Superfoods are defined as being nutritionally dense & having numerous health benefits. They contain a variety of nutrients that help fuel our body to optimal levels. Some of these nutrients, such as antioxidants (also known as phytochemicals in plants), are also thought to ward off some of the worst diseases. Some superfoods also contain healthy fats, which is thought to prevent heart disease. Superfoods also typically contain fibre, which is linked to preventing diabetes and can aid in digestion. Plant-based superfoods contain phytochemicals, which are chemicals in plants that give them their colour and smell. These phytochemicals also have many health benefits.
Next time you reach for a snack, try to incorporate one (or a few) of these superfoods. This can help to ensure that you are actually hungry (rather than bored) and will provide nourishing calories. It's also important to be mindful of portions - even with healthy, superfood snacks. Just because these foods are "super" does not mean that they can be eaten in unlimited amounts: moderation and balance is still key. Be sure to put your snack on a plate or in a bowl - rather than mindlessly snacking from the bag, box or jar. This can help with satiety and portioning. We also recommend sitting down (without any distractions or screens) to enjoy your snacks or meals. These mindful eating techniques help your mind and body to "rest-and-digest." In order for digestion to function properly, our brain needs our nervous to calm down.
Now that we know what superfoods are and how to snack, here are five of our favourite superfood snacks:
Hemp seeds are little nutrient powerhouses. They have a mild, nutty flavour and are often referred to as 'hemp hearts'. Just 2 tbsp. of hemp seeds pack almost 7g or protein (and only 100 calories!) They are a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Hemp seeds are delicious sprinkled on just about anything! Try them on your oatmeal or salad or as part of trail mix or granola.
For snack-time: Slice a banana & sprinkle hemp seeds on each slice. This sweet snack is packed with superfood power!
Blueberries are filled with fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants. Antioxidants are best known for their cancer-fighting properties. Some studies even suggest that blueberries may even improve memory - we can't forget that point!
Thanks to an antioxidant called anthocyanins, blueberries are also thought to lower blood pressure and speed up metabolism. Other studies link blueberry consumption to lowering levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and even decreasing the risk of certain cancers and reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
If that's not enough data to have you reaching for this berry, at only 80 calories per cup, blueberries pack a lot in relation to their caloric content.
For snack-time: Enjoy fresh, or frozen, by the handful. This superfood is a star on its' own.
Avocado is loaded with vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. Avocado also packs more potassium than bananas. Potassium helps to maintain our electrical balance in our cells as well as aiding in several other important functions.
Avocado is packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. One of these fatty acids, oleic acid, has been associated with reduced inflammation and shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.
Avocados increase antioxidant absorption from other foods and they are high in antioxidants on their own: double power! Avocados contain certain compounds (like lutein and zeaxanthin), which are linked to healthy eyes. Studies show that these compounds are linked to a drastically reduced risk of cataracts and other vision problems.
For snack-time: Slice or mash & season with some sea salt & chili powder. Superfood with a little bit of spice!
Eggs are a good protein source loaded with nutrients. One egg, contains about 70 calories and packs about. 6g of protein.
Eggs are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Our body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids so we must obtain them through food. Omega-3s are essential for normal body function and heart health.
Eggs can also boost eye health. Like avocados, eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants arefound in the yolks and are crucial to the body for vision and brain development. Eggs also help to protect the eyes from damaging light and free radicals, which cause damage to our cells.
Egg yolks often have a bad reputation because they have high levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat produced by the liver is actually a necessary compound for the body to produce vitamin D, build cell walls and digest food. The issue comes when there is too much cholesterol in the body so balance is key. Egg yolks are also rich in choline. Choline is a B vitamin crucial in maintaining brain cell structure. Choline sends messages from the brain to our muscles and also helps to maintain our metabolism.
For snack-time: Hard-boil for a quick, easy & delicious snack! 6 minutes in boiling water gets you a runny yolk. Go for 8 minutes for a solid superfood yolk.
We've all heard the saying: "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". What this saying doesn't tell us is why this might be the case! Because apples are packed with fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants.
A medium-sized apple is approximately 100 calories. Its' fibre aids in digestive tract function and apple's fibre (the soluble kind) is thought to help lessen inflammation associated with weight-related diseases and even boost immunity.
An increased intake of apple consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, diabetes and asthma.
For snack-time: Wash & eat whole - it's the perfect hand-held snack! Or you can slice it up & serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon or your favourite nut/seed butter.
Superfoods can be incorporated into any meal or snack. These nutrient powerhouses help us get all of the vitamins and minerals that we need to optimally function and perform. Our snack boxescontain these superfoods and so many more.