A list of our favorite whole food Superfoods and how to use them this spring!
What is a Superfood? Are all foods Superfoods? If you ask me, all whole foods should be considered super. Foods in their whole state offer up essential nutrients and vitamins that contribute to a thriving and healthy life. The foods on this list are some that have either a larger dose of one specific nutrient or a great variety of nutrients. They are also foods that can easily be incorporated into any meal from savory breakfasts to decadent desserts. We have some great tips on how to use them and a few tasty recipes linked below that can help you get more nutrients into your diet with little effort.
Oats are a great option for a quick and healthy breakfast or snack. These little grains pack a lot of nutrients into one serving. Just ½ cup of oats contains 13 grams of protein and nearly 200% of your daily recommended amount of Manganese1 which is required for healthy brain and nervous system functioning2. Not to mention, oats are full of fiber called beta glucan which promotes healthy gut bacteria. We use oats in every flavor of our Homestyle Granola and Breakfast Cookies. Check out this recipe for overnight oats with chia seeds.
There’s never been a better time to boost your immunity with whole food ingredients and it’s no secret that oranges contain Vitamin C, a powerful vitamin that not only boosts immunity but also slows aging, helps your body produce collagen for healthy skin, and protects your body cells from damage10. We recommend grabbing a Cara Cara or Sumo orange at the grocery store for the best flavor. If you have a citrus juicer, try making your own orange juice for a healthy treat that serves your body even better than a vitamin C packet will.
Beets are one of those foods that people either love or hate! If you are on the side that loves them or hasn’t tried them before consider adding these to your grocery list. With an earthy and slightly sweet flavor these powerful root vegetables can be boiled and added to salads or even blended into your favorite smoothie. Blueberries and plant milk pair really well with beets for a healthy smoothie! While they are easy to prep, they can be messy so wear your apron! Your body will love the detoxifying and anti inflammatory benefits. Beets also contain nitrates that help protect against cognitive decline.3
This cancer fighting green is a spicy addition to salad or pizza. In half a cup, your body will receive 14% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin k and 5% of the recommended vitamin A. These vitamins help you maintain healthy bones and eyes!4 Switch up your leafy greens with this flavorful and nutrient dense option.
We use flax seeds in nearly every flavor of our Homestyle Granola because of their abundance of omega 3 fats, fiber and their mild flavor. Just one tablespoon of flax seeds contains over 1500mg of Omega 3’s – an essential fatty acid which can lower your risk of heart disease.5 These seeds are a great option for vegans who can’t get Omega 3’s from eating fish. They can also be used in baking! Have you ever made a flax egg?
Quinoa (pronounced keen·waa) is a versatile, gluten free seed that most people mistake for a grain. These popular little seeds are high in protein and fiber and can be used as an alternative to pasta or rice. Just one cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber7, compared to a cup of brown rice which contains 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber8. They can also be used to replace oats for a hearty breakfast porridge, added to salads to make your meal more filling or used as a meat replacement in tacos and stews and much more! If you’ve never tried Quinoa before, check out these delicious Quinoa and Black Bean Tacos by Plays Well With Butter!
With more potassium than a banana and lots of healthy fats to keep you full the Avocado is a unique fruit that’s also low in sugar. They’re tasty in guacamole but can also be eaten by themselves or used in baking and ice cream. We tried this Key Lime Vegan Pie recipe by Paleo Gluten Free eats and it is amazing! Avocado’s also contain 17% of the recommended dose of vitamin C which helps boost immunity. Did you know that the fat in avocados can even help improve nutrient absorption when eaten with other nutritious foods? Adding a few slices to your next salad means every vitamin in there could be better absorbed – I think this qualifies avocados as a super special superfood!6
Walnuts are another great plant-based source of omega 3 fatty acid. In fact, a single serving of walnuts exceeds the daily recommended intake of Alpha-linolenic Acid which can help lower the risk of heart disease when consumed daily.9 You can find walnuts in our popular Fruit & Nut Granola. Walnuts have been shown to fight off inflammation of the gut thanks to magnesium and arginine. Walnuts make an easy snack that can be added to any salad or breakfast. If you prefer nut butters to whole nuts, try making walnut butter with some spices for a yummy, nutrient rich alternative to peanut and almond butters.
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- Health Line - 9 Health Benefits of Eating Oats and Oatmeal
- Health Line - 10 Evidence-Based Benefits of Manganese
- Dr. Axe - 8 Beets Benefits You May Not Believe
- Dr. Axe - Arugula: Top 10 Benefits for the Heart, Gut, and more
- Health Line - Top 10 Health Benefits of Flax Seeds
- Health Line - 12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado
- Health Line - 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa
- Medical News Today - Is Brown Rice vs White Rice Better For Health
- Health Line - 13 Proven Health Benefits of Walnuts
- WebMD - Health Benefits of Oranges