No, we’re not talking about a New Years’ diet. We’re talking about the addition of healthy, nutrient-dense foods that are considered low in calories. At LivBar, we’d rather not ascribe to the idea of “dieting” and instead encourage a mindful, sustainable way of eating healthy. By making an effort to add superfoods to your eating habits in 2021, you can create a fresh start without compromising your day-to-day favorites.
This starts with making realistic and healthy choices, but knowing no one food can be a super-starter to exceptional health and wellness. The idea of a superfood can be controversial and almost misleading. But that’s not to say there’s no science in the theory: nutrient-dense foods like kale, chia seeds, blueberries, and avocado are undoubtedly good for one’s overall health and wellness and offer necessary vitamins and antioxidants. You can read more here about what exactly a superfood is and why they're good for you.
Incorporating superfoods doesn’t have to be a major lifestyle modification. We aim to sneak them into almost every meal in bits and pieces. This might mean a side of spring mix or avocado with your breakfast potatoes or slipping spinach and acai berries into your smoothie (we promise, it won’t taste as green as it looks!). Here’s a few of those easily incorporated ingredients and how to include them in some basic everyday dishes.
Nuts & Seeds
Almost any nut and seed, in moderation, might be a superfood. Considered “healthy fats,” most nuts and seeds are rich in nutrients, proteins, and a small amount of heart-healthy unsaturated fats alongside minerals and fiber. Try adding walnuts or pine nuts to a food processor with basil, olive oil, garlic, and lemon for a flavorful pesto ripe with several superfoods (enter, olive oil). For a nut-free version opt for sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds! Or sneak those hemp or chia seeds into your smoothies and sprinkle on top of almost any dinner for an extra crunch.
Gluten-free Whole Grains
The base of your buddha bowl, like quinoa and brown rice, proves to be a plain palate for a grain bowl and a substantial addition of vitamins, proteins, and carbs. Layer gluten-free whole grains with legumes, veggies, aromatics, and greens for a remarkably filling and satisfying feel-good dinner.
Specifically, blueberries and acai berries (how have you pronounced it?) translate to fiber, “free radicals,” and blood sugar regulation. Plus, it’s the main type of fruit, second from oranges, known for its high amounts of vitamin C.
Dark Leafy Greens
Be it kale, kohlrabi, arugula, or the long-dubbed superfood spinach, these leafy greens are a no-brainer to add to your eating habits. Make these your salad’s foundations alongside a simple vinaigrette plus carrot, cucumber, green onion, and tomato. The fiber, iron, and vitamin K will taste just as good as those fresh-cut veggies.
Though its incredibly versatile counterpart gets a bad rap (russet, gold, or red potatoes are generally healthier than its reputation makes it seem), sweet potatoes and yams are jam-packed with vitamins and proteins. All potatoes are relatively low in calories and saturated fats, but watch what you add to it: sugar, butter, and salt are known accomplices of the humble potato. If you're looking for a unique way to spruce up the sweet potato, try our Paleo Candied Sweet Potatoes for a refined sugar-free sweet treat.
Probiotics are found in common foods like yogurt, kombucha, and other fermented foods like kimchi and pickles. They provide the microorganisms needed for a regular digestive and immune system. These healthy bacteria fight the bad bacteria and help ease gastrointestinal distress like bloating and constipation.
Spices & Aromatics
Think ginger and turmeric, onion and garlic (remember that pesto?). These small seasonings not only add great flavor to breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but keep the good things coming by way of vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties. Make your favorite healthy dinner and add a few of these spices, plus one more superfood to complete your meal. You can find ginger and turmeric in our beloved Vegan Lemon Ginger Turmeric LivBar.
Think of almost any bean, peas, lentils, and some nuts like peanuts: You’ve got a protein-rich superfood perfect for a complete protein. Just add beans or legumes to gluten-free whole grains, plus some aromatics or salsa and you’ve got a speedy and satisfying snack.