Food

10 Superfoods That Live Up To The Hype

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Image: iStock/Lisovskaya

OK, so technically there’s no such thing as a superfood. Sure, there are foods that pack a nutritional punch. A whole long list of foods that you should probably (definitely) be eating more of on a daily basis. But is there a food that’s going to change your life? Add years to your life expectancy? Turn you into a supermodel who can dead lift 400 pounds? Eh … not so much.

The health industry likes to throw around the word “superfood” whenever new science and research highlights more benefits of foods we’ve been eating forever. But, there are definitely some foods that warrant the title, exaggerated as it may be. These superfoods aren’t going to fix all your problems, but as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, they are a big piece of the optimal health and disease prevention puzzle.

Superfoods are foods that have a ton of nutritional value.

1. Take dark, leafy greens, for example.

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about to get back on that salad game with this dreamy roasted butternut squash, pomegranate and kale salad ? tossed with crunchy toasted almonds, goat cheese and a light honey Dijon dressing… I call it Fall in a bowl ? recipe link in bio ✨ .â € .â € https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/butternut-squash-and-kale-salad-with-pomegranate-toasted-almonds-goat-cheese/â € .â € .â € #kale #butternutsquash #pomegranate #nourishyourself #nourishyourbody #saladrecipe #kalesalad #fallsalad #iamwellandgood #thenewhealthy #feedfeed #glutenfree #salad #buzzfeast #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #spoonfeed #goopmake #ambitiouskitchen #lunchideas #fallrecipes #huffposttaste

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Listen, kale gets a bad rap, but it’s not THAT bad. I happen to love kale! More than lettuce, even, which is just crunchy green water. Dark leafy greens like kale, arugula, and spinach are also packed with so much good stuff like folate, zinc, magnesium, iron, and fiber. So suck it up and eat more kale. Brought to you by Team Kale.

2. Eggs are a pretty super food, so they deserve a spot on our list of superfoods.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo8ql3CDL4z/?tagged=eggs

So, as if my kale stance was not polarizing enough, Imma hit you with another hot take: I actually hate eggs. I did Whole30 for quite a long time, and I am 100% egged out. Can’t stand the sight of them. BUT, I appreciate their superfoodness, and I love how they were like, HAHA BITCHES, WE’RE NOT BAD FOR YOU AFTER ALL! They’re an excellent source of protein, and full of goodies like vitamins A and B and iron. They also promote eye health with two cool-sounding antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein. EGGcellent (I’ll be here all night, tip your servers!).

3. Nuts and seeds: pretty super!

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⏩ WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE NUTS❔⏪⏩ COMMENT BELOW❕ âž– ? This post is for all the people who still DOUBT that VEGANS can't get PROTEIN in their diet and the people who think that we are protein… BUT we know the truth ! ?? âž– â–ª One study concluded that higher nut intake is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality, and mortality from respiratory disease, diabetes, and infections. * source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27916000/ âž– ? Fatty acids, the building blocks of many important substances in the body, are essential to cell membranes, maintaining a regular heart beat, providing an anti-inflammatory function, regulating cholesterol and contributing to brain and eye development in a developing baby as well as building hormones like testosterone. Fats provide a concentrated source of energy (calories). The optimum amount of fat in our diet depends on our stage of life. Extremely low fat diets will limit the amount of fat soluble vitamins and essential fats in our diet. ? ? Generally 0.5-1g of FATS DAILY per kilogram of bodyweight❗ âž– â—¾ FOLLOW @plantsforfit ☑ â—¾ LIKE & SHARE this post with everyone you know ☑ â—¾ TURN ON MY POST NOTIFICATIONS ☑ âž– #cashews #healthynuts

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Side note: searching #nuts on IG is … eye-opening. But anywho, nuts and seeds are a great source of vegetarian protein, they’re rich in fiber, and they are full of healthy fats. Some nuts and seeds are also anti-inflammatory! Big buzz word but very important. Plus, they’re crunchy. Bad news: nuts and seeds in candy bars don’t count.

4. Garlic does more than keep vampires away.

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? It's fall, which means it's time to get that garlic planted! Ours went in the new little bed we just built. ? Here are some tips for growing garlic: . Break apart garlic bulbs into individual cloves at least a day or two before planting, but leave the papery cover on each clove. . Years ago, we read a tip about pre-soaking garlic cloves to prep for planting, and have stuck to it ever since. It's said to give them a jump start to sprout, and also to fight fungal infections! For a few hours or even overnight (but no more than 18 hours), soak them in a mixture of 1 Tbsp baking soda and 2 Tbsp liquid seaweed per gallon of water, scaling up or down as needed. With the little amount we plant, we only made up a quarter of the recipe, and didn't have liquid seaweed on hand this year so we subbed with kelp meal. For one quart water, we used 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon kelp meal. Once they're done soaking, remove them from this liquid and you can give them one quick dunk (a couple minutes) in rubbing alcohol to help further kill any bacteria or fungal spores that may be present. Then they're ready to go into the soil! . They thrive in rich, loose, well-draining soil. Work in several inches of compost to your chosen planting location. Plant the cloves 2" deep, and 4"-6" apart, with their flat root end down and pointy end up. Remember good crop rotation! Avoid planting in the same place year after year. . For cold climates and overwintering, heavily mulch the top soil with several inches of loose mulch, such as straw. With our mild winters, we skip the deep mulch. . ? Garlic is a heavy feeder! A few times throughout the growing season (while they’re actively growing – which may not be during winter for you!) we add another little layer of fresh compost on top, a sprinkle of balanced slow-release fertilizer like kelp/neem/alfalfa meals, and aged pelletized chicken manure.  We also water w/ worm compost tea every 1-2 months. . The cloves should begin to sprout in the fall, go dormant over the winter, resume growth in the spring, and ready to harvest early to midsummer ? More info about growing, harvesting and garlic types under #deannasgarlic ✌?

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Garlic is a good source of fiber, selenium, and vitamins C and B6. Plus it makes EVERYTHING taste better. It’s one of the most versatile superfoods! It’s been used for its medicinal properties for centuries, and is believed to have a positive effect on cholesterol, blood pressure, and immune function.

5. Need a sweet superfood? Have some berries!

Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries – all superfoods! Loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, these tiny little superfoods can be enjoyed in tons of different ways. Who doesn’t love berries?! I mean honestly.

6. Beans, beans, the magical food (literally).

Flatulence is a sign of gut health (I just made that up, but it could be true!), so get the gasses moving by adding more legumes to your diet. Legumes like beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts are a great source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin B, and minerals. They also make you feel full, which could help you avoid overeating and maintain a healthy weight!

7. Olive oil (this one is pretty obvious).

This natural oil is extracted from the fruit of olive trees, and has been touted as a superfood for centuries. It’s one of the main fat sources in a Mediterranean diet, and with high levels of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, it’s place on the list of superfoods is hard-earned and well-deserved.

8. Tuuuuuuuurmeric!

FYI, this picture includes three, count ’em THREE, superfoods: ginger, kefir, and the gorgeous golden turmeric. I told you how amazing turmeric is, yes? ‘Tis true, friends. The active compound in turmeric is called curcumin, and it’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Studies have shown that it’s effective at preventing diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Superfood, indeed.

9. Piggybacking on that pretty picture: ginger definitely deserves a spot on the list of superfoods.

Looking to punch up a boring dish AND soak up some health benefits? Ginger is here for you. Anyone who’s ever been pregnant already knows that ginger is a fantastic morning sickness remedy. But did you know it can also reduce your risk of some chronic illnesses and cancers? Well, now you do.

10. Kefir might be unfamiliar to some of you, but trust, it’s a friend of your gut.

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Kefir. Ever tried it? If you look at picture two you'll see that it's low fat, and loaded with protein, calcium, and probiotics. If you look at picture three you'll see that it has a really thick consistency. It's also really tart. If it weren't for the added vanilla flavor it would be very reminiscent of those days from my southern childhood spent drinking buttermilk with a chunk of cornbread. But what I want you to really look at is the first picture. See the difference? The stamp right on the front of two bottles says 1g added sugar. The other says 8g added sugar. The difference is not in the product but the product packaging. Two bottles actually read 1g added sugar PER OUNCE. The other reads 8g added sugar PER SERVING. They equate to the same thing. However, those who are watching their sugar consumption will probably reach for the one that reads 1g and pat themselves on the back for making the healthier choice. Really read your labels. Read the fine print. The fine print matters!

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I don’t like yogurt, but I looooooove kefir. It’s thinner, very drinkable, and is even more beneficial than that other goop. It’s a fermented drink usually made from milk (although you can also find kefir water), and it’s packed with probiotics, protein, potassium, and vitamins. You can buy it, or make it, but either way, you should be drinking it.

This is just a taste of some of the superfoods you should be incorporating into your daily diet. Just a few changes here and there can be incredibly impactful!

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