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March’s National Nutrition Month is the perfect time to raise the nutritional value of your meals. One way to do that is by choosing foods that are considered nutritionally dense and contain powerful antioxidants.
To give your body the best fuel possible, try these superfoods in 2022.
What is a Superfood?
By definition, a superfood is one that is rich in compounds, such as antioxidants, fiber and fatty acids. And a superfood is nutrient dense, supplying maximum levels of vitamins and minerals to the body.
When talking about superfoods, there is an emphasis on plant based foods as they provide a variety of health benefits. This is proving to be especially true during a pandemic, as we learn the importance of a strong immune system. In the next year, embracing food as medicine is one step toward improving immunity and increasing overall health and wellness.
Try These Superfoods in 2022
These superfood status foods provide health benefits along with powerful nutrients.
Although domestic blueberries provide some benefits, the Maine wild blueberry is the real superstar superfood. Wild blueberries possess extremely high levels of antioxidants, bringing healing to any damaged part of the body. These little powerhouses blueberries eradicate heavy metals and other toxins from the body. They are a powerful brain food and amazing at restoring the liver. Antioxidants protect cells against damage from free radicals, protecting the body against diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Try adding frozen wild blueberries, available in the freezer section at the grocery store, to smoothies, pancakes, smoothie bowls, oatmeal and chia pudding. Or simply add thawed wild blueberries to a bowl of sliced strawberries, raspberries and blackberries for a naturally sweet dessert.
By providing an excellent source of healthy omega-6 fatty acids, avocados help heal the brain and central nervous system. They contain antioxidants and other nutrients that improve bone health, eye health and skin health while lowering cholesterol. Avocados are easy to digest, making them helpful for soothing and healing the digestive tract. They have anti-inflammatory properties that behave like aspirin, without thinning out the blood. This reduces narrowing and swelling in the linings of the stomach and intestines.
Try adding chopped avocado to salads, mashing for avocado toast or simple guacamole or blending with your morning smoothie.
This year, try something a bit out of the ordinary such as exotic fruit.
Acai – pronounced ah-sigh-ee, this berry grows in South America. These blueberry sized berries are rich in fiber and antioxidants that improve brain health. Use in smoothies and smoothie bowls or add dried acai berries to homemade granola.
Dragon fruit – this prickly looking fruit grows on cactus in Central and South America. Scoop out the bright pink or white flesh, which is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and add to fruit salads and smoothies or eat alone. Dragon fruit helps keep gut bacteria healthy, boosts immunity and improves cardiovascular health.
Golden berries – these berries from South America contain antioxidants and fatty acids that help lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Eat golden berries as you do cherries or add them to fruit salads.
Green tea is full of antioxidants, including polyphenols and catechins. These compounds protect cells and molecules from free radicals that damage the body and cause diseases. This soothing tea reduces inflammation throughout the body, protects the skin against harmful UV radiation and fights skin cancer by repairing DNA. It also protects the brain’s neurons and improves memory, making it helpful in preventing dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
In addition, green tea supports the immune system, prevents infections and aids in weight loss by boosting metabolism and eliminating fat from the body. This tea reduces the risk for diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels and lowers bad cholesterol.
Drink a cup of hot green tea daily, brew, chill and serve over ice or try this powerful turmeric green tea recipe.
Nuts add protein, fiber and rich nutrients to the diet. Try pistachios, which are high in antioxidants that keep eyes healthy and protect against cancer and heart disease. Or choose almonds that provide healthy fats, protein and a fat soluble antioxidant that protects cells against oxidative damage while supporting the immune system and improving heart health.
Eat a small handful of nuts daily. Eat alone, add to homemade granola or sprinkle on oatmeal or salads.
This ancient grain that’s actually a seed is loaded with fiber, nutrients and all nine essential amino acids that the body needs. Quinoa’s antioxidants help calm inflammation throughout the body and provide anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-depressant properties. It’s high fiber content reduces the risks for constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diverticulosis. Plus quinoa’s high iron content supports blood health, energy and cell function, connective tissue health and muscle metabolism.
Cook quinoa in the same way as rice and add to veggie bowls, cover with stir fried veggies, use in tacos or add to a breakfast bowl with berries.
Dark leafy greens are excellent sources of protein and antioxidants. Kale is especially beneficial with its high fiber and folate content, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C and K. This dark leafy green boosts immunity along with eye and bone health, aids in the prevention of chronic disease and improves blood clotting. Plus kale contains folate, a B vitamin that is key for brain development.
Add chopped kale to salads, include in veggie bowls or try this delicious navy beans, brown rice and kale recipe.
These little seeds deliver big health benefits. Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein, vitamins E and B complex, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. They are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than any other food and especially beneficial for chronic inflammation, heart disease, brain function, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Chia seeds also combat diabetes by helping to stabilize and control blood sugar levels.
Add chia seeds to smoothie and oatmeal bowls, salads and smoothies. Or create chia pudding for breakfast or a simple dessert.
Sweet potatoes contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Their orange flesh is packed with carotenoids. Those phytochemicals are powerful, drawing radiation from the body and protecting against skin, breast, reproductive, stomach, intestinal, esophageal and rectal cancers.
Sweet potatoes are also wonderful for the digestive system. They promote productive bacteria in the stomach, small intestine and colon, while starving out unproductive bacteria and mold. They enhance the body’s production of B12. And they help to prevent megacolon, an expansion of the large intestine due to bacteria, and alleviate narrowing of the intestinal tract due to chronic inflammation.
Enjoy baked sweet potatoes or cube and add to stir fries, roast in the oven or try these yummy sweet potato and black bean tacos.
Which Superfoods Will You Try in 2022?
These superfoods are easy to add to the diet. It’s fun to create delicious, highly nutritious meals using these foods. And the benefits to health are incredible.
Which superfoods caught your interest? And will you try them this month or this year?
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I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.
2 thoughts on “Try These Superfoods in 2022”
Mmm… I love all of the foods you listed. One thing I didn’t realize was the difference in regular blueberries & wild blueberries. Definitely need to try and find the wild ones for that added health benefits.
I need to use more sweet potatoes. They take so long to cook, and once it gets hot here, I don’t use the oven much, so I usually count them out. But they are so tasty!