Pre-packaged, processed foods may be convenient, but if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, cooking from scratch using fresh, unprocessed ingredients is crucial. Below is a list of six “superfoods” to fall in love with — whole foods that offer a broad variety of vital nutrients that can be easily incorporated into a balanced diet. And if you can purchase them organic, that’s even better!
Want to boost your immunity and increase daily energy? Drink kefir, y’all. Kefir is a traditionally fermented food that is bursting with healthful bacteria/probiotics. Not only do they help your body better digest food, probiotics influence the activity of genes to help them fight disease. They also prevent your immune system from overreacting to non-harmful antigens, which cause allergies, and help normalize your weight. Without enough beneficial bacteria/probiotics in your system, you are more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes, depression and other mood disorders.
In addition to positive probiotics, kefir also contains: calcium, complete proteins, Vitamins B1 and B2, minerals (such as magnesium), and essential amino acids (such as tryptophan, which is known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system).
2) Organic free range/pastured eggs
Free range or “pastured” eggs are eggs from hens that range freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet. Pastured eggs are a relatively inexpensive and fantastic source of high-quality nutrients that many people lack, like high-quality protein and fat.
Just one egg contains: nine essential amino acids, choline for your brain, nervous and cardiovascular systems, and naturally-occurring B12. Eggs also contain one of the highest quality proteins you can find. Proteins are nutrients that are necessary to the creation, maintenance and repair of body tissues such as your skin, internal organs, and muscles. They are also key players in your immune system and hormones.
3) Raw organic almonds
So long as they’re raw, almonds are an excellent healthy whole food source. Raw nuts contain mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are good fats that promote healthy levels of cholesterol. And they have zero trans fats (if they’re non-pasturized).
Almonds are chock-full of phytochemicals, plant components that encourage heart and vascular health. They’re also a wonderful source of: magnesium, protein, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin E. Try a handful for a healthy snack!
I used to hate avocados as a child, then somehow my taste buds changed and I fell in love with them. Which is a good thing, because avocados are an excellent source of healthful raw fat, enabling your body to efficiently absorb nutrients in other foods eaten in conjunction.
They also provide almost twenty essential health-boosting nutrients, including: Vitamin E, B-vitamins, folic acid, fiber and potassium (more than twice the amount found in a banana).
5) Wild Alaskan Salmon
Fish in general contains outstanding nutritional benefits, but unfortunately, most fish sold today contains dangerously high levels of mercury and other toxic contaminants. Wild Alaskan salmon is one exception (so long as its purity can be verified—the word “wild” must be in the title).
Wild Alaskan salmon is an excellent source of: high-quality protein, antioxidants, and essential omega-3 fats. I usually have a fillet of pure, wild Alaskan salmon once or twice a week for dinner, served on a bed of rice pilaf alongside fresh, steamed broccoli. And it’s positively scrumptious.
What? You think kale is yucky because it’s a (gasp) green vegetable? Think again. The many health benefits of kale make it a very appealing food option. It’s an inexpensive vegetable that helps ease lung congestion and is beneficial to your stomach, liver and immune system.
Kale is an excellent source of several vitamins and nutrients, including: Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, calcium, iron and more. Crispy kale chips are a delicious finger food/study break snack …you might just fall in love.
And remember: organic is always better. All of the above foods have maximum benefits when consumed in organic form. If you haven’t already, read my post,
“5 Good Reasons to Eat Organic Food.”
Hey, college cooks! Want more info on these 6 superfoods?
Check out the links below:
Kefir Benefits: 12 Things To Know About This Yogurt-Like Food
The Health Benefits of Organic Eggs
Health Benefits of Raw Almonds
Avocado Health Facts: 6 Things You Didn’t Know
Wild Alaskan Salmon: A Powerhouse of Nutrition
Top Ten Health Benefits of Eating Kale