by Melissa Chichester
One of the most important pillars of health is eating a nutritious diet. This means consuming a balance of protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Your diet can also include “superfoods.” Superfoods are nutritionally dense foods that contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients.
Research continues to reveal the impact of superfood nutrients on human health. As a result, we know more about what kinds of foods we should eat to nourish our bodies. Get to know more about five surprising superfoods and how they can benefit many facets of wellness.
Before you turn up your nose, sardines have some incredible benefits. Surprisingly, they also contain several vitamins and minerals. Sardines are an excellent source of Vitamin B-12, which is essential for energy metabolism.** They are also an excellent source of calcium, which is needed for bone health.** Sardines also contain minerals such as magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. They are also a source of protein.
These affordable fish are usually found near the canned tuna at the store. They are typically packed in water or oil. While water is the better option, if you prefer oil-packed sardines, choose olive oil if that option is available. If you don’t know how to eat sardines, they can be prepared by adding them to salad, on pizza, or in pasta.
Nutritional yeast is popular with vegans and vegetarians because of its cheesy taste. It comes from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae species of yeast. This species is also used to make beer and bread; however, nutritional yeast is produced to be a food product. Nutritional yeast is fortified with vitamins. Other benefits of fortified nutritional yeast include being high in B-complex vitamins and trace minerals.
In the kitchen, nutritional yeast is extremely versatile. It can be used as an ingredient in vegetarian cheese sauce, or sprinkled on pasta, vegetables, and popcorn.
Goji berries are a tiny red berry that can usually be found dried rather than fresh in stores. These little scarlet gems have a lot to offer in a small package. Don’t expect them to be sweet, though. Although they have a slightly sweet taste, they also have a tinge of sour flavor. They are used all over the United States at juice bars and health food establishments. You can use them to enjoy in a hot bowl of oatmeal or as a salad topping.
Kiwis are known for their bright green color and sweet, tangy taste. A favorite in any tropical-themed party, kiwis have a lot of benefits beyond looking beautiful! This petite fruit has a lot to offer, including being a source of antioxidants Vitamins C, E, and K. Kiwis are also a good source of fiber.
Another wonder of the sea, oysters are loaded with vitamins and minerals! According to the USDA, oysters are an excellent source of Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D, iron, and selenium. One oyster contains nearly 100% of the daily recommendation for selenium. Selenium is an essential trace mineral that has several functions.
Selenium plays an integral part of thyroid hormone metabolism and also provides immune support.**
Oysters are also an excellent source of zinc, another essential trace mineral. Zinc assists in the formation of DNA, the cell’s genetic material.** It is also essential for cell division and growth.** Plus, zinc supports immune system health.**
It’s easy to get in a rut with our diets. Be adventurous and try something new in the kitchen. You might find a favorite new dish. Plus, it’s even better when you test out a recipe that contains a new-to-you superfood!