Every choice you make about the food you put in your body is an opportunity to enhance your health and wellbeing.
All plant foods contain a variety of nutrients to support good health. A few foods have exceptionally high levels of certain phytochemicals and have earned the reputation of being “superfoods”.
Here are a few of my favourite superfoods:
Magic Mushrooms (Chaga, Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps, Maitake, Oyster)
I always recommend eating a rainbow of plant foods to ensure a variety of nutrients. Generally, white is not a colour that comes to mind when we think of a rainbow but that doesn’t mean mushrooms should be left off your plate!
Mushrooms offer an array of health benefits. They are particularly high in selenium, fiber, and beta-glucans. They are a rich source of B vitamins and the only vegan source of Vitamin D. This powerful nutritional profile is the reason mushrooms are an important superfood and play a role in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
How to incorporate mushrooms:
- chop ’em and add raw to salads
- throw into stir fries with other veggies of your choice
- stuff with quinoa, top with nutritional yeast and paprika and roast in the oven until golden
- brush with olive oil and toss on the grill
- add to soups and chilli
Did you know we have a local company based in Sackville, NB that grows gourmet mushrooms? You can purchase them at the farmers markets or buy a home kit and grow mushrooms at home! Check them out:
Crunchy Cruciferous veggies
This family of veggies includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. Aside from being high in fibre and many essential vitamins and minerals, these veggies are loaded with nutrients that have amazing detoxification and hormone balance effects.
How to incorporate cruciferous:
- eat raw with hummus or guacamole
- add to smoothies
- steam and serve topped with coconut oil and sesame seeds
- toss in olive oil and roast until tender then drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper
- use in creative ways like this cauliflower pizza crust!
Generous Green Tea
Well know for its antioxidant benefits, recent human studies have proven drinking green tea can help burn fat, may reduce the risk of certain cancers, and provides a preventative advantage when it comes to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
How to incorporate green tea:
- invest in a water cooler that also has a hot water option – that way you constantly have access to hot water and can have tea anytime you want with the push of a button
- going for coffee? try green tea instead
- use green tea in smoothies to bump up the antioxidant value
According to a study from the International Journal of Applied Science, sprouts have the highest concentration of phytonutrients per calorie of any food! For more details on sprouts, check out my previous blog post: Three Shouts for Sprouts!
How to incorporate sprouts:
- add to salads
- try a lettuce wrap with mixed veggies and sprouts
- throw in smoothies
Friendly Fermented Foods
Fermented foods benefit the entire body, with special emphasis on digestive health. Please read more about Fitting in Fermented Foods.
How to incorporate fermented foods:
- use sauerkraut on everything (as a side and a topper)
- use kefir in smoothies
- try kombucha tea
This amazing spice has been shown to benefit liver health, reduce inflammation, and prevent cancer. I recommend adding it to almost every savoury dish your can imagine.
How to incorporate turmeric:
- It goes well with fish and chicken, soups, and chilli
- add beautiful colour and flavour to roasted veggies
- try this delicious Golden Milk! Many people use it as a bedtime drink and note reduced pain and more restful sleep!
Bring on the Berries
As far as fruit are concerned, berries pack a punch! They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibre and also have a low glycemic value – reducing the impact on insulin.
How to incorporate berries:
- have frozen variety always for quick additions to smoothies
- top kefir with berries of your choice for a healthy snack
- consider adding berries to salads for a burst of flavour and colour
Seaweeds are very mineral rich and help support healthy thyroid function. Adding just a bit of seaweed to your nutritional intake provides significant source of minerals!
How to incorporate:
- Look for powered seaweeds such as kelp to add to soups as a salt replacement
- Use seaweed paper as wraps
- Try seaweed snacks!
Crazy about Cocoa
Cocoa is an amazing food for heart health. It is rich in flavonoids that benefit blood flow and lower blood pressure.
How to incorporate:
- heat up coconut oil and add a scoop of cocoa for a nutrient rich homemade hot chocolate
- blend with melted coconut oil and maple syrup for a luxurious chocolate treat
- add to smoothies with banana and almond milk
Bone broth is mineral rich and packed with many healing nutrients that have a positive influence on immune health and inflammation. It’s no wonder chicken soup is an age old remedy when you’re feeling ill.
To make bone broth, choose ethically raised, grass fed/free range animals.
How to incorporate bone broth:
- Sip a cup as a nourishing snack
- add veggies and lean protein for a hearty, healthy soup
Incorporate superfoods whenever possible to get the most out of your nutrition!