I think it’s safe to say that both Catherine and I maintain healthy obsession with food. There is little that can get in between us and a great meal at one of our favorite restaurants or a note worthy newcomer on the scene. Just check out this post if you’re hard pressed to believe.
Though we aren’t ones to turn our noses up to a gourmet burger or overloaded chocolate chip cookie, we respect that these occasional indulgences must be balanced out with generally healthier habits. So, while we’ll gladly dish on a lush dessert one day, we’re just as happy to cleanse our systems with a smoothie and a farmer’s market salad the next. I guess you could say we’re amateur experts on both sides of the table–the decadent and the disciplined.
Over the past few years my diet has taken an overall turn for the healthier. In the past, I was a victim to the fat-free, sugar-free fads, regularly stocking my pantry with highly processed foods that I thought were good for me. I’ve since come to recognize that the healthiest way to eat is to primarily stick to whole, natural, and real foods.
Like many of you, I’ve read the articles on ‘super foods’ and the benefits of incorporating these nutrient dense eats into my diet. At this point, I’m sure most of us could rattle off many of the foods that generally make these lists- blueberries, almonds, greek yogurt…. But lately, I’ve been introduced to a whole new host of ‘super foods’ that rarely make theses popular posts. From fighting inflammation, to boosting your metabolism and helping you get glowing skin, these 6 foods are power house additions to your pantry. Check out what makes them awesome and our hand picked recipes to help you add them into your diet.
What it is: An inactive yeast grown on molasses and beet plants. It is not the same as bakers or brewers yeast.
Why you should be eating it: A best kept secret of the vegan community, nutritional yeast has many health benefits that herbivores and carnivores alike can benefit from. In addition to being a complete protein source containing 18 amino acids, it also serves up a healthy dose of fiber making; a combo which can help you feel fuller longer. Beyond that, nutritional yeast is chock-full of Vitamin B and other vital compounds that help enhance your immunity, prevent cancer, and reduce your cholesterol levels.
What it is: A soy based product that has been fermented.
Why you should be eating it: Tempeh is a great meatless alternative to tofu. Not only is it full of protein but the fermentation process it goes through also makes it easier to digest. Fermented foods like Tempeh are known to help your belly in a number of ways from banishing bloat to fighting off obesity.
What it is: Seeds from the flax plant which can be eaten raw or ground. You can also buy flaxseed oil.
Why you should be eating it: Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are especially important in helping our bodies fight inflammation often linked to migraines, arthritis, and even some cancers. They also are high in fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keep hunger pangs at bay.
What it is: There are four main types of protein powders – whey and casein which are both derived from milk and soy and rice which are vegan alternatives.
Why you should be eating it: Protein powder is no longer just a supplement for hard-core body builders. We can all benefit from including healthy sources of protein in our diets. Protein powder is excellent because you can add it to just about anything from your favorite smoothie to pancakes and cookies to give your diet a boost of muscle repairing amino acids. Building lean muscle in turn will drive up your metabolism helping you to burn fat and fight off weight gain.
What it is: Seeds from the Chia herb–yes the same ones as in chi-chi-chi-chia!
Why you should be eating it: Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants, omega-3s, fiber, zinc, and iron. This cocktail makes for a wide range of benefits from reducing inflammation to keeping hair and skin healthy and glowing.