What is a Superfood?
Why is a Superfood so Super?
According to Oxford Dictionaries, the definition of superfood is: "a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being". Although there is a long list of foods that classify as a 'superfood', there is a lot of controversy as to whether or not they should be called a superfood because overall health is all about getting many different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body requires on a day-to-day basis.
Here at LivBar we acknowledge the existence of superfoods because there's a wide variety of amazing foods that are readily available and have the power to help prevent disease and lead to longevity when consumed on a regular basis. We use some of these incredible ingredients to create our Superfood Bars that help keep you full and provide many essential, valuable nutrients when you need an on-the-go snack!
However, we also know the way some of these foods are marketed can lead consumers to believe that eating that one single food - for example, chia seeds - will lead you to optimal health. We don't mean to burst your bubble, but if you eat processed foods the rest of the day and have one tablespoon of chia seeds in your water, you are not getting all of the macro and micronutrients your body requires. We recommend incorporating more superfoods into your daily diet, like LivBars, but your overall diet should include a well rounded assortment of various whole foods!
Our Top 10 Favorite Superfoods
There are numerous foods that could be listed here, but we want to share with you our top 10 favorite superfoods that we use in our LivBars and why they're considered a 'superfood'
Not only are these sweet berries delicious, they are incredibly nutrient dense with lots of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They are high in antioxidants and contain flavonoids that help protect you from molecules known as "free radicals" that can lead to different types of disease and sickness. You can read more about blueberry health benefits here.
2. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds contain many essential nutrients and are rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. They are high in protein and can be a great addition to salads, smoothies, dressings, and more. They are known to help reduce the risk of heart disease and help with digestion. Click here to read more about hemp seeds.
Ginger is most commonly known for helping treat nausea but also has many other benefits. Ginger helps aid in digestion by speeding up the process of moving food to the upper intestine quicker, can be anti-inflammatory, and relieve menstrual symptoms for women. To learn more about the benefits of ginger, click here.
Honey is a widely used superfood that contains antioxidant compounds that can lead to reduced risk of various diseases, heart attacks, strokes, and even lower blood pressure. High quality honey has many essential minerals such as magnesium, iron, and calcium. It's a great substitute for refined sugar when you're looking for something sweet. You can read more about honey benefits here.
"Of all the super healthy greens, kale is king." - Healthline. Kale is known to have many powerful qualities that aid in health and healing. It is incredibly nutrient-dense containing Vitamin A, K, C, B6, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, Iron, and Phosphorus. In addition to this amazing list, it is high in antioxidants that also help protect your body from free radicals, can reduce cholesterol, and even heart disease.
Turmeric has blown up in the past few years and can be found in many forms because of its anti-inflammatory compounds due to its medicinal properties. Turmeric is potent in antioxidants that can aid in helping fight off unwanted free radicals in the body and helps activate the body to generate more of its own antioxidant enzymes. You can read more about turmeric benefits here.
Raspberries are a great low calorie, low glycemic fruit option. Raspberries are packed with fiber and tons of vitamins and minerals that are essential to your overall health. As most of these superfoods, raspberries are high in antioxidants such as Vitamin C, that have the potential to reduce various diseases. Click here to read more about raspberries.
8. Flax Seed/Meal
Flax seeds have numerous health benefits, a great egg substitute when baking, and can easily be added to smoothies, salads, and more. Flax seeds are rich in fiber which helps aid in digestion, contains omega 3 fatty acids, and numerous other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1, B6, iron, and magnesium. Flax seeds have the power to help improve cholesterol, blood pressure, and reduce disease and cancer risk.
We love that cacao is a superfood and has the ability to give into your chocolate cravings without all of the added sugars. Cacao is packed with many antioxidant compounds that can help with aging, fatigue, digestion, and so much more. Click here for an amazing recipe inspired by our Coffee Maple Cacao LivBar.
Matcha is the entire green tea leaf in powdered form, therefore providing many more nutrients than traditional steeped green tea. Matcha is rich in polyphenols (antioxidants), and has been tied to blood sugar regulation, blood pressure improvement, and prevention of various diseases and cancer. If you're not a coffee drinker, matcha is a great alternative as it does have caffeine. Check out our Honey Vanilla Iced Matcha Latte recipe!
Incorporating Superfood into Your Diet
There are many ways to use these foods, and there are plenty more superfood options than the ones we listed. What's great is that most common superfoods are available in most stores and fairly easy to incorporate daily - it just takes developing a habit. We suggest starting slow. This could be having a superfood smoothie daily, such as our Tropical Green Superfood Smoothie that packs a ton of superfoods into one tasty, refreshing, and filling smoothie.