When it comes to healthy eating a general rule of thumb is that the more colors on your plate the more nutritious the meal (or snack). But just like not all sweets are inherently bad for you (honey or dark chocolate is far better than processed sugars in cake or candy), not all nutritious foods carry the same punch.
There are certain ones out there that are considered to be superfoods. It’s a category that is not clearly defined, but a superfood typically is packed with nutrients with fewer calories than other foods. They come with certain benefits like:
- Lower cholesterol
- It prevents cancer
- Helps build a stronger immune system
- Inflammation reduction
- A healthier heart
Not only do superfoods come with those benefits, but because of their nutritional density consuming them comes with plenty of super perks like:
- Superfoods contain several minerals in a single serving
- They are packed with vitamins, so there’s no need to reach for any supplements
- Superfoods are known to contain high levels of antioxidants
- Some have a high amount of fiber in them
- And others contain a good amount of healthy fats
If you’re hungry for more, here are six plant based superfoods you need to know about.
We all love the taste of cinnamon-sugar, but that combination might not be the healthiest for you. Fortunately, cinnamon, as is, is a very healthy way to spice up any drink or food. Cinnamon reduces inflammation, as an anti-inflammatory, and even lowers your blood sugar levels.
Try it: Put a little cinnamon into your morning coffee or tea for a superfood taste you can literally sip on.
2. Leafy greens
Iceberg lettuce might be less expensive, and easier to pair with most foods, but iceberg lettuce can’t hold a nutritional candle next to dark and leafy greens. The darker the green (things like kale, arugula, broccoli raab, and spinach) and higher the content of vitamins A, C, E, and K—all known to help with heart health and bone health.
Try it: If raw leafy greens aren’t your thing (we get it, it’s not for everyone) try cooking them. Simmer your leafy greens in some water over medium heat and once they’ve absorbed the water add in some salt and pepper to taste. Still not satisfied? Fortunately, there are herbal tonic remedies out there that can take your leafy greens in a better way.
Blueberries might be one the most well-known superfoods out there. They are packed with vitamins C and K, along with tons of fiber. They might be small but they pack their worth in nutrition, which also includes that is can help with cholesterol and slow down the aging process.
Try it: Put blueberries in your whole grain pancakes for a breakfast that will come with benefits.
This is one superfood you can’t beet—literally. The deep red color is a result of many, many antioxidants that are known to be anti-inflammatory in nature.
Try it: If you aren’t sure if you like beets, but you love salad, then there’s a simple but delicious way to eat your beets. Enjoy beets with arugula, goat cheese, and pine nuts, and drizzle some olive oil and vinegar on them.
5. Chia seeds
You’ve probably seen chia seeds as a topping for chia pudding or healthy snacks or granola bars. But did you know chia seeds are considered a superfood? They are mostly known for their high fiber content but they’re also rich in antioxidants and other minerals such as zinc, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Try it: Sprinkle these tiny seeds into your yogurts or on top of cereal for an easy way to get your fill of the benefits!
Avocados are not only extremely delicious, and trendy (have you seen some of the avocado toast creations out there? Yum!) but they are a superfood that is very healthy for you. They’re high in monounsaturated fats, healthy fats that actually lower your risk of suffering from a stroke or heart disease. This tasty salad topping also has a lot of potassium.
Try it: Try an avocado toast of your own. Find multigrain bread and cut up some slices. Season it with a hint of salt, pepper, and lemon and get as creative as you’d like!
Not all of these superfoods will appeal to you (we hear you, picky eaters, or those with allergies). That’s where herbal tonics can really come in handy. Herbal tonics are a great alternative to eating certain healthy foods because it takes away the taste while still delivering the benefit. You can pick the herbal tonics that work for you based on what nutritionally dense foods you need most. Are you ready for your superfood meal? The best part is that you can eat superfoods without the guilt. Go ahead, dig on in.