Superfoods: My Favorites for a Healthier Diet9:06 PM
How are you all doing? I hope September’s been good to you guys so far. I swear the day after Labor Day, the weather shifted right to autumn. It’s crazy. This morning when I walked outside, I could feel that fall chill in the air and smell the undeniably crisp autumn scent. I’m pretty happy bout this change in weather because I can’t wait to break out my boots, leather jackets, and scarves again. Though, I gotta admit I do wear boots when it’s warmer weather too. But, it’s obviously not the same. Are you guys excited for the impending fall?
The one thing I’m not entirely looking forward to this autumn is my soon-to-be stressful fall schedule at school. I’m sure those of you who are still in school have already started. UW is one of those schools that starts later, so I’ve still got a few weeks left. With school starting up and the relaxing summer coming to an end, we all gotta remember to still maintain a healthy diet to keep up with our busy lives. I already eat a healthy diet on a normal basis, but there are a few specific superfoods that I count on the most.
I’m sure you are all very familiar with these already. They’ve been all the rage in the past couple years. Chia seeds are packed full of health benefits. They can help keep you fuller for longer because they are a great source of fiber. A good balance of fiber, protein, and fat is what can help keep you sustained between meals and chia seeds are good for that. Because they swell up in liquid, they also provide some nice bulk to foods that can help keep you feeling full too.
Some people like to just sprinkle them on top of salads or other foods, BUT I highly recommend pre-soaking them in liquid before doing so. Just a mere 5 minutes makes a difference. If you just sprinkle them on, they don’t have the time to absorb liquid. Pre-soaking can also help you eat less calories because chia seeds can be caloric dense. By allowing them to swell in size, that one tablespoon of chia seeds can become three times that. Trust me, it works better that way.
I can’t believe these are so popular these days. I’ve been eating these for YEARS now. My mom would make teas with these for my sister and I every once in awhile. Guess mother does know best. She was on top of this trend before it even was a thing. My mother has always told me that goji berries are really good for your eyes because they have a ton of vitamin A. Goji berries are full of antioxidants such as zinc and iron that can benefit your skin, eyes, and just overall health. I’ve also learned before that they can help balance hormones. However, don’t eat a bucketload of them every day. You can’t make up for anything by overdoing it on goji berries. They may be good for you, but so is sleeping and you can’t “pre” sleep a week in advance.
As they generally come dried, one great way to enjoy them is to soak them in hot water for 5-10 minutes before adding them to other foods. I usually soak them in hot water, stir in a spoonful of raw honey once the water has cooled slightly, and add a splash of lemon juice for a delicious drink. You can eat them dried, but I don’t really like the texture like that, they stick to teeth too much.
Apples are SO underrated!! People don’t usually see these as healthy foods because apples are so attainable. BUT, they are because they are full of healthy nutritional benefits. I have apples at least a couple times a week (or I try to) because they are so good for you. They have soluble and insoluble fibers, one helps clear out your system if you know what I mean and the other provides necessary bulk to help keep you fuller longer. Apples also have a ton of vitamins and minerals that would do your body some good too. I love slicing some apples to eat with greek yogurt, dipping them in like a “chips and dips” kind of ordeal. Apples taste pretty good with cottage cheese as well, if you remember from one of my food posts last year. You can eat apples in so many ways, and their versatility is what makes them even better.
I drink tea literally every day. Sometimes even several times a day. I have a bunch of different types of teas in the pantry to the point where my mom complains that I shouldn’t buy more until I finish some first. I like having variety to choose from. We all know of green tea being good for you, what with the catechin and antioxidants and whatnot, especially in matcha green tea. But, I also love drinking roobis tea too. Roobis is a red tea that has no caffeine. It is from South Africa from a red bush or something like that. It doesn’t have as strong or bitter of a taste as green tea can have. Roobis has this nice warm richness to it that I really like. Roobis tea is so good for you, and can help clear your skin, prevent cancer and viruses, and is anti-inflammatory. Most teas are really good for you in general. (That is, teas that aren’t processed with sugar and preservatives and whatnot) Teas generally provide caffeine in a way that doesn’t harm your body, has antioxidants, can boost your immune system, and is a calorie-free way to drink something other than water. I like sipping on roobis, green tea, earl grey, or peppermint teas. I know that loose-leaf teas are better than the bagged kind, but teabags are definitely more convenient. I literally carry around teabags in my purse. You don't need to say it, I know I'm weird. Either way, just drink tea.
They aren’t the most aesthetically appealing, but they taste pretty good. I once learned that walnuts are good for you brain, which you can remember by their shape. They sort of resemble a brain. Weird, huh? Walnuts taste good sprinkled on oatmeal, salads, yogurt, in trail mix, or just on its own. BUT don’t eat too much at once because walnuts are very calorie dense. I usually like to take a couple and crush them into tiny bits to sprinkle on my oatmeal. That way, I feel like I have more because I have some in every bite, but I’m not actually eating too much. Walnuts have healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are good for you skin, brain, and overall body. The healthy fats help keep you full because they balance the protein and carbs in a meal. Walnuts don’t have a super strong taste, so they complement things pretty nicely.
|A handy little chart from Nuts.com about common superfoods|
There are other superfoods I really love eating too like blueberries or almonds, but these are the ones I’ve been into more lately. I eat frozen blueberries quite often too (I learned before that there are these antioxidants in blueberries’ skin that is better released when frozen, plus it’s easier to guarantee sweetness when you buy frozen because of issues with berries not always being in season). Almonds are a definite go-to for me when it comes to snacking on the go. But, recently these are the ones I’ve been eating more.
They say “You are what you eat”, and that’s pretty true. How you eat can really be reflected by your skin, mood, energy levels, etc. Yeah it’s convenient to blitz things up in a blender to make a nutrient packed smoothie, but I find that eating healthy foods in different ways that brings out their unique flavors helps me develop a liking for the foods themselves. In smoothies, foods with a more overwhelming flavor tend to drown out all other ones and you don’t actually taste each unique food. Plus, I just generally like eating foods rather than drinking my calories anyways.
I definitely recommend reading up on common super foods like goji berries, cacao nibs, matcha green tea, or chia seeds to find out what health benefits they provide. It's always easier to motivate yourself to integrate superfoods into your diet if you know how they actually effect your body. Plus, it helps you find ways to eat them to maximize health benefits. Like adding lemon juice to teas to maximize the antioxidants they provide. Or not using super boiling hot water on raw honey or else it kills the good stuff.
How do you eat these superfoods? Which superfoods do you like to eat? Lemme know in the comments below some ways you prepare superfoods!
As always, thank you all for stopping by! I wish you all a wonderful weekend!!
Til next time,