Superfoods — we’ve all heard of these, and sometimes they seem to be unrecognizable, weird-tasting things you try to shove down your throat because somebody on Twitter was raving about their great micronutrient contents, amino-acids, or whatever.
However, if you want to make a slow change to a healthier lifestyle without thrashing your entire pantry tonight, there might be just a few healthy superfoods that you can easily stock up and incorporate into your diet. You can simply grab a few bags from the grocery store to add some extra oomph to your meals.
These superfoods are easy because you can sprinkle them over your food — no need to soak, cook, prepare a separate dish, or experiment in your kitchen.
Filled with omega 3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber, flaxseed can be easily sprinkled over your breakfast cereal, added to your pancake batter, mixed into your smoothies, or used as a topping to your lunch grain. Whether all of the claims about flaxseed as a protector against cancer and heart disease are true is something that I leave to medical researchers to flesh out, but the rich fiber contents of flaxseed certainly have a positive effect on your pathways of elimination.
Another easy superfood, goji berries, are very dense in nutrients: plant-derived polyphenolic antioxidants; carotenoids such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lycopene; vitamins C, B1, B2, and niacin; more than 30 essential and trace minerals including zinc, iron, copper, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus; polysaccharides; and 18 amino acids such as isoleucine, tryptophan, leucine, and arginine. You now can find goji berries in the supermarket, so simply sprinkle them over your breakfast or grab a protein bar that contains these berries for a healthy snack, and give your body a boost of all the goodies this little berry has to offer.
3. Powdered green drink mix
Typically, these powdered green drinks contain a mixture of spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass, chlorella, sources of fiber, and sources of antioxidants. Greens and other vegetables, as well as mushrooms, are typically added to the mix. You can easily put a scoop of this powder into a drink of your choice (such as your morning orange juice) and give yourself and your immunity system a boost.
Prices for these powdered green drink mixes vary widely, so do read the labels. The cheaper mixes often contain a lot of filler material and have a smaller nutritional density. Before you reach for the cheapest option to try this out, spend 5 minutes doing a little research — it will save you money in the long run!
4. Chia seeds
Just like flaxseed, these tiny seeds contain a lot of essential omega 3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A, B, E, and D and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulphur, thiamine, and zinc. Moreover, chia seeds are rich in protein and fiber.
Adding chia seeds to your diet is very easy — you can simply add the seeds to your yogurt or salads, blend them into a smoothie, or, if you can find 5 extra minutes for this easy preparation, try some chia pudding for breakfast.
5. Raw chocolate
Chocolate is absolutely delicious, so you won’t have much trouble adding it into your diet or substituting your regular chocolate bars with raw chocolate (which tastes even richer than regular chocolate).
Chocolate itself is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, but since most commercial chocolate is treated at high temperatures, the nutritional contents is lost. By processing the cacao beans at lower temperature, the nutrients and their health benefits are safeguarded.
Do you add superfoods to your diet? How do you keep it all fuss-free?
You just need to know which foods provide the most nutrients: Top 10 Most Nutrient-rich Foods in the WorldFeatured photo credit: Sweet watermelon slices on wooden table on natural background via Shutterstock