Superfoods | What are they and why you should care!

Have you heard the buzz around superfoods? A superfood is described as a nutrient-dense food that is particularly beneficial for our health and wellbeing. Over the years, the foods on the list ebb and flow, with some showing more staying power than others. And, with the qualifying components ever evolving.

What most proponents of superfoods can agree on, however, is that the following characteristics must be present:

  • Nutrient dense (contains large amount of vitamins, minerals, protein, and/or fiber)
  • “Whole” (not processed) fruit or vegetable
  • Organic and non GMO
  • High in macro or micro nutrients, but relatively low in calories
  • Known list of health benefits
  • Ability to repair the body and/or help fight disease

Essential to any discussion of superfoods is the admission that the concept can be taken too far.

Some nutritionists don’t like the term. Because, in the past, when too much hype was given to a particular food on the list (for example, the Noni fruit from Polynesia), people were given false hope of a quick, “miracle cure” for many ailments. When the miracle didn’t happen, people became distrustful of the nutritional field in general, and of nutritionists, specifically.

So, in an attempt to keep health high, but expectations reasonable, some nutritionists no longer refer to foods as being “super.”

However, facts are facts. Some foods DO have more nutrient density than others. And so, as long as people have realistic expectations and eat a well-balanced and varied diet, consisting mostly of whole, non-processed foods, then we, at Ki’s Kitchen, have no problem at all with the superfood term.

Now, let’s get to the list of Superfoods:

Avocado – while typically used more like a vegetable, this superfood is actually a fruit. It is very high in vitamins C and K, and is also rich in folate, potassium (even more than a banana), and in monounsaturated fats (this makes avocados heart-healthy).

Kale – this leafy green vegetable contains so many important vitamins (A, C, and K), as well as minerals (calcium, and manganese). It is low in calories, and can be used in a large variety of ways – in a smoothie, in a salad, stir-fried, or added to hearty soups and stews.

Coconut – coconut and coconut oil are both high in multi-chain triglycerides (healthy fats) that can support gut health with anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. Coconut oil is easy to digest, which makes it a great source of immediate energy. A diet rich in coconut oil is said to help with weight loss, strong bones, as well as healthy hair and skin.

Additionally … 

Acai Berries – These berries are high in healthy fats, fiber, B vitamins, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium. They may help improve cognitive function and work to regulate blood sugar levels. Recent popularity has made Acai powder readily available and can be added to smoothies or to nourish bowls.

Cauliflower – low in calories, but high in nutritional value, cauliflower contains plenty of vitamins C and K, as well as fiber. What makes cauliflower particularly special, however, is that it contains lots of cancer-fighting phytochemicals. People love cauliflower for its versatility – it can be used as a low carb alternative to mashed potatoes, served as an alternative to rice, and can even be turned into a crust for pizza.

Flaxseeds – this mildly flavoured seed is full of heart-healthy omega 3s which are known to improve brain function, reduce inflammation, and even protect against cancer and diabetes. They are also high in protein and fiber, and contain the minerals thiamin, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous. Flaxseeds can be added to everything from a smoothie bowl to hummus.

Almonds – these calcium-rich nuts make a great snack, and can also be used as a topper for salads, or ground into flour for baking. Almonds are also high in vitamin E and protein.

Now, as we mentioned before, not everyone agrees on what foods should be placed on this list.

For example, people who eat animal products may claim that wild-caught salmon and kefir are also considered superfoods. As we eat and cook a plant-based diet here at Ki’s Kitchen, our list is slightly different.

What most everyone can agree on, however, is that we should be consuming a wide variety of plant-based products to ensure that we are meeting all of our bodies’ nutritional needs. There are so many delicious and wonderfully nourishing fruits and vegetables. And, they contribute a vast array of flavours –as well as many important vitamins and minerals.

Fortunately, foods don’t have to be classified as “super” to help us feel that way.

Lastly, thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcome!

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

And be sure to check out why you should order your family’s next meal courtesy of Ki’s Kitchen  
list of superfoods

From our kitchen to yours,

Love + Peace


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