What makes a food super? It’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and can leap tall buildings in a single bound! Oh wait, that’s superman. LOL. Since superfoods don’t have their own group on the food pyramid let’s agree that the definition of a superfood is per the Oxford Dictionary “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being”. Per this definition not all superfoods may be plant based but these are the ones I choose to focus on.
Berries: Blueberries, Strawberries, Cranberries and all other berries are super! Not only do berries have a high antioxidant value they also are rich in vitamins, soluble fiber and phytochemicals. Per an article I read from news-medical.net, phytochemicals aka flavonoids can have some significant health benefits in humans including anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic affects.
Kale: Kale makes the list but so do most other dark leafy greens such as swisschard, broccoli and cabbages. Dark leafy vegetables are loaded with fiber, vitamin A, C and K as well as Calcium and other important minerals.
Pomegranate: For those of you who know me, you know that pomegranate is one of my go to items in the office when in season. You may also know to stay away from me as I may ask you to go grab a few pomegranates and open them up to share which can be a tedious job. Pomegranates contain ellagitannins (ellagic acid), which are known to have anti-cancer properties. Anything anti-cancer is super in my book!
Walnuts: Walnuts are packed with tryptophan. Yup, the same stuff that is in the turkey you may have for thanksgiving dinner. Tryptophan is an amino acid your body needs to create serotonin which is a chemical in your body that lifts your mood. Walnuts are also digested slowly which is another perk. So think of it this way, a hand full of walnuts a day can help prevent “hanger” or being “hangry” (hungry + angry). J
Avocados: Avocados are your friend! Not only are they the key ingredient in guacamole which is one of my top 5 snacks. It’s also a great source of Olec Acid which is a healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). Healthy fats help your body quiet hunger (or being hangry) and in turn could support healthy weight loss. Have you ever had raw vegan chocolate pudding? The main ingredient is avocado believe it or not. (1 avocado, ½ cup dates, 2 ½ tablespoons carob powder, ¼ cup water, 1 ½ tablespoons agave and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt). Give it a try!