A Beginner's Guide to Superfoods
Our Bloomers are always looking for ways to cultivate a healthier diet and lifestyle—but with free time being so limited, it's not always easy to eat "right." We get it.
Fortunately, there are plenty of superfoods that are packed with the nutrients your body needs to power through every day. Best of all? Many of these superfoods are also super accessible, super delicious, and super easy to incorporate into your diet.
If you're ready to amp up your nutrition, start by familiarizing yourself with what superfoods are, how they can benefit your health and wellness, and how to start consuming more of them. We'll be covering all that (and more!) in this blog post to help you get started.
What Are Superfoods?
One of the most common questions people have about superfoods is "what makes something a superfood, anyway?"
This is a fair question—especially when you consider how liberally the term "superfood" seems to be thrown around these days. In reality, a superfood is simply a food that is dense with nutrients but contains very few calories. These foods contain large amounts of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals; not surprisingly, many of these so-called superfoods also tend to be plant-based in nature.
Types of Superfoods
There are many different types or categories of superfoods. Some of these include:
- leafy greens
- colorful vegetables
- whole grains
- nuts and seeds
Some types of superfoods offer specific nutrients. For example, leafy greens (such as collard greens and spinach) contain high levels of vitamins A, C, E, and K. Meanwhile, berries are known for their high antioxidant content. By knowing what kinds of nutrients you want to add to your diet, you can select superfood categories to focus on.
List of Superfoods
There is no exhaustive list of superfoods out there, as nutrition and medical experts haven't come up with an official cutoff for how many antioxidants, vitamins, or other nutrients a food must have to be classified as a superfood. Still, by referring to a list of common superfoods, you can get a better feel for what to look for and what to add to your own shopping list.
Some examples of the most common superfoods include:
- Swiss chard
- collard greens
- goji berries
- acai berries
- brown rice
- hemp seeds
- chia seeds
What many people don't realize is that superfoods can also come in the form of a beverage. Plant-based teas, such as matcha tea (which is made from green tea leaves), can deliver many of the same dense nutrients and antioxidants as many foods with a very low calorie count.
Benefits of Superfoods
Now that you have a better understanding of what superfoods are and some common examples of superfoods, you may be wondering what these foods can do for your health and wellness. It's no secret that foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants are good for you...but how?
Support Weight Loss
Looking to shed some weight? Increasing your consumption of superfoods may help you achieve your goal weight more easily. That's because these foods are packed with nutrients while remaining low in calories. Likewise, they can help you feel fuller for longer when incorporated into your favorite recipes. This, in turn, can help you reduce your calorie intake and support sustainable weight loss.
If you're like most people these days, you're probably looking for effective ways to strengthen your own immune system. Fortunately, superfoods can help with that. Specifically, citrus fruit superfoods (such as lemons, oranges, and lines) are loaded with Vitamins A, C, and E to support a healthy immune system. Increasing your consumption of vitamin-rich superfoods can help your body fight off viruses and germs more readily.
Regulate Blood Sugar
Looking to keep your blood sugar levels in-check? If so, then consuming the right superfoods can help. Specifically, superfoods with low GI levels (such as flaxseeds, nuts, and whole grains) can help you fill up without elevating your blood sugar. Meanwhile, these foods contain high levels of protein, calcium, and probiotics as an added bonus.
On top of all this, the antioxidants contained in many superfoods can deliver additional health benefits that include:
- lowered risk of heart disease and/or stroke
- reduced risk of cancer
Meanwhile, anti inflammatory superfoods can reduce the risk of developing conditions such as arthritis while minimizing joint pain and stiffness.
Are Superfoods Right For You?
As you can see, there are many potential health benefits that can come along with consuming the right superfoods. From organic and green superfoods to fruit superfoods and even superfoods for gut health, there are options out there to support your health and wellness goals.
If you're mindful about what you eat, there's actually a pretty good chance that you're already consuming some superfoods on a regular basis. Still, if you have more specific health and wellness goals (such as losing weight or boosting your immune system), then it may be time to make a more concentrated effort to increase your intake of specific superfoods.
At the same time, it's important to recognize the limitations of dietary changes to improve and protect your health. While there are many health benefits to certain superfoods that have been tried and tested, superfoods are not a substitute for regular medical care or treatment for certain conditions/diseases.
All of this is to say that if you have health concerns, you should still talk to a doctor. However, adding some superfoods into your diet certainly isn't going to hurt!
How to Add Superfoods to Your Diet
So, where should you even begin when it comes to incorporating superfoods into your diet? We recommend focusing on superfoods that will support your health and wellness goals. For example, if you know you're trying to strengthen your immune system in preparation for cold and flu season, then focusing on fruit superfoods that are high in vitamins (such as citrus fruits) will be a wise choice.
From there, it's simply a matter of how you choose to prepare these superfoods on a regular basis. Some foods are easier to incorporate than others. Going off the above example of citrus fruits for the vitamin content, it's easy enough to add these fruits to your diet. Squeezing a little bit of lemon juice into a fresh glass of water, for instance, is a quick and yummy way to flavor your water and increase your vitamin intake.
Berries and leafy greens are another popular superfood that you can incorporate into most meals pretty easily. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to whip up a morning breakfast smoothie. One recipe we love includes a banana, a handful of berries, a handful of spinach, some Greek yogurt, a pinch of chia seeds, and some milk. Blend all these ingredients together and you'll have a delicious and filling superfood smoothie to start your day.
Another great way to start your day with the power of superfoods? Matcha green tea. Derived from green tea leaves, matcha is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients you need to power through your day. Starting your day with a cup of matcha tea is simple; simply add matcha powder to hot water, whisk until frothy, and enjoy! Matcha also contains caffeine for sustained energy, as well as L-Theanine for greater focus and mental clarity. You can read more about the many health and wellness benefits of matcha in our previous blog post!
Some other tips for adding more superfoods into your diet include:
- adding shredded greens into soups, stews, and sauces
- choosing nuts and seeds as a go-to snack
- using spices like turmeric, ginger, and clove in your cooking
You should also make an attempt to "eat the rainbow," which means opting for meals that contain fresh and colorful ingredients as opposed to bland-colored foods. Colorful foods tend to contain the most vitamins, minerals, and other "good stuff" to help bring out the best in you.
Take Advantage of All That Superfoods Have to Offer
Being busier than ever doesn't have to mean sacrificing the quality of your diet and nutrition. By knowing which superfoods can support your goals and how to incorporate them into your day, you can empower yourself to live life in full bloom.
Meanwhile, if you're interested in adding a cup of matcha green tea to your daily superfood ritual, our Matcha Purity Powder makes this easy and convenient. Simply scoop one gram of our stone-ground matcha powder into two ounces of hot water. Then, whisk and enjoy! We even offer a Matcha Bloom Bundle that contains our stone-ground powder as well as 15 Matcha Go-To Sticks for your busy lifestyle.
Superfoods like matcha and other plant-based ingredients can truly elevate your nutrition and help you become the best possible version of yourself. Now, which superfoods will you begin incorporating into your daily routine?