Nature’s Super-Foods: Part 3 of 4

Full of nutritious value, disease fighting properties, and healthy qualities – superfoods have many potential benefits when we incorporate them into our diets.  Optimize your health by incorporating them into your daily routine:

Black Molasses: Jam-packed with antioxidant-rich polyphenols and iron, black molasses may also reduce body fat and levels of leptin (the hunger hormone). Try adding a tablespoon of this thick, tasty syrup drizzled on your morning oatmeal or mixed into your coffee, tea or hot water to add a healthy sweetness.

Chia Seed: Considered to be one of the very best vegetarian sources of protein, this ancient seed contains essential muscle-building amino acids that keep you lean and strong. Chia seed increases energy, has more calcium than milk (YES!) and is full of mood-stabilizing magnesium. Sprinkle some in your smoothie or yogurt for a boost, or try baking with the seeds to keep you going through the oh-too-common 3pm burnout period. (Tip: Chia seed can be expensive if you get it jacummed-pack and ground. Unlike flax seed, our bodies can absorb all the chai seed goodness in its whole form, which is generally cheaper to buy).

Brown Rice: Think there’s not much difference between white rice and brown rice? Think again. Brown rice has over five times as much fibre as white rice, as well as being stacked with B vitamins, selenium, iron and lysine, a bone-building amino-acid. To bump up the fibre and phytochemicals, try soaking the rice cooking.

Kiwi: Kiwis aid the body in absorbing B vitamins and iron, as well as provide a good source of healthy fiber. A little known fact… kiwis contain almost twice as much vitamin c as an orange!

Beets: Beets are naturally cleansing for the liver, support proper gallbladder functioning, and one small cup provides you with 34% of the daily recommended intake of folate, a cell-restorative, depression-busting B vitamin. Other studies have shown beets to be protective for cognitive function by enhancing memory and staving off Alzheimer’s.

Pistachios: These nuts are low-cal, high in protein and contain nearly a quarter of our recommended daily dose of iron. An extra bonus? They also contain heart-healthy fats.

Watercress: To add a peppery taste to salads or sandwiches, try this under-used green packed with calcium, iron and folate. Watercress contains isothiocyanates, which reduce cancer-causes that can initiate breast cancer. If breast cancer runs in your family, load up!

Turkey: Ounce by ounce, turkey is incredibly high in protein (26 g) for being so low cal (200 calories). B vitamins help to boost mood while selenium works to boost the immune system.

Broccoli: Just one cup of this green powerhouse provides all the immunity-enhancing and mood-boosting vitamin c that you need for the entire day. Studies have also shown that broccoli has the ability to switch on genes that help cells regenerate themselves. For major cancer-fighting properties, combine with horseradish, wasabi or mustard.

Mushrooms: Cancer-fighting antioxidants and toxin-removing polyphenols make this immune boosting vegetable an all-star. High levels of beta-glucan increases immunity, while vitamin B2 and selenium nourish the body.

Seaweed: Believed to promote weight loss, seaweed is high in both fiber and protein so that you feel fuller, longer. Another way that seaweed helps you to lose weight is that it revs your metabolism due to its concentrated levels of iodine and iron.

Try adding these foods to your grocery list and make an honest attempt to incorporate them into your weekly routine. By adding these foods into the mix, you are doing yourself and your family a big favor towards better health and well-being. Enjoy!


About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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