HEALTHY FOODS TO LOVE
The search for a healthy diet that is compatible with a manageable lifestyle can be quite difficult. Diet fads come and go, and oftentimes they are not even worth the strain. Superfoods are an easy way to integrate nutrient-dense foods into a fun and flavorful diet. Health does not have to equate to restriction or lack of flavor. There are many different superfoods that one could incorporate into their diets, but three stand out. Hemp seeds, goji berries, and matcha are all packed full of the nutrients necessary for a healthy and happy body.
Hemp seeds contain a nearly-perfect balance of essential amino acids including vitamin E. They contain 77% of the daily recommended value of vitamin E. This vitamin is essential to obtain and maintain a healthy immune system. Hemp seeds also protect the body’s tissues from damaging free radicals which can lead to cancerous tumor formation. High in essential fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3s, these seeds fight cancer, coronary heart disease, and have even been linked to fighting the symptoms of depression. They are known to be one of the world’s most nutritionally complete food sources.
To integrate hemp seeds into your diet, it should be noted that they can be eaten whole or shelled as well as raw or toasted. The seeds can be thrown on toast, into oatmeal, or even ground into a protein powder for a post-workout snack with 10 grams of protein in just two tablespoons. The seeds can be made into hemp heart brownies or granola.
These tiny but mighty berries are packed full of vitamins A and C which help the body build immunities to and prevent illnesses such as the common cold or even cancer. Antioxidant-rich foods slow tumor growth as well as reduce inflammation in the body. They also contain zeaxanthin which protects vision as well as eye-related diseases. Beta-carotene, also found in the berry, is an ingredient often used in skin creams to reduce irritation, manage the harmful effects of the sun, and minimize the impacts of aging on the skin.
Consuming goji berries can also grant immediate health benefits. Drinking goji berry juice can improve your mood, energy, and digestive health. The berry can be juiced, as stated, blended into smoothies, or baked into tasty treats.
MatchaMatcha is a more popular superfood that is often made into a latte. This is a sneaky superfood because the green powder packs six-times more antioxidants in just one teaspoon than even goji berries. With 137-times more EGCGs (an antioxidant family) than green tea, it is an extremely healthy substitute for tea drinkers. EGCG’s have been linked to higher metabolisms, increases in energy, anti-inflammatory effects, as well as warding off the effects of aging. This superfood also helps with the prevention of cancer due to its high levels of antioxidants.
The energy one would feel from drinking, let’s say, a matcha latte would be much slower-burning than that from coffee. The crash from coffee can be avoided by substituting matcha for coffee while actually reducing anxiety. The L-theanine found in matcha produces a relaxed yet energized effect on the body making it a perfect daily drink.
Matcha can be consumed in other ways than just in beverages. Matcha can be baked into bars or cakes, used as a filling for chocolate treats, or even flipped into crepes. With a rich, earthy flavor very similar to green tea, the powder can add a nutritious kick to any of your favorite treats.