Flip through any health magazine in your neighborhood supermarket, and you’ll quickly find an article about the next greatest superfoods. In the past few years, every time I’ve searched for clean and healthy recipes, I’ve been immediately inundated with quinoa and kale dishes to the point of nausea. Does anyone else feel the same?
Throughout my Whole30 journey, I have tried to incorporate a lot of nutrient-dense foods into my diet, and am amazed at how much better I feel. Over time, I have not only discovered just how delicious they can be, but how many health benefits these foods have. They may not be as glam as the quinoa-kale salads that have exploded all over my home page on Pinterest, but they can still be prepared in fun and flavorful ways and deserve a little love.
Check out three of my favorite superfoods!
1. Sweet Potato
Forget the marshmallow-filled sweet potato casseroles you grew up eating. Sweet potatoes on their own are an excellent source of Vitamin A (377% of your daily Vitamin A needs in just one cup), which is important for good vision and healthy skin, among other things. Sweet potatoes also have nearly as much potassium as bananas, but only 1/3 of the sugar. Most foodies are already aware of the many awesome ways to prepare your sweet potatoes, but for those who need a little inspiration, check out my easy Thanksgiving recipe. Pop over to Lexi’s Clean Kitchen for my favorite sweet potato gnocchi recipe!
Cabbage often gets a bad rap, thanks to this scene from Austin Powers (you’re welcome). Aside from its reputation as a food for circus folks, this vegetable is actually packed with health benefits. Cabbage is a good source of Vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting. Cabbage also has cancer-fighting properties and is good for your immune system, heart health and more. Not sure how to incorporate it into your diet? Try these garlicky cabbage “steaks” from Rockin Mom’s Kitchen!
No, they will not give you heart disease. Eggs actually have the potential to improve your HDL (the good kind of cholesterol) and are a complete source of protein. They are pretty much perfect! I hard-boil several eggs early in the week as a grab-and-go healthy snack, but they can be prepared in a variety of ways. Dani Spies from Clean and Delicious has a great 101 video about how to buy, store and cook eggs. Vegetarians, this is a great protein option for you!
As a child, I always heard that if it could stain your clothes, it was probably pretty healthy. Of course, you could easily stain your clothes with food dyes too, but the rule more or less applies for fruits and veggies. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and a relatively low glycemic fruit, which means they won’t wreak havoc on your blood sugar.
Not only do pineapples make excellent homes for hyperactive sea creatures, but they also taste awesome and have a lot of important nutrients. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which reduces swelling, bruising and inflammation. One cup of pineapple contains more than 100% of your recommended daily Vitamin C, which is vital for the immune system. Try cooking up some pineapple chunks in coconut oil and cinnamon for a sweet but healthy treat. If nothing else, it will make your kitchen smell fantastic!
What are some superfoods you enjoy? Share your favorites in the comments section below!