There are a lot of different ways to describe a 'superfood' but let's keep it simple. A superfood is a nutrient rich, vitamin and antioxidant packed food that is especially beneficial to your health. AKA a food that is awesomely good for you. Eating superfoods can help with weight loss and even reduce the risk of chronic disease. Most superfoods that you hear about are plant based, however, lots of nuts, seeds and fish are considered superfoods as well. Here are my top five superfoods and the reasons you should try to incorporate them into your diet.
1. Kiwi- Full of Vitamins A, C and E as well as potassium, fiber and antioxidants, one kiwi carries your daily dose of Vitamin C. My favorite way to eat kiwi is to cut off a little of the top and eat it with a spoon. They are also a great addition to green juice.
2. Avocado- Yes, they are high in fat content, but it's good fat! Most of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated fat which reduces the high cholesterol levels and lowers your risk of stroke or heart disease. Avocados are also low in sugar and high in protein, fiber, potassium and Vitamins B, C and E. For a great midday snack, scoop out half of an avocado and drizzle it with a little bit of olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Spread that over some sourdough toast for a heartier option.
3. Blueberries- Packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients, blueberries can help lower the risk of cancer, diabetes and stomach ulcers. They are also high in water content and fiber so will keep you full longer. Blueberries are obviously great on their own, in a smoothie or mixed in with some yoghurt for breakfast. Try throwing them in your salad with some walnuts and goat cheese for a different way to incorporate them into your diet.
4. Chocolate- Look for a high quality, dairy free chocolate bar that has a high cocoa percentage. Chocolate can help to improve blood flow to both your brain and your heart and can lower blood pressure. It is packed full of antioxidants and also contains chemical compounds that actually help to elevate your mood. Some chocolate bars I recommend are Green and Black's Organic Dark Chocolate, Theo's Dark Chocolate with Chili and Alter Eco's Deep Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt.
5. Chia Seeds- Chia seeds are the densest source of plant based omega 3 fatty acids that you can buy. They are packed with minerals, antioxidants, fiber and protein making them very beneficial for weight loss. Chia seeds have lots of uses but my favorite way to eat them is in the form of chia pudding. They have an incredible ability to absorb tons of liquid which produces a very light, fluffy and nutritious pudding. Chia seeds are also quite tasteless so the flavor can be easily manipulated to fit your taste preference.
Here's a fun and easy way to combine THREE superfoods into a delicious breakfast or dessert!
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Makes 3 servings or about 18 oz
1 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened coconut milk (substitute almond or hemp milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS maple syrup
8 TBS black chia seeds
2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Handful of blueberries (or fruit of your choice)
1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Whisk together to make sure cocoa powder is incorporated and there are no lumps.
2. Divide between 3 8oz mason jars or any airtight containers. The jars should be about 3/4 full.
3. Refrigerate for about 4 hours or until the seeds have absorbed all of the liquid.
4. Enjoy for breakfast or dessert with some fresh berries (and maybe another drizzle of maple syrup on top if you prefer your pudding on the sweeter side)!