Top 5 Superfoods & Their Benefits
Top 5 Superfoods & Their Benefits
Not a day goes by that I don’t add at least one superfood to my breakfast. There are honestly so many different superfoods out there that you didn’t even know were considered to be superfoods, but the best ones are definitely the rare ones that you may have never even heard of. Superfoods are mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy can be considered a superfood; blueberries, salmon, kale, oats, are a few examples. My favourites are those exotic exotic superfoods that have been found to give you major health benefits as well as tasting delicious!
There has been a boom lately on supefoods in general, they’ve always existed in different parts of the world but now we can find them in a lot of health stores. These foods have large doses of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can fight cancer and prevent heart disease. I’m obsessed with ALL of them, but I’m going to talk about my personal top 5 favorites and why. You can contribute to your health a lot by just adding a teaspoon of any of these a day.
Cacao nibs (or cacao):
Native from Guatemala (my homeland!), but i’m not talking about chocolate but PURE cacao beans. Perfect topping off anything, I love adding them to my smoothies, oats or any sweet desserts. Since they are the pure form of chocolate they aren’t sweet, but they still have the chocolate flavor, NO GUILT. I mean if you add it to something sweet it’s basically the same thing, right?
Cacao contains flavonoids, which help lower blood pressure and improve the flow to the brain and heart. They have high amounts of sulfur, magnesium and phenylethylamine that provide benefits like alertness and mood enhancement. They have more antioxidants than any other superfoods, they maintain muscle and nerve function, and can help you lose weight. Who would’ve known the purest form of chocolate is high in fiber and makes you feel fuller for longer? I seriously will just chew cacao beans when I’m craving something sweet because they’re kind of bitter and then you just wont want anything else… honestly not so helpful. Usually best used for toppings, one must try!
Maca is a Peruvian root that comes in powder form. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, around 20 amino acids and antioxidants. It also boosts libido (I think this might depend on the person, maybe you just notice if you’re lacking haha!). It also helps with menstrual issues (goodbye cramps). I’ve never really been a fan of drinking pre-workouts, they make me jittery and itchy. Ever since I discovered Maca I’ve been obsessed with adding it to my pre-workout snacks, perfect for that extra boost you need for the gym. It increases stamina, endurance and helps with your memory and mood. Like other superfoods, Maca helps avoid anemia and cardiovascular diseases.
The way I usually eat Maca is by adding it to my peanut butter, I make my own peanut butter at home, add different flavors like pumpkin spice, and add some Maca. So before my workout I’ll have half a banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter and it already has the Maca included, no pre workout supplement powders needed, all natural all the way! You can also add it to your smoothies, don’t add too much because it can have a strong taste, I usually go with a teaspoon.
Turmeric is also a root, GO figure. Roots are literally my favorite, sweet potatoes, cassava, taro…. And the list goes on! But turmeric comes in powder form as well, it’s one of the most effective supplements out there. Turmeric’s main ingredient is curcumin, which has very powerful anti-inflammatory effects and it’s the best antioxidant. You can take Turmeric in pill form to get the full-effect because the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. But I’m not all about popping a bunch of pills everyday so I seriously just add turmeric to everything I cook, I kid you not! AND I haven’t gotten bored don’t ask me how, but it’s honeslty so delicious! If you love curry, turmeric is what gives it the yellow color. Turmeric has been found to improve brain function, lower risk of brain diseases, lower your risk of heart disease, and prevent cancer. YES I know… THAT good. Curcumin has been found to be a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and can affect cancer growth and development. The list goes on…. But just giving you the major ones.
Like I said before, I add Turmeric to basically everything: meat marinades, veggies, oats, and if you haven’t tried GOLDEN MILK, I highly recommend it. I have some recipes on my personal website with it if you ever want to stop by. Golden milk is very soothing, I usually drink it before going to sleep.
Maqui berry is a berry from Chile… best of all berries! Also comes in powder form… I’ve never seen the actual berry. It has anti aging properties because of the amount of antioxidants it contains. It is great for weightloss, it boosts your metabolism by helping kick start digestion and giving your body stamina. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can relief diseases like arthritis. It can also help treat cardiovascular problems. It is very rich in nutrients and low in calories, it balances sugar levels in blood. It enhances your immune system and is supposed to extend your lifespan…give me all the maqui berries in Chile ASAP!!
Since it comes in powder form, I usually add it to my sweet breakfasts like oat pancakes, oats and smoothies. It doesn’t have a strong taste so you can barely taste it in food but it does give your food a purple color!
Last but not least, Matcha. It has become a very popular superfood and the benefits are definitely a reason why. I love green tea in general but Matcha is like green tea on steroids. Double antioxidants and double the benefits. Matcha is loaded with catechin ( a specific set of organic compounds that are extremely potent and beneficial). Catechin is highly recognized for it’s cancer curing properties. Matcha is also soothing and boosts memory and concentration. Most importantly, it gives you energy, endurance, AND burns calories. It increases your metabolism and helps you burn fat. Also perfect to detox and strengthen your immune system. PLUS the flavor is so amazing, it does have a fishy smell in my opinion but the taste is just too good.
I usually make Matcha lattes with almond milk, but also always add it to food. Pancakes, oats, energy balls, cakes… once again, anything sweet.
Most superfoods come in powder forms and as you can tell, you can add them to anything sweet OR salty (depending on which one). Just by adding a teaspoon of any of these to your breakfasts, baking treats or lunches, you’ll be contributing a lot to your health. Some superfoods are becoming more popular as time goes by, but there are some that aren’t that well-known that are definitely worth trying! Hope this blog post inspires you to try all the superfoods out there!
Here’s a recipe of the smoothie bowl pictured using Moringa:
Prep time: 10 minutes
4 frozen cauliflower florets
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 tsp Moringa
5 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Sweetener of choice (stevia, honey, agave)
1. In a plastic container, add chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla extract, stevia (or sweetener of choice), 1/2 cup almond milk. Leave in fridge overnight
2. Place cauliflower and strawberries in freezer overnight as well.
3. In a blender, add cauliflower, strawberries, blackberries, moringa, almond milk. Blend until it becomes clumpy and smoothie-like.
4. In a jar, add chia pudding, smoothie mixture, then toppings of choice.