Fun fact about me- I can barely eat the same thing two days in a row, let alone for extended periods of time. This was something I kept in mind when I transitioned to a plant-based diet. It took me longer than expected because, admittedly, I was convinced that once I cut meat and dairy out of my diet, I was destined to a life of bland food every day. Almost a year later, I am maintaining a plethera of delicious eats for breakfast, lunch & dinner and receiving all the nutrients my body needs to not only function, but thrive! Here's how-
No, they don't have genetically altered super powers. But they DO have everything you need in order to feel your absolute best from the inside out! Super Foods have extra large doses of vitamins and minerals that can help us ward of diseases and live a longer, healthier life.
When I first learned about the existence of Super Foods, I was disappointed because I didn't believe my kitchen was equipped to make "special vegan dishes" with "secret healthy ingredients." But once I dove in and discovered a handful of super easily accessible Super Foods, incorporating these specific things into my current cooking routine became second nature!
There are actually a ton of foods that contain the nutrients to be considered Super, however not all of these are as easy to obtain. So, I figured I would share the ones I use almost daily in simple recipes at home! These are the easiest Super Foods to incorporate into daily life-
Acai Berries- You likely won't find these berries at the grocery store, but I added them on the list because Acai juice (which I use daily in my smoothies & bowls) could be grabbed at Costco and is fulllll of antioxidants that strengthen our immune system.
Blueberries- They are not only among the most nutrient-dense berries, but are also believed to contain the highest amount of antioxidants out of all commonly consumed fruits and veggies (and are low in calories). I eat em by the handful.
Chia and Flax seeds- Both of these seeds are small, but mighty nutrient power-houses! They are full of minerals and healthy fats and they make great additions to salads, smoothie bowls, avocado toast, etc.
Quinoa- Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain, also carrying with it lots of iron and potassium. It's a main ingredient in my Buddha Bowls (and now even my skin care!?)
Sweet Potatoes- Full of nutrients and super versatile! I add them to my salads, bowls or even make them into a breakfast side dish of their own. Bonus- they're low on the glycemic index, meaning they have less of an effect on the body's blood glucose levels and diabetics may benefit from eating!
Kale- Most dark and leafy greens are jam-packed full of nutrients. However, just one cup of Kale specifically gives you MORE than enough of your daily calcium and vitamins A and K. Fact- cooked Kale also offers more iron per ounce than beef! Kale is super easy and yummy to throw into smoothie & juice recipes, or enjoy on your wrap, salad or sandwich.
Seaweed (Dulse, Kombu & Wakame)- The health benefits from Seaweed are countless. Having access to all the nutrients and minerals in the ocean, it's one of the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet. It's a natural detoxifier, high in calcium, and contains lots of antioxidants. They sell packs of dehydrated Seaweed to snack on, or purchase it to use in soups, as seasonings, etc.
Seitan- I'll start by stating that Seitan is never gluten-free, as it's made out of pure vital wheat gluten. BUT it is a plant-based meat replacement that contains more protein than beef, and less fat than grilled chicken breast! Also similar to chicken, it will pretty much soak up and taste like whatever you cook it in.
Learning about the benefits of Super Foods and integrating them into my daily meals has been a game changer for myself, my future hubby and our mutual health!