Hey all…in case you haven’t yet noticed, 2012 is officially in high gear and January is a big month for starting new routines and revamping eating habits! As you continue on your path to optimal wellness and health, check out the top 6 Superfoods for the new year. Each of these items will not only help you achieve or maintain your weight-loss goals but offers added health benefits, as well…everything from improving complexion to decreasing PMS symptoms.
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a part of the mint family, and are native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. They’re often used in nutritious drinks, since they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber. Chia seeds also offer very high levels of some essential minerals, including phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and sodium. Chia seeds can be ground up and used in baked goods, cooked whole to make a hot porridge-type breakfast cereal or eaten alone as a snack. Check out this super yummy Banana, Oat, and Chia Seed Muffin recipe!
Hemp Seeds: These tiny seeds are jam-packed with important nutrients. They contain essential minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium which strengthens our bones. They also have an abundance of vitamin E, which protects our body tissues from damage. In addition, they can improve immune function, raise energy and relieve dry hair and skin. Guess what else? Hemp may even reduce the symptoms of PMS. Let’s go ladies! Most importantly though, hemp seeds contain both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids and I highly recommend those to keep your health in tip-top shape.
Kale: Why do I love kale so much? Well, for starters, kale has an extremely significant anti-inflammatory effect and a nutrient profile which far outweighs that of many other veggies and fruits with mega doses of naturally occurring Vitamin K, A, C, E and all of the B’s. Kale also contains manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Kale contains glucosinolates which have been shown to provide anti-cancer benefits and also works wonders in helping maintain cardiovascular health. At 30 calories per serving, you simply cannot go wrong by eating as much kale as possible. Throw it into smoothies, soups, stir-frys, noodle dishes, salads, etc.
Adzuki Beans: If you haven’t heard of these, find them. These small red beans from China are a staple in the macrobiotic diet. They are a great source of magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc and often called the “weight loss” beans because they’re low in calories and fat and high in nutrition. Adzuki beans are also said to limit gas unlike other beans.
Quinoa: Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient “grain” once considered “the gold of the Incas.” Quinoa and other whole grains and grain-like seeds are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion. Quinoa is also a complete protein source meaning that it contains all 9 amino acids…as compariable to animal proteins.
Black Garlic: Black garlic is a type of fermented garlic that originated in Asian cultures for use in traditional Asian cuisine. To make black garlic, whole bulbs of garlic are fermented at high temperatures, resulting in black cloves that taste both sweet and savory. The pungent smell is subdued in the fermenting process, so while the taste is still there, the bad breath that typically accompanies garlic is not. It was once believed that eating black garlic would result in immortality. While such beliefs have long passed, black garlic does have double the number of disease-fighting antioxidants as raw garlic. To get started, check out this noodle recipe! Sweetspot.ca