Super foods are nutritional power houses that are extremely high in micro nutrients like vitamins, minerals, as well as antioxidants, enzymes and healthy fats. These nutrients are essential for the body to thrive and they fuel us so that we can fight back against chronic disease and other nutrient deficiencies while promoting heart health, weight loss, improved energy levels and even reducing the effects of aging. While it's important to note that no one food is a medical cure-all, but multiple scientific studies have shown that certain foods provide greater health benefits than others. Here are some of the foods that have earned themselves the title of “superfood”.
Acai, Acerola Cherry, Alfalfa, Banana, Baobab, Barley Grass, Blueberries, Cacao, Caron, Chia seeds, Chlorella, Coconut, Guarana, Lucuma, Maca, Maqui, Matcha, Moringa, Spirulina, & Wheatgrass
At least 90% of the population in America doesn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. According to the CDC and many other studies, Americans eat fruit once a day and vegetables 2 times per day or less. I think we can all agree that everyone would benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables.
Here’s something you may not know: produce grown conventionally is not as nutritionally dense as it used to be. Here’s why:
1. LONG SUPPLY CHAINS
Do you know where your food comes from and what it takes to get to you? Food that is transported long distances is not nearly as nutritious. This is because foods are typically harvested early, for example bananas are picked when they are still green and then they are ripened in storage with the help of chemical gases, such as ethylene gas. Food also continues to ripen during transport.
A monocrop is a crop that grows in the same place year after year. Because of this it depletes the soil of its nutrients over time. Monocrops also require larger amounts of synthetic herbicides such as glyphosate, which is a known carcinogen, and pesticides. The harmful residues not only remain on the crops, but they also leach into the soil and pollute our groundwater supplies.
3. SOIL DEPLETION
Many studies published in scientific journals over the past 10 years show that soil depletion is affecting the nutrient density of fruit and vegetables.
A study, published in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” studied U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from 1950 and 1999. The researchers found 54 different vegetables and fruits, with “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over this time period.
Breeding new varieties of crops that provide greater yields, and are pest resistance with greater climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and faster, but their ability to uptake nutrients has not kept up with the pace of their rapid growth.
When you eat superfoods, you’re getting more bang for your buck thanks to their amazing nutritional profile. What’s more, superfoods that are organically grown are also grown without harmful chemicals. They contribute to healthier and more nutrient-rich soil, combating soil erosion and supporting water conservation amongst many other things.
SUPPLEMENT VS. SUPERFOOD: WHICH ONE IS BETTER?
Why would you eat and drink superfoods when you can just take a pill or multivitamin? With over half of the U.S. population taking synthetic supplements like multivitamins, which are artificially made and contain isolated nutrients that are not actually providing that much support, extensive research shows that it’s unclear how well synthetic nutrients are absorbed in the body, if at all.
The effectiveness of multivitamins is also very unclear. Some studies show that they can be effective, while others concluded they have barely any effect and sometimes no effect at all, or even worse, that they increase your risk of certain diseases. Other synthetic nutrients can be very harmful, especially since the FDA does not review supplements for safety and effectiveness.
The bottom line is that when you eat real food that grows in nature, you’re not consuming isolated nutrients. Instead, you’re eating a variety of micronutrients that your body can use and digest and absorb and this is better for your health and well-being in the long run.
HOW TO ADD SUPERFOODS TO YOUR DIET
Superfoods are 'super' quick and easy way to nourish your body with natural vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Stepping into the world of superfoods can be intimidating and is sometimes met with skepticism.
Some superfoods like bananas and blueberries can be found at any grocery store, but an even easier way to consume superfoods is in powdered form.
Superfood powders can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, water, yogurt, dressings — the possibilities are pretty much endless!
Selecting a good and clean brand of superfoods is very important. Only a select few superfood companies actually pick their produce at the peak and take them directly to their factory for processing. Pressure treatment is much better for the products vs. heat treatment, which is much more popular. Most companies use heat treatment which robs the product of essential nutrients and enzymes. Purchasing superfoods online is fast and easy. Some of my favorite companies are even going plastic free so I feel great about supporting their mission and efforts.
Superfood Smoothie Bowl
Smoothie bowls! Packed with a number of fruit and vegetable combinations, smoothie bowls can be incredibly nutrient and protein-dense, especially if they include superfoods like acai, kale and nut butters. Just be careful, too many fruits or extra sweeteners could easily turn these bowls into sugar bombs. Using natural sweeteners like monkfruit and stevia can keep the sugar content much lower. The base of a bowl combines thicker ingredients like blended avocado, frozen berries or frozen banana, and toppings can be anything from sliced fruit, nuts, seeds and maybe some drizzled honey and sprinkled cinnamon. Popular combos include granola and berries, or chia seeds, nuts and sliced bananas. The options are endless!
Here is our Nut Butter and Berry Smoothie Bowl recipe! With thick and creamy frozen berries, coconut oil, and nut butter, this gluten free smoothie bowl recipe will leave you feeling full, energized, and nourished. Great for kids, and adults alike!
- 1 tbsp melted organic coconut oil
- 1/2 to 1 tbsp creamy natural nut butter
- 8 ounces of almond or coconut milk
- 1 scoop or 30-40 grams vegan protein (we used Purium organic vanilla sport protein powder)
- 1 tbsp chia (save some for topping as well)
- 1 tsp honey, maple syrup, agave, monkfruit or stevia
- 1 cup frozen berry blend
- optional ice if you want extra thick
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Combine melted coconut oil and nut butter. It’s easier to mix if both are melted. Spoon into freezer trays or silicone molds to let them freeze.
- Combine your frozen nut butter/coconut oil with the rest of your ingredients in a blender. Use less milk and add a handful of ice if you want extra thick.
- Pour this mixture into your bowls and add a drizzle of nut butter, or honey/agave if desired. Top with some chia seeds and berries if desired.