5 Superfoods Worth Trying in 2014

You might be asking, what exactly are superfoods? No they are not foods with magical flying abilities and x-ray vision. Superfoods are simply foods that have a significant amount of nutrients that have been linked to fighting off disease, such as Diabetes or Cancer, and improving overall health. While there are many foods that carry around this label, some are easier to find and prepare than others. If you need a simplified list or want to start taking more action today to improve your diet and live a longer healthier life, here are 5 superfoods that are DEFINITELY worth trying!

 

1) Quinoa – (pronounced KEEN-WAH) this complete protein gluten-free grain can be used as a replacement for rice in any recipe and enjoyed hot or cold.

Nutrition Facts per 1/2 cup cooked: 110 calories, 1.5g fat, 19g carb, 2.5g fiber, 4g protein

Recipe Idea: Mix 1/2 cup cold cooked quinoa with 2 tbsp of reduced-fat feta, 1/3 cup canned chick peas, 1/4 cup chopped red peppers and 2 tsp chopped parsley.

 

2) Chia Seeds – cha-cha-cha-chia seeds might make you think of a chia pet, but they are a lot more “super” than that. Rich in omega-3’s and fiber, this tiny little seed can be added to almost anything from yogurt to meatloaf.  Eat them ground up to absorb the most benefits.

Nutrition Facts per 1 oz: 138 calories, 9g fat, 12g carb, 10g fiber, 4.7g protein (Also rich in Magnesium, Calcium & Iron)

Recipe Idea: Add 2 tbsp of ground Chia seeds to 1/4 cup steel cut oats and 1/4 cup almond milk and bring to boil in a pot over medium-heat. Stir 2-3 minutes until oats and seeds soften and thicken. Add chopped apples, cinnamon, and drizzle a tsp of honey to sweeten.  OR try our delicious gluten-free recipe for Chewy Chia & Oat Cookies .

 

3) Kale – it’s not just a fad, or a staple in most juicing recipes, this dark leafy green vegetable is a low calorie, vitamin powerhouse with up to 133% RDA for vitamin A & C.

Nutrition Facts per 1 cup raw: 33 calories, 0g fat, 6g carb, 3g protein

Recipe Idea:  Cook 2 cups chopped kale in a skillet with 2 tsp EVOO, 2 tbsp of fresh minced garlic and 1/2 cup stewed canned tomatoes until soft and tender. Remove from heat and serve with your grilled fish or roasted chicken.

 

4) Teff – this Ethiopian-originated gluten-free grain is a brand new one to the market. Loaded with B-vitamins, protein and bone-building Manganese, this superfood is only for the adventurous.

Nutrition Facts per 1/2 cup cooked: 125 calories, 1g fat, 25g carbs, 3g fiber, 5g protein

Recipe Idea: Add 1/2 cup Teff in sauce pan over medium-heat and stir for about 10 minutes until grains start to crackle. Stir in 1.5 cups of water and bring to boil. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes until mixture becomes thick. Sweeten with cinnamon and 1 tsp of honey or vanilla extract.

 

5) Acai Berry – this sweet-tasting fruit, is a cancer-fighting warrior that also contains Omega-3 fatty acids, 19 essential amino acids, and is rich in antioxidants.

Nutrition Facts per 1/2 cup: 70 calories, 5g fat, 4g carb, 2g fiber, 1g protein

Recipe Idea:  Buy Acai frozen as a pulp and blend into a smoothie with spinach, vanilla almond milk, and a 1/2 banana.


Nick VanMeter