Lately it seems that the global population is becoming more and more interested in nutrition related issues. People are finally seeking information and educating themselves on health and nutrition and not relying on governments and big business to dictate what they should be eating. We at BauWave could not be happier about this, but we recognize we still have a long way to go. This is the reason we exist as a company, to educate, and help make our world a healthier place, and today we would like to offer a list of 24 nutrient dense superfoods which we encourage you to try to incorporate into your daily diet.
Adzuki Beans have been eaten in Asia for centuries. They are an excellent source of fiber, protein, iron, vitamin B, magnesium, copper, zinc and potassium. This nutty tasting bean isalso naturally free of fat and cholesterol.
Buffalo is a leaner and healthier alternative to beef which provides similar amounts of protein, vitamins, and nutrients to our traditional red meat of choice. A three ounce serving of buffalo meat contains only 1g of saturated fat compared to 4.3g in a three ounce serving of 90% lean ground beef. Try substituting your beef for buffalo and enjoy a delicious, guilt free burger or taco.
The Aztecs have been using chia seeds since the pre-Columbian times, but they are just now appear in our North American supermarkets. These tiny black chia seeds are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, fiber, phosphorous, and manganese. They make great cereal, oatmeal, or salad topping, and can be a tasty addition to any smoothie.
Originating in India and Pakistan, this tasty little legume has been shown to reduce risk of heart disease and help control blood sugar. They are an excellent source of iron, and zinc and are packed with fiber. They are often eaten in soups, curries and on salads.
Mostly found in the Mediterranean diet, these tiny fish are incredibly healthy for you. Sardines are low in mercury, a great source of vitamin B12 and vitamin D, and their soft, edible bones are a good source of calcium. Mix sardines into your favorite dishes, or eat them solo on toast/crackers.
Kefir, a creamy, fermented milk product, is gaining recent popularity in the grocery store. It is a lot like a liquidy yogurt, but contains twice as many pro-biotics (good bacteria) as yogurt, is excellent for the health of your digestive system and is high in calcium, protein, and vitamins D and A. Kefir is great as part of your breakfast, desert, or as a smoothie base. Note: Kefir is a milk product, and although it contains a plethora of bacteria that aid in digestion, those with dairy sensitivities may still experience reactions to it.
Popular in the southern United States, collard greens are one of the healthiest green foods out there. These health powerhouses are loaded with fiber, protein, and calcium and are commonly associated with healthy digestion, improved heart health, cancer prevention, and lower cholesterol. It is commonly served as a side dish with your favorite meal.
Farro is grain used often in Italian cooking, which has been linked to increased immunity, lower cholesterol, and balanced blood sugar levels. It is abundant in nutrients like fiber, protein, zinc, and magnesium and is often used as a side dish, mixed into soups, or can be made into pasta. Note: Unfortunately, farro is a grain, which does contains gluten. At BauWave we do advocate the health benefits of a gluten free diet, however, if you do not subscribe to this ideal, farro may be a healthier alternative to wheat.
As one of the most antioxidant-packed veggies available, artichokes are a household ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. In these areas, artichokes are eaten in many different ways: in sauces, or stews, on salads, and pizzas or even stuffed with your other favorite ingredients. Artichokes are not only versatile, but healthy too; just a half-cup of artichokes contains 7g of dietary fiber and more than 10% of your daily-recommended value of vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.
It may surprise you to learn that these delicious fruits are actually classified as berries. They are fat- and cholesterol-free, and rich in vitamin C and vitamin K. Just two kiwis contain 2x your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, and more potassium than a banana. They are delicious to eat on their own and great to slice into yogurt, on cereal or in fruit salad.
Walnuts are often lost in the shadow of other popular nuts like almonds, and cashews, but these often overlooked treats contain more antioxidants than the majority their nut family including almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts. As well, they contain a high level of healthy fats and are one of the only significant sources of omega-3 fatty acids available for vegetarian consumption. Walnuts work great baked into your favorite cookies and cakes, as well as raw on salad or alone for a quick snack.
Oysters are extremely low in calories and jam packed with vitamin B12, zinc, and iron; six oysters contain only 50 calories and come with 212% of daily zinc requirements, 227% of your daily vitamin B12 needs, and one third of your recommended daily intake of iron! Oysters are often eaten as an appetizer or mixed into seafood pasta dishes.
Ginger is a potent, and strong flavored root used heavily across Asia. Ginger is highly anti-inflammatory and is linked to increased immunity, and a decreased risk of colorectal cancer and joint pain. As well, it is a powerful anti-emetic, which is a drug that is effective against vomiting and nausea. Ginger tastes great cooked into your favorite recipes or sliced and steeped into a powerful ginger tea.
With dark chocolate you no longer need to feel guilty about eating a tasty treat. Dark chocolate is loaded with special antioxidants called flavonoids that have been shown to improve memory and blood flow. If that wasn’t good enough, delicious dark chocolate has also been linked to improved heart health, and lower blood pressure. We encourage you to purchase dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa in order to reap the full benefits of this treat.
Like oysters, cherries are full of nutrients like fiber and vitamin C and surprisingly low in calories (just 90 calories/cup). Cherries have so many positive benefits, they could be considered a health food. They have been shown to contain anti-inflammatory properties, helping to decrease inflammation, and joint pain, as well as help treat gout, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and enhance post-exercise muscle recovery. Cherries are delicious eaten raw, or as a topping for cereal, yogurt, or desert. Also, try putting them into your favorite post-workout recovery shake.
This vibrant yellow spice is so powerful that its actually used as a medicine in India and China to treat various conditions like colic, jaundice, bruises, toothaches, and chest pain. Turmeric is an extremely powerful antioxidant and has been shown to lower cholesterol, alleviate arthritis, protect against Alzheimer’s disease, and reduce the risk of some cancers. Work it into your favorite meals today to add a kick.
Known for their powerful antioxidant properties, pomegranates are low in calories, rich in fiber, vitamin C and K, and are linked to a healthier heart and decreased inflammation. You can buy pomegranate in juice form (get 100% juice), or spoon the juice covered seeds right out of the fruit.
A form of tiny cabbage, Brussels Sprouts were first grown in the area of Europe that Belgium now occupies. They are a good source of antioxidants, linked with increased cardiovascular health, low cholesterol, and cancer prevention. They are also full of fiber, vitamins K, C, A, and B, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. They taste great grilled as a healthy side dish or as an addition to sauces, and soups.
These delicious seeds have been linked to improved heart health, and decreased cholesterol. They are full nutrients, consisting of 30% of your daily-recommended intake of vitamin E, phosphorous, manganese, and selenium, as well as about 20% of vitamin B5 and copper. Sunflower seeds are great in a trail mix, in a salad, or out of the shell as a snack.
Citrus fruits are known for their high concentration of vitamin C, but they’re also great sources of folate, fiber and phytochemicals. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, kumquats, lemons, and limes have been shown to protect against diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, as well as some forms of cancer. Citrus juice is a great way to flavor water, and many of these fruits are great eaten whole.
Pumpkins aren’t just for jack-o-lanterns and pies, they’re also great grilled, roasted, or mashed, and will provide you an abundance of carotenoids, which have been linked to improved joint protection, night vision, and eye health. Plus at only 50 calories per cup, they’ll be kind to your figure too.
Indigenous to Sri Lanka, cinnamon, which is actually a tree bark, was once revered as being more valuable than gold. Not only does cinnamon taste delicious, but eating it can help boost brain power, control blood sugar, fight bacteria, and reduce inflammation. Cinnamon tastes great in your favorite meals and baked goods, and in yogurt or fruit smoothies. You can also add some to your ginger tea for a powerful home remedy.
Green tea is known for being full of antioxidants, and has been linked to increased heart health, enhanced weight loss, and stronger bones. On top of this, it’s also been shown to lower cholesterol, and help ward off some forms of cancer.
Just one ounce of this delicious green nut provides, 6 g of protein, 3 g of fiber, less fat and more antioxidants than any other nut! Many recipes exist to incorporate pistachios into your favorite baked goods, or try eating them right out of the shell; they’re delicious.
Enjoy, and happy eating!