Superfoods You Need to Introduce Into Your DietLisa Kilgour, Nutritionist
August 15, 2017
Have you ever had foodie envy? Have you looked over at your friend’s or colleague’s incredible lunch and thought “I don’t even know what most of those foods are”?
That’s okay, we’ve all been there. Your foodie friend and your health food junkie colleague all started exactly where you are – wanting to know more. And many of those superfoods are delicious and easy to use once you’ve have a quick introduction. So, let’s start there.
I think that superfoods come in 2 categories;
1. Everyday Superfoods
– these are fruits and veggies with antioxidant superpowers, like kale, blueberries, and broccoli
2. Foodie Superfoods
– these are foods you don’t find in the produce aisle that give your meal an extra super kick, like virgin coconut oil, goji berries, and essential fats.
It’s the #2 category that bewilders most of us, so we’ll spend our time talking about that one.
In a nutshell, these are foods that are delicious, surprisingly easy to add into your life, and will give you a great foodie reputation. They’re the braggable foods.
Virgin Coconut Oil
Remember in the ‘80s & ‘90s when saturated fat was bad? (oops, I think I just aged myself a bit…). Well, we were 100% wrong.
Beautifully unprocessed saturated fat is a great addition to a healthy diet. Coconut oil is full of really important fats like lauric acid, and it makes your skin absolutely glow. It’s real beauty that you can eat.
Unsure what to do with it? Swap it out for butter on your toast or your sandwich, use it as the oil you cook with, or, if you want to impress your friends – try this unbelievable recipe for Chocolate Protein Brownie Bites!
Ever wondered what those dried red things are in your foodie friend’s granola or salad? They’re goji berries and they’re fantastic in so many ways.
They’ve been used medicinally in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries, and it’s believed they help with the eyes, liver and the immune system. But they’re also just a super mega superfood, filled to the brim with antioxidants, vitamins, and phytonutrients.
They have a mildly sweet flavour and can be eaten on their own as a snack, added to your favourite nuts and seed mix, or sprinkled on a salad. My favourite way to eat goji berries is to pop 1 goji berry with 1 piece of raw cacao into my mouth as a fast snack (that I put on repeat). They’re a delicious combo.
Healthy fats, especially the essential ones
Have you looked at someone’s skin and wondered how they get that glow? That radiance is from one important nutrient – healthy fat. And it’s not fat that’s slathered onto your skin, but the fat you eat. Just like with Virgin Coconut Oil, all healthy fat nourishes the skin from the inside out.
…and they also help every cell function properly, keeps your brain sharp, and helps to balance your immune system. So it’s about more than just glowy skin (but that’s my favourite side effect).
There are 2 essential fats that we need to eat every day – omega 3 & 6, but it’s the omega 3s we have the most trouble getting into our diet.
It’s easiest if we look at omega 3s as 2 different types. There’s the medicinal kind, like with fish oil, and a type we call a “functional fat”, which includes flaxseed oil.
Fish oil – this is a great source of EPA/DHA which is anti-inflammatory and keeps our brain sharp.
A great and delicious (and un-fishy) way of getting your dose of fish oil every day is with Perfect Omega fish oil. It’s emulsified, which is easy on your digestion (especially if you have trouble with your gallbladder) and it tastes great and can be added to anything from smoothies to salad dressing.
Flaxseed oil – this type of omega 3 is called ALA, and sometimes it converts to EPA/DHA…and sometimes it doesn’t. It doesn’t really matter if it converts because it’s so important for our cells.
This type of fat is considered a “functional fat” because it helps the body function better. It creates beautiful cell walls, lubricates the digestive tract, and can help to balance hormones.
Look for a “high-lignan” type of flax oil. Lignans are a fibre in flax that helps trap toxins in the gut and can help balance hormones. It’s easy to use, just add it to your smoothies, salads, veggies (after they’re off the stove), or just enjoy a tablespoon. Easy peasy.
These superfoods are great additions to your cupboard/fridge so you can quickly and easily move your meal from “pretty good” to “super” in one quick step.
Do you have a superfood recipe that you love? Share it on social with #BotanicaHealth #MindfulLiving