Ashleigh Kidd RD LDN reviewed by Kim Bowman MS CNP | 07-25-2022
What do you think when you hear “superfoods”? Expensive? Overrated? It’s true that the term “superfood” has been associated with high end pricey grocery stores and products that promise quick fixes. And while you should be weary of ANY product, company or person doting over a certain food with outrageous claims, superfoods don’t have to be a marketing ploy if we know what to look for, and understand what they actually are: foods that are nutrient dense and considered to be beneficial to a person’s health (pretty simple, right?). So which superfoods (nutrient dense foods) are worth the hype this season? Let’s take a closer look.
The name might sound fancy but chances are you have some of these in your pantry. Amaranth, quinoa, and farro are some of the most common ancient grains, and they’re easy to incorporate into your weekly routine. These grains are rich in phytochemicals and may help to reduce inflammation and lower the risk for chronic disease. They are also a good source of B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and can even help to add some extra protein to your meal. Our favorite way to eat them? Add them warm to your nourish bowls, or cold on top of your salad!
Hemp Seeds/ Hearts
Hemp seeds have gained major hype in the last year, and for good reason. They are quite literally a nutrient powerhouse and such an easy way to add some nutrition to your meals. Hemp seeds have a great balance of omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids, and also contain phytosterols, all supporting heart health and reduced inflammation. They’re also a good source of magnesium, folate, Vitamin E, and potassium. Did we mention their protein content? Just 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds provide 10 grams of protein. Hemp seeds have a very mild nutty flavor and are super easy to add to meals and snacks like oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, salads, and bliss balls.
Fermented foods have been trending for several years now, and they’re certainly not going anywhere. They are rich in probiotics (hello good bacteria!) and help to keep your gut happy while keeping your digestive health and inflammation in check. Kimchi, yogurt, pickles, and sauerkraut are the fermented foods that we hear about the most, and they fit pretty easily into a balanced diet.
Now you might be thinking this is a “basic” choice for a trending superfoods list…but trust us, don’t underestimate the nutrition of some good ol’ fashioned blueberries. Along with other berries, they are an excellent source of antioxidants which we know helps to fight off free radicals and may help to reduce the risk for chronic disease. They are also full of vitamins and minerals and they are high in soluble fiber. Add them to your yogurt bowl, pair with pumpkin seeds at your next snack for the perfect salty/sweet combo, or add them to your morning pancakes.
Remember, all of these foods are great additions to an already balanced diet, but no single food will transform our health or bring long lasting sustainable change. Continue to focus on building realistic habits while eating a variety of foods that make you feel your best, both physically and mentally. You can read more about this in our recent blogs: How to Build a Balance and Satisfying Plate!