Superfoods for Body and Mind.
The 9 Best Superfoods for Your Mind and Body
Shifting to a nourishing, whole foods diet can have a very powerful impact on your health. However, if you want to go a step further and give your diet a little extra boost, you can add superfoods to your weekly meals. Below are the nine best nutrient powerhouses you’ll want to incorporate into your diet.
You’ll learn why they are so beneficial for your mind, body and overall health, as well as different ways you can eat them!
I know, they may not sound too appetizing at first, but fermented veggies will soon become a yummy staple in your diet. Fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut and kimchi, are packed with beneficial bacteria, which your gut loves, and natural enzymes which aid in digestion. And when vegetables are fermented, their nutrients become even more bio-available to the body. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? You can enjoy just a few tablespoons, or up to a quarter cup each day. I’ll post a recipe soon, but in the meantime, I’d recommend you try Wildbrine’s delicious variety of fermented veggies.
Oysters, Clams and Mussels
These types of shellfish are super good for you. They are full of zinc, which is essential for a healthy immune system, the adrenal stress response and the thyroid. Enjoy oysters, clams and mussels steamed at home or at a restaurant. You can even try the canned versions! Check out these two delicious paleo recipes: paleo clam chowder and steamed mussels.
Bone broth is an ancient superfood, which dates back to more traditional times, when people aimed to get as much nutrition as possible from the animals they ate. The collagen, glucosamine-chondroitin, amino acids and minerals found in bone broth can help repair the gut, brain, joints, skin, adrenals and immune system. So, almost everything! ;) Have a cup or so of bone broth several days per week. Check out my article and recipe for bone broth!
Good quality salt is mineral rich and important for the adrenal glands, the body’s stress response system. It’s also a key factor in staying hydrated. In order to help your body process stress, I recommend getting an adequate salt intake each day. Salt your foods to taste and use Celtic sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, Real Salt®, or the seasoning salts, Herbamare®. Avoid regular, processed salt, like the kind you would find on the table at a restaurant. Processed salt doesn’t contain the right levels of sodium, magnesium and potassium needed to help regulate fluid balance, blood pressure and nutrient dispersal throughout the body.
Yes, it’s true. The gross, slippery stuff we run away from at the beach is actually beneficial to our health! Sea vegetables are high in iron, calcium and iodine. Iodine is essential for thyroid health and is difficult to find in other foods, especially if you are following a whole foods diet and have cut out processed table salt, which has iodine added to it. Try snacking on nori seaweed or using Gourmet Seaweed Seasoning by Selina Naturally. You can explore the different types of seaweed available in the Asian section of your natural foods store. It comes dried and can be added to soups, broth, stews and beans while cooking. I especially like wakame, added to miso soup. Check out these tips on how to incorporate sea vegetables into your diet.
What is a “fatty fish” you may ask? Well, salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, Atlantic Mackerel, halibut, haddock and cod are all considered “fatty fish.” They are a good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower inflammation and are essential for brain, eye, joint and cardiovascular health. Try to eat about a pound (16 oz) per week. In other words, four 4-ounce servings should do the trick!
You’re going to have to bear with me here! Believe it or not, liver is actually an incredibly nutritious food and can even be thought of as “nature’s multivitamin.” It’s high in minerals, B vitamins and fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, all of which are needed for proper brain and body function. Try to eat a ¼ pound per week. Not sure? Check out Laura Scheonfeld’s article, “Hate Liver? Eat It Anyway!”
Coconut oil is high in medium chain fatty acids, a type of fat that is hard to find elsewhere. It provides long lasting energy, helps fight infection, improves gut health, is good for the cardiovascular system, is beneficial for brain health and Alzheimer’s prevention, and helps to lower inflammation. Try to have at least one tablespoon of organic unrefined coconut oil each day. You can cook your food with it, take it on a spoon, mix it into a smoothie, or add it to a cup of tea or coffee.
Flax seed has many benefits. It is detoxifying, aids digestion and is high in Omega-3 fats, which are very important for your body and brain. It also helps the body to maintain healthy estrogen levels and aids in the prevention of breast cancer and other reproductive cancers. When purchasing these superfood seeds, I recommend buying organic, whole flax seeds. Grind them in your coffee grinder or in a high powered blender. For storage, you can keep both the ground and pre-ground seeds in the freezer. (The oils in flax are fragile, so they must be kept very fresh to be healthy. This is why I suggest you grind them yourself and store them in the freezer. And for the same reason, don’t cook flax or add it to hot foods.) I recommend two tablespoons of flax seed each day. (Start with just a teaspoon a day and slowly work up to the full two tablespoons, especially if you have digestive distress.) You can put seeds in a smoothie, sprinkle them on your salad and granola, or just mix it with almond milk or water and knock it back.
As you can see, superfoods come in all different shapes and sizes, so you’ll always have a variety to choose from! Don’t feel like you have to add all these foods into your diet in one day, but if you slowly start incorporating them into your weekly meals, you’ll feel a profound effect on your health.