Superfoods. It’s term that is being thrown around more and more. I’m even seeing it on food labels! Let’s face it - money makes the world go around. And there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with that. However, when companies (and their fancy new labels) start misleading people who are genuinely seeking to do better?? That’s when I start having a ‘problem’. I see my role as one in which I guide, teach, inspire and enlighten people on their own personal journey of health and wellbeing. I am passionate about health and wellness because I’ve experienced, first hand, the effects of a good, clean diet.
Nutrition is what our bodies are seeking. A diet rich in nutrients has so many health benefits - from maintaining a healthy weight to balancing hormones to increasing our energy levels. Even healthy, clear skin and strong hair and nails have to do with how we nourish our bodies!
What is a “SuperFood”??
A superfood is defined as a food that is exceptionally nutrient dense. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals.
Some superfoods we’ve grown up with like blueberries, kale and collard greens. There are also other superfoods that are native to other parts of the world like cacao (that’s real chocolate), spirulina, maca and goji berries. I’m of the thinking that we should make an effort to eat as local as possible. That being said, there are certain things I recommend, like coconut oil, despite there not being a single palm tree native to the concrete jungle known as NYC, because of its health benefits.
5 “Native” Superfoods (psst - you WANT to add these to your breakfast, lunch & dinner)
Kale - a dark leafy green veggie that is loaded with nutrients. It is very high in beta carotene, vitamins K & C, calcium and carotenoids - lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale even has a chemical, sulforaphane, which has potent anti-cancer properties. It’s a tough & bitter little sucker though.. so to get over that try steaming or stir-frying. I use it as a green base to my smoothies (just add a banana, apple and berries to make it yummy!). Check out my Massaged Kale Salad below!
Wild Salmon - is uber-rich in Omega 3s and vitamins B3 & B12. Eating wild salmon regularly is good for your heart and for a healthy metabolism.
Blueberries - pack a major nutritional punch! They are very rich in antioxidants, which protect our cells from damage, vitamins C, A, E, B complex and minerals - copper, iron, zinc and selenium. This nutritional cocktail works to boost our immune systems, neutralizing free-radical damage and aid in reducing belly fat.
Oats - steel cut oats or oat groats (unrefined whole oats) are rich in fiber, zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron and B vitamins and a good source of protein. Oats help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and are well known for its bad (LDL) cholesterol lowering capabilities. Eat with berries - the high vitamin C content of berries assist in iron absorption.
Bell Peppers - whether red, orange, green ,yellow or purple (yes, they exist! and are delicious!) are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, E, B6, flavonoids and carotenoids - lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin - as well as other phytonutrients. These can be lightly steamed, sauteed, stir-fried or eaten raw.
Eating these 5 superfoods regularly will help in a variety of ways! If you want to lessen the evidence of your years on this planet?? You’ll want to add more of these foods. If you want to maintain a healthy weight and reduce belly fat - you got it! Eat more of these foods. Have more energy! Help your body manage the stress of your daily life better! Improve the quality of your life and eat more of these foods! Health and wellbeing is not about calories but about nutrition! Stay tuned for my next post on 5 “Not So Native” Superfoods that are still loaded with health benefits and are yummy too!!
Green Apple Kale & Lentil Salad
1 organic Kale bunch (De-stalked)
½ organic lemon
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
3 organic green apples
1 ½ c organic lentils, cooked
½ c organic almonds
½ c extra virgin olive oil
1 handful organic basil
1 handful organic cilantro
4 cloves of garlic
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
=>Chop the kale into pieces. Place the kale in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil, juice of ½ organic lemon & ½ tsp of Himalayan sea salt and massage the kale for approximately 5 minutes. When you see some kale juices accumulating in the bottom of the bowl your kale will be ready. Massaging will make the kale sweeter & easier to eat.
Using a small food processor chop garlic cloves & set aside for 10-15 minutes. Core the apples & slice. Place kale, apples & almonds in a bowl. Process the remaining dressing ingredients with the garlic for 30-45 seconds. Toss & serve.
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