It can get really overwhelming trying to figure out what you should and shouldn't be eating. Between diet culture wars, dietary restrictions, food allergies, celebrity-endorsed food fads, etc., it always feels like our plates are missing something and that our diet could be better. Nowadays it's not uncommon for our daily meals to consist of sugary cereals for breakfast, double cheeseburgers and fries for lunch, and a heavy, carb-loaded dinner, not to mention the large cups of coffee between meals.
It's a lot on our bodies, and the way we eat has long-term effects on how those bodies operate. The craziest thing about all of the processed, junk food we consume is that none of it is real food. It's all empty calories. From the sugar in your coffee to the salty fries, to the gooey cheese pizza, although it looks and tastes delicious, there are no true nutritious benefits to provide our bodies with the nourishment it needs to function at peak performance.
Superfoods are foods that are considered especially rich in nutrients and good for the body. These foods are easy to find and add to almost any meal or snack so that you can be sure that you’re giving your body the nutrition that it needs. Eating natural food rather than man-made products that have been produced in a factory is one of the best ways to make sure your body will be healthy for as long as possible, but we don't all have that option for each meal.
There are socio-economical and geographical factors as to why most of us end up consuming foods that don't do us any good. Many of us also live extremely fast-paced lifestyles that don't allow us the privilege of reading every food label or ingredient list of what we eat. But, by being more mindful of what we load up onto our plates, we can make small changes to our meal plans that make our diets a bit healthier. It starts by incorporating certain "superfoods" into our diets.
By adding fruits, nuts, lean proteins, and whole grains to your daily plate, research has shown that you can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Simply add any of these everyday superfoods to your plate or snacking routine (or sipping habit) to strengthen immune function, lower inflammation, and have more energy.
The key to looking and feeling happy and healthy starts with your plate. Whether you want to lose weight or just adopt better food habits, here are five superfoods that can be easily worked into your eating habits and are sure to improve your nutrition.
Purple and blue foods
Thanks to their rich colors, foods like blueberries, grapes, plums, purple cabbage, purple carrots, and even purple tea, are high in antioxidants, and other disease-fighting nutrients. These foods are also high in fiber, and also help support your brain and heart health. Despite their popularity, blue and purple foods are the least consumed, which means people are missing out on this nutritional powerhouse. If you'd like to add more color to your daily food intake, you can buy fresh or frozen fruits and add them to your cereals, smoothies, or yogurt snacks. You can also make your own purple-hued salads for lunch, and even grab a refreshing bottle of Purpose purple tea to drink between meals.
From childhood you've probably been told to "eat your greens", now there are plenty of fun ways to incorporate leafy greens into your meals. Leaves such as arugula, spinach, kale, collard greens, and mustard greens are high in valuable nutrients. The darker the green color the higher it is in nutritious value (and the better it is for you). Always try to opt for those darker shades of green to get a rich dose of vitamins like A, C, E, K, folate, and antioxidants. Even if you aren't a salad eater, getting your daily serving of green leafy veggies is still easy. They are a nutrient-rich replacement for lettuce, but can also be sautéd with olive oil or added to soups. You can combine your preferred greens with your favorite purple and blue foods for a superpowered smoothie. You can also eat them with eggs, as a wrap, or even crisp them up in an oven for a healthy, crunchy chip. For an added boost of good-for-you, add in your favorite leafy green with a food that's rich in vitamin C, E, and K like tomatoes, and avocados and your body absorbs even more nutrients.
A better option than those processed, refined carbs like white flour and white rice we all love is to choose whole grains. When selecting bread, buns, bagels, tortillas, whole grains are an excellent source of fiber and iron. Fiber helps lower cholesterol as well as move waste through the digestive tract. Unlike refined grains, whole grains also supply vitamin B, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, and antioxidants. Consuming whole grains as part of a healthy diet may help lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes and contribute to enhanced weight management. Experts recommend eating between 3 and 8 ounces of grains every day, depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity. A bowl of oatmeal, with some berries, added, or a bagel with jam is a great way to kick off your day. Also opting for Quinoa is a protein-packed replacement for rice, and is a great base for any lunch or dinner.
If you're a heavy snacker, or just want to add a nutty, crunchy texture to your meals, go nuts for some nuts. Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, nuts provide a great source of protein and monounsaturated fats, which can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Nuts lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels, and also help lower other heart disease risk factors like inflammation and blood pressure. Eating small raw, or unsalted portions of nuts can reduce food cravings and is unlikely to cause weight gain. You can eat them plain as a snack or add them to yogurt, salads, and veggie dishes. Nut butters can also be a great way to add flavor to toasts and crackers.
While herbal teas aren't technically a food, they provide great contributions to your health. We absolutely believe that tea is a superfood, especially purple tea. Not only is it calorie-free, but purple tea is also an outstanding source of antioxidants and has been shown to help support immunity and prevent disease and other illnesses. Purple tea also contains GHG, a unique type of polyphenol not found in other teas and may be the compound responsible for purple tea’s fat-burning, metabolic and brain-health benefits and so much more. The best way to enjoy all that purple tea has to offer is to drink it regularly. Purpose tea makes it easy to drink your purple tea and makes a great addition to your daily meals.
A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy herbal tea. Feel free to experiment with different varieties of these and other superfoods to find the ones that you enjoy the most. And if you don’t feel like spending an arm and a leg on the latest superfood fad, don’t worry. You can eat plenty of superfoods without chasing the trends. You can also pick up a bottle of Purpose tea in a variety of delicious flavors on the site or in stores.