Hi Spunky Readers! Do you ever feel intimidated by the word “superfoods”? Do you think their price and availability are completely out of reach? Well, fear no more because we’ve compiled this list of Everyday Superfoods foods to illustrate that it is not necessary to venture to a high price and out of the way health food store in search of obscure ingredients. In fact, these common nutrient dense foods which help protect the body at the cellular level will be available at almost any grocery store. Our list includes common veggies, fruits, proteins, grains/pseudo grains, and sources of essential healthy fats. These super foods are affordable, available, easy to prepare and a variety of these can and should be eaten virtually every day.
So, get lets started with the food group that should be the bulk of our daily diets. Fruits and veggies, the nutrition stars:
DARK LEAFY GREENS such as spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, and Romaine contain chlorophyll which helps to alkalize the body. They deliver beneficial levels of Vitamin K and iron to the body. They can be used in smoothies, soups, salads, wraps, sautéed with garlic, added to sauces and casseroles, etc. Buy organic whenever possible!
BROCCOLI provides calcium, protein, Vitamin C and B vitamins that can actually help to fight cravings. This is a favorite because of its anti-cancer properties. This veggie an be steamed, roasted, cooked in casseroles, added to salads and stir fry, or eaten raw.
CELERY is unique in that it aids in digestion. Also, like leafy greens, it is a good source of vitamin K which helps to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. It’s another a great alkalizer, too. Celery is great chopped in pieces for soups or casseroles and it makes the perfect vehicle for consuming nut butters, hummus, salsa or guac. We love celery because it can last longer in the fridge than most other veggies.
Yummy SWEET POTATOES are extremely nutrient dense and packed full of magnesium, fiber and vitamins A and C. The vitamin A, also known as beta-carotene will give your skin a healthy glow. Who doesn’t want that? Like broccoli, sweet potatoes can help to fight cancer. They can be baked, mashed, and are heavenly when roasted! Our favorite consists of roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, roasted red peppers, seasoned with a generous amount of cumin. It’s also pretty fabulous in Sheppard’s pie.
MUSHROOMS are high in antioxidants but where they really shine is in their selenium content. Selenium aids in liver function and also enhances the way our immune system responds to infection . Mushrooms are one of the few non-fortified sources of vitamin D which has been shown to help prevent many forms of cancer. Chop them on salads or in omelets. Sauté them, add them to casseroles or have a “portabella” burger, another Spunky favorite!
We love all sorts of BERRIES but rarely go without blueberries and strawberries fresh or frozen. The most commonly known benefit of berries is their super high level of antioxidants which help to fight off the free radicals that could otherwise wreak havoc on our healthy cells. These antioxidants can help to keep our memory sharp, too. Berries are also quite high in fiber which can help with stubborn weight loss. Buy organic and in season when possible and frozen and organic otherwise. Conventional berries get doused heavily with synthetic pesticides.
Next up are some protein rich superfoods which help your body build and maintain healthy cells and tissue.
EGGS may be our favorite source of protein. Eggs are nearly a perfect food that contain all the amino acids along with omega-3’s, B vitamins, selenium and folate…and the list goes on. Again, eat the whole egg please! The yolk is packed with nutrients including vitamin A, riboflavin and choline. Yolks also contain lutein (carotenoids) which has been shown to help prevent macular degeneration and can help prevent damage from UV rays. We recommend buying eggs from pasture-raised chickens from your local farmers and throw your rinsed shell in your compost bin.
We all know that BEANS and LENTILS are good sources of protein and fiber. But, did you know they are also contain iron? If you pair beans with vitamin C, you will boost your iron absorption. Beans and lentils are high in magnesium too, so they are great for heart health. We love beans and lentils because they are affordable for all budgets!
NUTS and SEEDS hold an honored spot in our pantry. While these little gems also fall under the healthy fats category, they are rich in protein (about 10%), magnesium, fiber and vitamin E. Keep nuts and seeds on hand at all times for a quick snack and a sustained energy boost. Eat a wide variety of nuts because they are all wonderfully different, but buy organic because they can be high in pesticides.
Our next category is super grains/pseudo-grains that you will always find in our pantries.
We are picky about our grains and love WILD RICE. This “grain” is technically a grass and is more easily digested than other most other grains. It is, however, similar to a grains based on nutrients and taste. Believe it or not it is higher in B vitamins, fiber and proteins than brown rice. Wild rice makes a great side dish by adding a few seasonings, or use it as a base for veggies or stir-frys or add it to soups.
OATS are a less-starchy grain that can go with pretty much any breakfast. Not only do they make great hot oatmeal, but they make delicious refrigerator oats and go well in smoothies, muffins, etc. They are loaded with protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc, basically lots of minerals good for your muscles and bones.
While QUINOA is technically a seed it acts like a grain. It is gluten-free and is considered a complete protein offering all of the essential amino acids. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals. It can be a base for veggies, added to soups and salads or can be made as a breakfast porridge.
And lastly, ban fear of fats from your vocabulary. HEALTHY sources of FATS are essential for maintaining healthy cells and a healthy brain. The whole low and no fat craze did way more harm than good and left our bodies completely depleted. Healthy sources of fat are essential for maintaining a healthy body and to have a healthy well functioning brain. Healthy fats help you to feel full longer and, believe it or not, can help to prevent those overwhelming sugar cravings. Here are our top picks for healthy fats.
SALMON is full of omega-3’s which so few of us get enough of. Omega 3’s help with brain, memory function, and heart health. There is no shortage of vitamins and minerals either. Buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon if possible and consume it up to two to three times per week.
AVOCADOS anyone? Yep, we love this fruit that is rich in monounsaturated fats which increase our levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and helps with satiety. Avocados are also very rich in fiber (13 grams) and have more potassium than a banana. What’s not to love? The healthy fats in avocados not only keep your brain functioning optimally but they help to keep you feeling full longer and prevent sugar cravings.
Holding two spots on our superfoods list are NUTS and SEEDS. Some favorites are almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. These powerhouses are heart protecting boasting the greatest source of phytosterols which block the absorption of bad cholesterol.
So, there ya have it. We could have included many more commonly available super foods as they are truly not illusive. We really hope we’ve helped people see how easy it is to fill their fridges, pantries, and tables with these everyday super foods that will help them build a healthy body from the inside out.
You can watch our Charlotte Today segment on Everyday Superfoods here!
Disclaimer: Amy and Niki are trained as holistic health coaches. We are not medical professionals. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only and not meant to be medical advice. While Spunky Avocado endeavors to keep information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related content contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Consult with a physician before starting any diet or exercise program. Readers should perform their own research and make decisions in partnership with their own health care providers. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits obtained from any foods or supplements mentioned on this website have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We will in no way be held liable for any loss or other damages including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or any other damages in connection with this website.