It seems like there is a new super food on the block every week, right? How do we keep it all straight? Every body responds to food a little differently, and since there are always new health trends to keep up with, one approach is to try some out and see how they make you feel before totally jumping on the bandwagon.
That’s the beauty of bulk food sections like ours – you can buy a little, try it out at home, and then decide if it’s going to be a part of your healthy lifestyle in this new year.
Here is a short list of nutrient-packed foods that we use all the time in our kitchen and smoothie bar that are worth trying. You never know, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
Let’s start with an easy one. Quinoa has been at the top of superfood lists for a while now, but just in case you’re unfamiliar, it’s pronounced KEE-NWAH. Phew, glad we cleared that up! Quinoa is actually a seed that functions like a grain, but it’s gluten-free and packed with protein. In one cup of cooked quionoa, there is approximately 8 grams of protein (and 5 grams of fiber). It has a subtle, nutty flavor when cooked and a texture and cook-time similar to rice. Try substituting quinoa for rice in any of your favorite recipes, or adding some to your salad to make it extra filling.
2. Nutritional Yeast
This one probably sounds a little weird, but it’s not that kind of yeast. It is grown on beet sugar or molasses, then left to dry and ferment. Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B-vitamins, particularly B12, which is a vitamin that is missing in many vegan and vegetarian diets. The taste can be described as slightly “cheesy”, so it might not be for everyone, but some people like sprinkling it on grilled vegetables, pasta, or even popcorn.
There are a lot of claims about the wonderous power of omega-3 fatty acid-rich flaxseed, including cancer-prevention, lowering cholesterol, and improving blood sugar, but more research needs to be done to be absolutely sure. That being said, there really is no down side to adding some ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil to your smoothie every day. Just make sure you refrigerate any ground flaxseed or oil so it doesn’t spoil.
4. Chia Seed
¥ 8x more omega-3 than salmon
¥ 6x more calcium than milk
¥ 3x more iron than spinach
¥ 15x more magnesium than broccoli
¥ 2x more fiber than bran flakes
¥ 6x more protein than kidney beans
¥ 4x more phosphorous than whole milk
They are rich in antioxidents, which help to fight free radicals that might be linked to cancer. Some people claim they reduce hunger, too! Grab a little from our bulk section and make yourself an indulgent – but good for you!- chocolate chia pudding.
We talk a lot about honey here, but we just can’t get enough of it. Not only can you use it as a healthier sweetener (like we do in a lot of our vinaigrettes), but you can use it as an energy booster (try shaking some up with your water when working out), an allergy relief, and the list goes on. Our bulk honey comes from local Silver Spoon Apiaries, so if you try it, not only are you expanding your horizons, you’re also supporting your local economy! High in antioxidents, honey is being researched to find out if it can help fight cancer and other serious illnesses, while it is also being researched to prove how honey benefits the heartÕs activity and blood vessels.
Trying to incorporate even small amounts of these superfoods into your diet and lifestyle in 2016 is a great way to make it a year of good health. Shopping in a bulk foods section helps reduce waste if you use a reusable container, and it’s usually easier on the wallet. So, not only are you living healthier, you’re also reducing your footprint and saving money. Not a bad way to start off the year.