your own at home with some coconut oil and raw cocoa powder.
Some berries naturally have lots of antioxidants. This include cranberries, goji berries and blueberries. They help you to fight the effects of aging, and they prevent damage caused by free radicals and by environmental pollution. They also have a low carb and sugar count, so you can snack on them regularly without having to feel guilty. You can consume them in powder form, frozen or fresh and still enjoy all the health benefits they have to offer.
Skip the coffee in the morning and go for a green smoothie instead. You’ll get tons of energy from it and it will keep you energised for much longer. Some of the healthiest food you will ever eat are dark, leafy greens. They allow you absorb vitamins more effectively, and we suggest using kale and spinach for your green smoothies. If you can’t easily get fresh greens, try to find them in powder form. You can get incredible health benefits from spirulina powder, kale powder or a combined green powder.
Black rice is even more nutritious than brown rice, and it has a wonderful nutty and sweet taste. It’s better for you than brown rice because of the Vitamin E, antioxidants and high fibre content ire has. It turns purple when cooked, creating a unique flair for your dishes.