A superfood is a whole, preferably organic, fruit, vegetable, grain, herb, nut, bean or legume that is rich in beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. Thankfully, they're not as difficult to keep on hand as they used to be.
These five foods support long-term health and wellness when incorporated into the daily diet. If you want to enjoy more superfoods, we suggest starting with these:
Fruit: Acai Berries
Acai berries (Euterpe oleracea) are native to Central and South America. They've been consumed for years in Brazil for their nutritional benefits. Acai berries are deep purple in color due to their abundance of anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that also provide the berries hue. They also contain resveratrol and oleic acid. These nutrients support heart health and proper circulation.
How to Enjoy It: Acai berry juice and powder can be added to smoothies as well as your morning yogurt or milk to make an acai bowl with granola, nuts and additional fruits.
Just 1 cup of kale (Brassica oleracea) leaves provides more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin C and vitamin A. These nutrients are potent antioxidants that support the immune system to help prevent illness as well as the tissues like the skin and eyes. Each serving also contains protein for lean muscles and potassium, a vital electrolyte to keep the body hydrated.
How to Enjoy It: In addition to juicing and blending kale to literally drink in its benefits, you can bake kale leaves to make delicious, hearty chips. You don't even need oil -- just top them with your favorite spices (like in the photo above).
We're crazy for amaranth (Amaranthus L.). This grain has been consumed since the time of the Incas and Aztecs. Amaranth has more protein than brown rice and is rich in fiber, which supports heart health and digestion. It also contains the amino acid lysine and squalene for healthy cholesterol as well as vitamins A and C and the B vitamins.
How to Enjoy It: Amaranth can be prepared similar to any other grain. We recommend cooking it with fresh garlic and herbs like mint and parsley along with lemon juice and a touch of olive oil.
Herb: Turmeric Root
The active compound with turmeric root (Curcuma longa) is called curcumin. Curcumin helps support a proper inflammatory response within the body and for joint health, reduced pain and swelling and easier mobility. Turmeric is also wonderful for the skin, promoting radiance and clarity for a more youthful appearance.
How to Enjoy It: Turmeric is wonderful for marinating proteins and vegetables. Combine it with olive oil, garlic, oregano and fresh lemon juice and use it as a salad dressing or for chicken.
Almonds are one of the most popular nuts available, but you may not have known all they can do for you. Providing one quarter of your daily calcium and more than half of your daily magnesium in a serving, almonds can help keep the bones strong to reduce your risk for bone loss, fracture and breakage. They also provide vitamin E, which keeps the skin healthy and glowing.
How to Enjoy It: When you need a satisfying snack, reach for a handful of raw almonds. You can also soak them in water and then puree them to make your own almond butter.
Add these superfoods to your daily diet and reap the benefits for years to come!