Those are the foods that are superfoods; healthy picks that are packed with vital nutrients that please your body and mind. These foods should also be easily accessible, affordable, and, of course, enjoyable.
It might seem obvious that fruits and vegetables would rule most lists, but superfoods can be found in every aisle of the supermarket and at any price range. These superstars won’t break the bank and they can be purchased all year long in one form or another, whether frozen, fresh, or canned.
High in healthy unsaturated fat, protein, and fibre, Studies have shown that as a part of a low calorie diet, eating almonds is associated with lower body weights and BMIs as well as reduced blood glucose levels for those with type 2 diabetes. These heart-friendly nuts are rich in vitamin E, magnesium, and iron. Almonds can appear throughout your day when added to your breakfast cereal, lunchtime salad, and on their own as a snack.
Those watching their weight or suffering from diabetes are often falsely told to stay away from starchy vegetables, but let’s debunk this myth once and for all! A medium sweet potato (with the skin) clocks in at about 100 calories, and it’s full of fibre, beta-carotene (vitamin A), potassium, and vitamin B6. Purple sweets supply a healthy dose of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation. Contrary to popular belief, sweet potatoes may actually help insulin metabolism, boost your energy, and keep you feeling satiated.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre, and are lower in sugar than most other fruits. You can enjoy a serving of blueberries for just 84 calories, 4g fibre, almost no fat, and even 1g protein to help improve memory and fight off illness. Freeze fresh blues in a single layer and store to enjoy them in smoothies and baked goods all winter.
New sources of omega 3 fatty acids are constantly popping up, but my favourite food source has to be wild salmon. Omega 3s can lower cholesterol, improve your skin and protect you from age related eye disease. This choice high in good fats will also help regulate your blood sugar levels keeping you energised, feeling full and without the sugar cravings.
Many of us make the mistake of avoiding foods which contain fat and miss out on the benefits of those foods that contribute healthy fat and lots of flavour. This heart-healthy fruit has been shown to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds in a satisfying fashion. An avocado’s creamy texture makes it a perfect substitute for traditional baking ingredients, like butter or shortening.
We’ve all heard the expression “shop the perimeter of the store.” But if you skip the middle, you’re missing out on a wealth of wholesome, delicious food choices. Beans, one of the most neglected and under-valued items, come in all shapes and sizes including black, red, kidney, cannelloni, black-eyed, or garbanzo types. Rich in fibre, these superstars help regulate your digestive tract, lower LDL and triglycerides levels, and can even help you lose weight by keeping you feeling full. Clocking in at about 125 calories per half cup, you’ll also be getting 15% daily value of plant protein and 25% of your daily value of fibre!