Four “superfoods” deserving of the name

Four+%22superfoods%22+deserving+of+the+name

Emily Kinnaman

“Superfood” has become a popular term for countless health foods; they are said to help fight against aging and disease. While that may be true, there is no official definition for what a superfood actually is. With so many foods said to have special health benefits, it can be difficult to distinguish which foods are really worth eating. Eating superfoods is not at all a replacement for an overall healthy diet, but there are several superfoods that are truly healthy and delicious. These four superfoods are full of nutrients worth adding to your diet.

Hemp seed

Packed with healthy fat, hemp seeds are small seeds that have a sweet, nutty flavor. The fat in hemp seeds has more omega 6 than omega 3, which is the type that most people need more of. Hemp seeds are also full of protein; three tablespoons have 11 grams of protein, which is as much as an 8-ounce container of yogurt. Hemp seed is also a great source of nutrients like fiber, iron, zinc, and potassium. Hemp seed is easy to incorporate into your diet – simply add a few tablespoons to salad, yogurt, smoothies, cereal or any other meal. Try out one these recipes for a nutritious meal or snack.

Chia seed

Like hemp seed, chia seed is packed with protein and healthy fat. They also have lots of fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. Just one ounce of chia has nearly half of the daily recommended amount of fiber. Because of all its fiber, chia absorbs liquid easily and becomes a thicker mixture. So, to make chia “pudding,” try mixing chia seed with milk and some honey, then letting it thicken for a few hours in the fridge. Or try adding chia to yogurt, cereal or smoothies. Here is a recipe for a nutritious chia breakfast bowl.

Spirulina

Dark green in color, spirulina is certainly deserving of the name “superfood.” Spirulina is actually a plant, but is sold in powdered form, which makes it easy to add to recipes. The nutritious powder is packed with protein, healthy omega 3 fats, and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Spirulina was found to have four times the concentration level of antioxidants in blueberries. Because of all the nutrients found in spirulina, there are countless health benefits. Try adding a teaspoon the powder to smoothies or make one of these recipes.

Quinoa

Quinoa has become a popular health food, and for good reason. Although it is technically a seed, it is prepared and eaten similar to rice. Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, magnesium, and many other vitamins. It was also found to have large amounts of flavonoids, which are antioxidants with numerous health benefits, like reducing the risk of certain types of cancer and heart disease. This nutritious food is simple to incorporate into your diet: simply substitute it for rice, mix it with vegetables for an easy salad or make one of these recipes.

Photo Credit: Jessie Snyder/The Foothill Dragon Press

What do you think?