Hi, all! Today we are going to be talking about superfoods!! You know those crazy-good-for-you foods that you need to eat more of!? As a Holistic Nutritionist, I can not even tell you how much superfoods HEAL and rejuvenate the body. I have researched thousands of studies during my certification about the impact of these amazing superfoods on our health, and I was blown away by the results. From asthma, allergies, diabetes to colitis, cancer and Chron’s Disease, nutrition is what you need to focus on to see improvement. Never underestimate proper nutrition and superfoods.
With Fall approaching, treating our bodies with nutrient dense superfoods is of utmost importance! Due to the lack of vitamin D exposure in the colder months, we are more vulnerable to illness. Remember that I do not recommend store-bought vitamins and supplements to be taken daily. The ONLY vitamins I recommend ever taking are vitamin D if you’re deficient and B12 if you are a vegan. If you are feeling ill, then vitamins can be taken. All other vitamins should come from natural, whole food sources like superfoods.
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only and information shared here is not intended to cure or treat disease. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.
What is a Superfood?
Super oods are doted to be nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Eating them regularly may reduce the risk of chronic disease, and prolong life. This is a loosely used term and is not a scientific term, but the nutritious benefits speak for themselves!
I’m not talking about the oh-so-famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, but the actual pumpkin itself and the superfood seed! Pumpkin is an excellent source of carotenoids, including beta-carotene (which converts into vitamin A in your body). While all Winter squash has great benefits, pumpkin is worth sharing on its own.
Pumpkin is rich in fiber, with three grams in a one-cup serving. The seeds, when eaten regularly, can boost the immune system and facilitate prostate support. These orange beauties also include zinc, vitamin C, potassium, riboflavin, copper, and manganese, along with vitamin E, B vitamins, folate, iron, and phosphorus.
In order to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw. Something important to consider is that most nuts and seeds have anti-nutrients like phytic acid that can make all the important nutrients less bio available when you consume them. So if you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak them.
To make them more enjoyable, you can then dehydrate them in your oven or in a dehydrator or roast them with a little sea salt. Here is a great dehydrator here from Amazon.
Yes, pumpkins and squash go hand-in-hand, but I am breaking these superfoods down for you! Butternut squash is a super popular and delicious fall and winter “veggie”. (Technically it’s considered a fruit since it contains seeds) This member of the gourd family is extremely flexible in the kitchen. Whether you roast it, use it in a salad, make soup with it or even turn it into a pasta substitute, this nutritious root vegetable is packed with superfood nutrients!
- Winter Squash is packed with carotenoids, known as beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient for your immune system
- Helps aid in blood and circulatory health
Sweet potatoes are so delicious and are easy to sneak into almost any Fall-inspired dish! (Like my Sweet Potato & Veggie Chili)
- Sweet potatoes are packed with beta carotene, an antioxidant that can help ward off free radicals that damage cells (that make you vulnerable to chronic illness).
- This antioxidant can help support your immune system
- Can lower your risk of heart disease and cancer when taken regularly
- Contain cancer fighting properties. Yeah, I said it! Watch this amazing video on sweet potato proteins and cancer.
Tomatoes are an easy Fall find!
- Tomatoes contain Lycopene, an antioxidant rarely found in other foods.
- Studies suggest that tomatoes could protect your skin against harmful UV rays, prevent certain cancers, and lower cholesterol.
- Contain high amounts of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.
The king of super foods! Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can find.
- In a serving of Kale, you will find a power house of vitamins and minerals
- Vitamins and minerals include including vitamin A, K, C, B6, Manganese, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium and more!
- Antioxidants and phyto-nutrients help boost the immune system, alkalize the body, fight disease and fight cancer-causing free radicals.
The great thing about Fall is that soups can be on your lunch and dinner menu multiple times a week! There is an amazing kale & white bean recipe that I love that sneaks that Kale right in there and tastes delicious.
- Black beans pack tons of protein, with none of the artery-clogging saturated fat found in meat.
- They’re full of heart-healthy fiber, antioxidants, and energy-boosting iron.
- Can prevent colorectal cancers.
I’m not talking about the instant oats in your oatmeal packet, but the old-fashioned oats!
- Full of fiber
- Great source of magnesium, potassium, and phyto-nutrients
- Oats contain a special type of fiber that helps to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease
- Magnesium in oats work to regulate blood-sugar levels, and research suggests that eating whole-grain oats may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
Walnuts aren’t given much credit as the fare of choice, but they shouldn’t be overlooked!
- Walnuts have mega antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and have been shown to be protective against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular problems, and type 2 diabetes.
- A rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids.
Like most nuts, they can easily be added to your Healthiest Way of Eating. Just chop and add to your favorite salad, vegetable dish, fruit, or dessert.
All year round it’s important to eat a well-rounded diet. With a few superfoods added to the mix regularly, you will set up yourself for success. What’s your favorite super food recipe? Share in the comments!
Love & Light,
Naturally Nicole XO