Sep. 09

Super Superfoods

Category > Food

It’s time to call off the search for healthy living in the form of a miracle drink, detox, pill etc. If you’re looking to transform your diet to help with weight loss or just to change habits to become healthier, I’ve compiled a list of my own personal list of superfoods that are a staple in my fridge/pantry and always on my grocery list.

My house is rarely ever void of apples. I LOVE them. I haven’t always adored them, but eventually overtime I started to crave at least 1 apple a day. Aside from the fact that studies have shown people usually eat less if they have an apple first, I feel this is personally true for me. The fiber in the peel makes me feel full, hence leading me to crave less. Aside from that, they are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidant compounds have been found to prevent and repair oxidation damage that happens during normal cell activity. There are way more than a dozen or two of far greater health benefits apples bring, but I’ll keep it short.

I don’t actually eat a ton of fruit because I’ve trained my palette from needing sweet sugary tastes, but that’s not to say I don’t still love fruit or need it. On that note, berries should be on your grocery list. Rule of thumb is that the darker the berry the better it is – they have the highest antioxidant levels of all commonly consumed fruit and have a lot of fiber. Top your breakfast oatmeal with it; put it in some 0% Plain Greek yogurt; make a yogurt-seed-nut-berry mix that you can eat as a “cereal” snack; or even just on their own!

This one deserves a star nomination and belongs on everyone’s plate/grocery list. Kale’s benefits are are infinite. To name a few: ultra-low in calories (I don’t even consider them as calories at all), high in fiber and 0 fat. It is packed with iron (very important for us girls)…in fact, I think Kale is being referenced as “the new beef” lately! It is also bursting with vitamin A, C, K, Calcium, powerful antioxidants, and last but not least one of my favourite detox foods. Since it is filled with sulphur and fiber, it detoxifies your body and keeps your liver healthy. My favourite ways to make it are as a main ingredient in a homemade soup with some potatos; as a salad; steamed and paired with some spinach or swiss chard to mask the taste; loaded into smoothies; cooking it into Quinoa;  etc etc.

Sweet Potato
As much as it may seem that Oatmeal is the only carb I eat, it isn’t. I would probably have to say I eat more sweet potato than I do oatmeal. These sweets lead in the vitamin ‘A’ department (making it a superfood for your skin too).  They have a very low Glycemic index (low impact food on blood sugar levels), and lastly (certainly not least) their high potassium content can alleviate muscle cramps which are often related to potassium deficiency. Just don’t go freely ordering sweet potato fries :) I usually wash mine with a potato scrub, poke holes with a fork or make slits with a knife, place it in a steamer or microwave then steam cook it. The skin peels off nicely after it’s steamed and this way you don’t need any oil or butter to cook them.

The fats in avocados are high on the satiety list, meaning your appetite is suppressed after having it leaving you to crave less. I use it as a spread when I make sandwhiches instead of mayo, and mostly in salads.

I adore Salmon! Fish fats are great for weight control/loss because of the Omega-3 fatty acids which improve insulin sensitivity (remembering as a golden rule that insulin spikes are directly related to creating and storing excess fat). Always try to opt for wild salmon if you can. I usually avoid farmed salmon at all costs just because they contain many pollutants. This is one of the items in my grocery list that I spend the extra money on. I try to get it in my diet at least once to twice a week. Baking salmon is simple because it is uber fragrant and doesn’t need much to enhance the taste. I sprinkle some salt, lemon and fresh dill, then bake it on parchment paper in the oven. The natural fats in salmon help cook it, so there is no need to add oil or butter. Add some freshly squeezed lemon once it’s done and voila!

A staple comfort food of mine is eggs and egg whites. Sounds so weird, but I have to admit it. They contain naturally occurring Vitamin D, have all the “right” fats, packed with protein and carry a wide array of vitamins, minerals and high sulphur content (great for healthy hair and nails ladies). Beware how they’re prepared. If you are making an omelette that is jammed with cheese and cooked in grease…probably negates the idea. My favourite ways to make eggs are plain old poached – bring water to a rolling boil (not too hot/violent, or else it will break the egg) + a dash of vinegar in the water which will help it coagulate. I also love them Easy Over made with some cooking spray. Whichever way you make them, try substituting cooking spray for any butter or oil and hold the cheese if you can. If you must, go light on the cheese.

Pretty much expected of me on a list like this. Out of all complex carbs, I find oatmeal gives me the most energy, keeps me full for the longest (so you avoid ingesting more food), low in calories per serving size and most importantly it stabilizes blood sugar preventing you from crashing like you would when you eat refined sugars. I usually cook it with water then add some milk afterwards. Try pairing it with berries or nuts if you need the extra taste. Another unique thing you can use it for is as a replacement for breadcrumbs when making things like turkey meatballs! They do the trick.

Certified “Abs” food. Like Oatmeal, Lentils prevent insulin spikes which is what causes your body to create excess fat (especially in the tummy area). They’re a good protein supplement for any vegetarians (contain about 30% of their calories from protein and one of the highest levels of any legume or nut). Add them to pasta sauces; in salads; soups; casseroles; slow cooker meals etc.

I feel the need to apologize because when I started writing this post, I hadn’t intended for it to be as long as it is, but I refuse to remove anything because I feel so strongly about all of these picks. If anything I should do a part II. There is so much out there that can help lead a healthy lifestyle. As you can see, the main principals are choose foods that are high in fiber, loaded with antioxidants, no artificial sugars, avoid the bad (saturated) fats, learn to love fish, but most importantly always choose foods that don’t spike your blood sugar/insulin levels.


P.S You may have noticed I left a popular item off this list…NUTS. While nuts are great for you, I find that people associate “healthy” for “eat as much as you want”. This is not the case with nuts (or any food for that matter). Moderation is key if you choose nuts for a snack, always take caution and monitor how much you’re actually eating because they are filled with (good) fat, so the calories add up quickly – to put it into perspective, there are over 800 calories in 1 cup of almonds. While you may say to yourself “pfff, I’d never eat a whole cup”, small little handfuls here and there add up like you wouldn’t believe. For me, I rarely eat them aside from garnishing a salad once in a while or in a yogurt to add a bit of crunch.