They say you are what you eat. If that’s the case, then I would be made up of charcuterie, brunch items, and donuts. Now, we all know they don’t mean that literally, but it does matter. One of the biggest issues we face today is the taboo around the “D” word. People can’t use the “D” word in ballet without being accused of body shaming or starting eating disorders, and while the culture of ballet can be quite toxic around food, we forget that the first definition of the word diet is: the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats. Now, it is the second, and pop culture’s obsession that the common understanding of the word is: a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons. When it comes to this article, this isn’t about restricting food or even encouraging you to eat certain foods, especially when the science or information around food is constantly changing. Remember when kale was just an ugly garnish? Or, when everyone was obsessed with soy until people found out soy-rich diets may increase breast cancer, thyroid function, and lower testosterone in men. Or how almond milk was all the rage until water conservation became a hot topic. The list goes on and on, so when it comes to food, clean eating is always great, but nowadays, we hear the word: SUPERFOOD.
Again, this is a clever ploy in marketing that the food industry introduced to us. In the world of nutrition, there is no such thing as a superfood. But, as anyone in marketing will tell you, anything can be super, and anything can be sold. We also have to understand that no single item of food or beverage is a cure, or the key to health, aging, and energy. Today, a superfood though can be described as nutrient-rich foods that are not only deemed healthy but contain a high amount or source of a nutrient, or nutrients.
- Dark Leafy Greens – mostly known for fiber, but are loaded with vitamins, but most importantly, they contain the anti-inflammatory compound known as a carotenoid.
- Blueberries – great for you, plus has antioxidants, and are just so cute looking. Put them on yogurt, put them in a fruit salad, put them on your oatmeal, they are just so versatile.
- Chia Seeds– arguably one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, this little seed is full of nutrients and they are all fiber carbs.
- Ginger– mostly known for its flavor profile, but has potential medicinal effects that help for both short-term and long-term illnesses.
- Salmon– strong source of all nutrients, but mainly known for the omega-3 fatty acids, but you are also not supposed to eat fish every day, so mix it up.
- Avocado – best known for guac and avocado toast, avocados are high fiber fruits that also play a role in reducing inflammation and chronic diseases, and arguably reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
- Sweet Potato – Love these starchy alternatives to the basic potato. Full of carotenoids and antioxidants, plus they are pretty.
- Broccoli – Eat your broccoli. It is just good for you. Funny enough, I also just read an article and study that said that those people who have high taste buds and can’t eat broccoli because of the bitterness might be more immune to contracting Covid.
- Cauliflower – High in fiber, and the alternative to rice, this low carb and high in fiber veggie also contains high amounts of vitamin C.
But, these aren’t the only superfoods out there: garlic, legumes turmeric, seaweed, asparagus, coconut, olive oil, local honey, green tea, dark chocolate, and mushrooms are also loaded with good stuff. Don’t get hung up on one food, or get hung up on eating the same thing every day, but focusing on what your body needs each day.
Check out nutrition facts about each food here.