There is no clear definition of what a superfood exactly is; everyone has slightly different criteria. In short, they are foods with many health benefits, and are very nutritionally dense. I look at it as foods that I add into my diet because they offer specific health benefits. There are a few superfoods that I have incorporated into my everyday diet; here, I share them with you as well as how to use them in different dishes.
These little seeds are at the top of my superfood list, because I have been adding them to my meals for years now. Chia seeds are full of fibre and are great for your digestive system. They are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient that can be harder to get for plant-based eaters, as well as being high in protein. I add chia seeds to my breakfast most mornings by adding a tablespoon or two to my oatmeal while it’s cooking. It’s a great way to get all those nutritious benefits in first thing in the morning. You can also add chia seeds to baked goods, smoothies and salads.
Flax seeds have been another staple in my diet for the past few years. Similarly to chia seeds, they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and fibre. Flax seeds also have a high volume of lignans. There is some research to suggest that the amount of lignans in flax seeds may reduce your risk of cancer, but research is still continuing to be done on this. You can add flax seeds to your diet in two forms; whole flax seeds or milled flax seeds. The latter is much easier absorbed into your body, and it is the one I eat regularly. I add it to my oatmeal every morning, and also regularly use it in baking as an egg substitute.
I have to be honest; I was put off by spirulina powder for a few years, because it has a bit of a funky smell. Don’t make the same mistake as I did though, because this amazing powder blends well into foods and you won’t taste it, but still get all the amazing benefits. Spirulina is high in a variety of nutrients such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B1, B2 and B3. The powder is also a great source of antioxidants. I mainly use spirulina powder in smoothies. My go to combo is frozen bananas, peanut butter, spinach, soy milk and spirulina powder. You’ll end up with a gorgeous green colour and a delicious meal.
If you need any more reason to eat blueberries, I’m here to tell you that these delicious berries are a superfood. Blueberries are high in vitamin C, meaning that they are great for the skin, as collagen relies on this vitamin C. They are also full of antioxidants. There are so many ways to incorporate blueberries into your diet; smoothies, salads, oatmeal, baking. Or just on their own; they’re a great on-the-go snack.
Lastly, let’s talk about almonds. Most nuts have nutritious benefits, but almonds are one of the best. Filled with loads of vitamin E, almonds are one of the best food sources for this vitamin. They are also a good source of fibre and protein. The brown outer layer of the almond is full of antioxidants, so make sure to for non-blanched almonds. Almonds work great as a snack, as well as tossed into salads or topped on yoghurt and smoothie bowls.
Incorporating superfoods like these into your diet will help you absorb more nutrients and leave you feeling great and satisfied after meals. Play around with different combinations and find the superfoods which work best for you!
This post was originally written by me for the Uncaptive Co blog, see here: https://www.uncaptive.co.uk/blog/2018/9/1/incorporate-superfoods-in-your-diet