In this article, you’ll learn what a superfood is and what are some superfoods to add to your daily diet.
What Makes A Superfood Super?
A superfood has the ability to affect the functions of the body beyond those needed just to survive and has a nutrient composition beyond our basic needs. They have the following elements: clean protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats, essential fatty aides, amino acids and phytochemicals.
There is no one food that has every nutrient we need so, we need to eat a variety of nutrient rich foods every day. That being the case, then it makes sense to eat as many ‘superfoods’ as we can. More superfoods means the less food we need to consume.
It’s important to point out the the term superfood isn’t a scientific one but we do know that the antioxidants contained in them help our bodies fight disease more effectively. They help shield our organs from damage as well. And the great thing about superfoods is that you can consume as much of them as you like.
Some superfoods that are popular are often high in carbs, even if they are healthy and low in fat and calories. However, if you are on a low-carb diet, this might not be suitable for you. Luckily, there are still plenty of superfoods that are in season all year round and aren’t too high in carbs. Here are some of our favourite “superfoods” to try and include in your daily diet.
These are about moderate in their carb amounts, which is why you should pay close attention to the quantity you have. However, as far as fall vegetable superfoods go, parsnips can definitely be added to your rotation if you are on a low-carb diet. The great thing about parsnips is that their flavor resembles potatoes, so you can make parsnip chips or fries and have a lower-carb version than with regular white potatoes. For a cup of sliced parsnip, it is about 17 net carbs after the fiber content.
As far as greens go, most of them are going to be low-carb and are appropriate for any low-carb or Keto diet. Kale is in season during the fall and is also considered a superfood, so you should try to add it to your diet whenever you can. It isn’t the lowest carb green, but there are only 6 carbs in a cup of kale, so it’s not bad when putting together a salad.
A fragrant spice with a strong, distinctive taste it works with both sweet and savoury dishes. Many people report lower fasting blood glucose levels by taking 1/2 to 1 tsp per day. Cinnamon may also help with liver function, insulin resistance and lowering cholesterol levels.
If you are looking for a fruit that is also on the low-carb side, try cranberries. These are a very popular fruit to have as a superfood, and since it is a berry, it is going to be lower in carbs than most other fruits. For a cup of cranberries, there are 10 carbs, but you can enjoy a lower amount and reduce that quite a bit. Try ¼ cup of cranberries on your salad, adding just 2.5 carbs.
Cauliflower is the ultimate low-carb food, and is also a superfood that is readily available any season. There are only 5 carbs in a cup of cauliflower, so it is really low in carbs. It also has a long harvest season, available between September and June. There is vitamin C in cauliflower, plus it can help lower your cholesterol. It is great for substituting potatoes or rice in your low-carb meals.
This squash is a little sweet and tastes great with various flavours and spices. It is often combined with pumpkin or fruits like apples and pears. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, and is about 10 carbs for a cup.
Green tea is a lightly caffeinated drink that has a wide array of medicinal properties. We will be devoting an upcoming post and video just to the health benefits of green tea. It is rich in antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds. These compounds give green tea it’s ability to protect against cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It can even help with weight loss!
A true superfood, eggs are just packed with nutrients! They are packed with vitamin A and B, choline, iron, selenium and phosphorus. The white is almost all protein, but the yolk is really where the action is. Its purpose is to provide nutrition for the animal during those first vital phases of development until it is ready to get its own food. Makes sense that it’s a superfood for us as well. They are cheap and versatile too! (We try to stay with free range eggs).
Most nuts are great for a low-carb diet but almonds are extra special. They have a great combination of fat and fibre and makes a great flour too! Check our our article on almonds and other health fats here: Healthy Fats To Eat.
Garlic has been thought to be medically beneficial for centuries and is full of manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fibre and selenium. It’s another inexpensive choice that adds a great taste to many recipes.
Consuming superfoods or any food packed with nutrients is a great idea. However, as we mentioned the term “superfood” isn’t scientific so, consumers can be fooled into purchasing one food over another. While the food may be healthy the way it’s processed may not be. For example: many kinds of “super juices” made from fresh squeezed berries and fruits contain a large amount of sugars. Be sure to stay away from processed foods and meats. Meats should be grass fed as well. If you stick wth a mostly plant based, organic food diet then you should be pretty safe with your choices.