10 Easy to Find Superfoods to Help Promote Optimal Health
Our bodies are well-tuned machines that can thrive on colourful, whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy unsaturated fats. At Mind Body Spine, we believe in drug-free chiropractic treatment and the use of natural healing. We also believe that good diet and exercise play a key role in overall health.
As part of your chiropractic care with Dr. Stephanie Louie, we know it’s important to identify appropriate foods, vitamins and supplements that can help contribute to your total body health.
What Are Superfoods, Anyway?
Superfoods are essentially foods that have been found to be high in vitamins and minerals. Some, such as avocados are a good source of heart-healthy fats. The term superfood was invented during WWI, when bananas were marketed by the United Fruit Company as a Superfood. While bananas are indeed portable, delicious and a great source of nutrition, this was the earliest (known) form of food marketing. Check out this article by Harvard’s School of Public Health to learn more.
Because superfood isn’t a regulated term, always be mindful of food marketing. This labelling can influence us to buy into the idea of a particular food being the holy grail of all food groups. For maximum health benefits, consider whole foods over processed foods wherever you can. For instance, choose a handful of blueberries and some almonds instead of a prepackaged granola bar made with dehydrated blueberries.
Top 10 Superfoods
There are dozens of superfoods out there, but they can be hard to pronounce, hard to find and even harder to prepare. Chances are, if you’re not comfortable with it, you likely won’t want to cook it.
With this in mind, we created our own list of natural foods that are affordable, easy to find, and even easier to add to your meals—definitely “super!”
For example, you can sauté garlic and kale and add them to your scrambled eggs in the morning and add avocado slices to a salmon filet for a good dose of Omega 3’s and monounsaturated fats and for dessert pair blackberries sprinkled with cinnamon and a dollop of creamy Greek-style yogurt.
- Eggs- A breakfast staple, eggs are good anytime. Perfect for adding protein to a dish, eggs are also a source of healthy fats. The yolks are high in Vitamins A and D, making a whole egg perfect for everything from breakfast to a midnight snack.
- Kale- A cruciferous veggie, kale is a leafy green (or purple) plant loaded with vitamins and nutrients that add antioxidants and high amounts of beta carotene, Vitamin K and Vitamin C to any dish.
- Wild-caught Salmon- Salmon contains Omega 3 fats that have been shown to decrease the risk of heart and vascular problems. It has also been shown to improve skin softness, texture and appearance and support brain development and function.
- Avocado- Spread on whole grain toast or diced for a salad, avocado is a truly diverse fruit. Packed with heart-healthy monosaturated fats, fiber, potassium and Vitamins A and E, avocados are more than just a trend.
- Garlic- Garlic is well known for it’s antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties and it’s ideal for adding flavour to most savoury foods. Choose locally grown organic garlic whenever you can. Imported garlic can sometimes be bleached and stripped of many of its naturally occurring nutrients.
- Cinnamon-High in calcium, iron and manganese, cinnamon is more than just a seasoning for your morning oatmeal. When purchasing cinnamon, choose cinnamon sticks that you can grate or grind at home. When most prepackaged cinnamon is processed, many nutrients can be lost, reducing the health benefits. Fresh ground cinnamon tastes much better too. Try a cinnamon stick in your morning coffee or tea for a sugar-free hit of flavour.
- Broccoli- Another cruciferous veggie, broccoli is great steamed, sautéed, chopped into salads, or eaten raw. Found year-round, broccoli is the ideal way to add greens to your plate. It’s high in vitamin C, folic acid, selenium, magnesium and Vitamins A, C, E and K.
- Spinach- Just as at home in a smoothie as a casserole, spinach is a leafy green that, like kale, is full of Vitamins A, C, K, iron, manganese and magnesium.
- Blackberries- Readily available in coastal areas during the late summer, both native Trailing Blackberries and Himalayan Blackberries are a low calorie treat very high in Vitamins C and K, as well as fiber and potassium. Pick them in late summer and freeze them to enjoy all winter long. Add them to whole wheat pancakes, muffins, or just eat them fresh/frozen. We are fortunate to have this free superfood growing in abundance right in our own backyard.
- Almonds- raw almonds (with skin on) are excellent eaten sliced, chopped, or whole. Add them to a stir-fry for extra crunch, enjoy a handful while watching tv at night, or take them with you on a hike for a burst of energy. Like avocados, almonds are a good source of monounsaturated fats, potassium, as well as manganese and niacin.
To help boost your immune system and improve energy levels, these superfoods are a great starting point for total body health. We should all consume a variety of healthy foods every day, with a balanced diet made up of colourful veggies and fruits, whole grains, and proteins.
Based in Victoria, BC, we are a family chiropractic clinic. If Mind Body Spine’s balanced approach to chiropractic care sounds like a good fit for you, Dr. Louie would be happy to meet you. Let’s discuss a treatment plan for any pain and discomfort, or decreased range of motion you may be experiencing to help get you back to feeling like yourself. Book your appointment online or call 250-885-2320 today.