Hey Friends! How’s it goin?
A couple weeks ago I shared some tips for eating healthy on a budget, but one thing I didn’t address was superfoods. When I was first toying with the idea of eating healthier I started with Google and at the time, ‘superfood‘ was an even bigger buzzword than it is now.
Almost every website I went to had at least one post or article about superfoods and their many benefits. I’d see post after post about foods I’d never heard of and sometimes couldn’t even pronounce: chia seeds, goji berries, tumeric, kefir, hemp seeds, kale…the list goes on and on.
The words were so foreign, I remember thinking that I’d have to revamp my entire life – including the language I spoke!! – to start eating healthy. And to top if all off, buying all those superfoods would get super expensive, super quickly.
However, I got the surprise of my life when I realised that superfoods weren’t as ‘new’ as they were made out to be. Yes, the word superfood may be relatively new and shiny and marketed for maximum effect, but what it represents definitely isn’t.
Unless you’ve been living off of only cup noodles and Coca-Cola your entire life, you’ve probably encountered superfoods before and maybe even eat them regularly.
Just not the really popular and exotic ones that get talked about most often.
What is a superfood really?
There’s actually no medical definition for the word superfood. But according to health.com superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals.
So, with that definition, can you see how NOT out-of-this-world superfoods are? Really, if you’re eating the rainbow, you’re eating superfoods. And there’s no need to shell out out your life’s savings to get them.
Don’t believe me?
This ‘smelly rose’ doesn’t just add amazing flavour to food, it actually has amazing healing properties as well. Garlic contains something called allicin that can help stimulate the immune system dramatically. It can also help prevent cancer, promote cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation.
And for some non-superfood-related bonuses, garlic has also been known to help with repelling
vampires mosquitoes and getting rid of athletes foot.
Tip: Too much heat can distroy the allicin in garlic so try adding it to food after removing from heat for maximum benefits.
2. Red Bell Peppers
Fact of the day: Red bell peppers have off-the-charts levels of Vitamin C. One red bell pepper actually has double the vitamin C of an orange.
And we all know that Vitamin C is good for us. Even children have been using that fact to sneak second and third glasses of OJ since the dawn of time…or at least I did.
But in case you forgot, Vitamin C is great for your skin, eye, immune system and cardiovascular health and so much more.
Andddd, red bell peppers have a really high water content – more than 90% – so they can help keep you hydrated too.
We know how much I love pumpkin, but I swear I’m not making up its superfood status!
Pumpkin contains vitamin C as well as phytonutrients like beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin that can help improve vision, immune system function and even rejuvenate the skin. It also contains potassium which helps lower blood pressure and maintain bone health.
I’m thinking I shouldn’t wait till next fall to indulge in some more yummy pumpkin infused goodness 😀
‘Beans, beans, the musical fruit…’
I’ve already talked about the awesomeness that are beans, so I’ll be brief. Regardless of the dangers of eating undercooked beans, beans are a good source of high-fat protein, usually found in red meats, and are also full of heart-healthy nutrients. In addition to being a great source of vegetarian protein, beans also pack a high fiber punch so they keep you full.
Oh, and did I mention they’re cheap?
You remember broccoli? The once most-talked-about, must-eat green veggie that got thrown over for spinach and kale? Well, it’s still as healthy as always.
It’s no kale, but broccoli is definitely not a slouch in the nutrient department. It’s a great source of folic acid which can help prevent certain cancers, maintain healthy brain function and healthy cells. And, like red bell peppers, broccoli is choked full of Vitamin C so it has all those benefits too.
Not too shabby right?
What about you?
What superfoods do you eat often? Any less popular or lesser known superfoods to add?
Share in the comments!
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Originally Published in May 2014