So what is a “superfood” and what’s all the hype about it? The term “superfood” was originally used as a marketing strategy by a fruit company to push banana sales. When doctors and medical journals endorsed the health benefits of bananas, the superfood craze took off! But today, superfoods have more validity to them than the term’s original use as a marketing ploy. Nutritionists and dieticians have identified several nutritionally dense foods (that are also low in calories) that make a great addition to a healthy diet. Here are the top eight superfoods you need to add to your diet today!
The darker the green, the better. Dark, leafy greens like kale or collard greens are a great source of Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K! They’re also high in fiber and water content, which promote a healthy digestive tract. At Greenspot Salad Company in San Diego, we recommend using shredded kale or baby spinach as a base for your salad!
Nuts are a popular superfood for vegetarians and vegans because of their high concentration in plant protein. You can find a lot of substitute meats made with nuts at your local grocery store. They also contain monounsaturated fats which help in reducing your risk of heart disease. Some nuts we recommend adding to your salad are walnuts and almonds! Almonds have more calcium than any other nut, and they’re also high in fiber and rich in vitamin E (not to mention, they’re also low in calories)! Walnuts are also a great source of protein and fiber, but they’re known for being brain-boosters, as they have a high level of alpha-linolenic acid.
Olive oil is now a staple in any home. Often used as a healthier alternative to butter or margarine, olive oil is packed with monounsaturated fatty acid which supports good cholesterol and lowers your risk of heart disease. It’s not only considered a healthy fat, but it’s also known for its antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory effects as well. We recommend adding a light drizzle of olive oil onto your salad, wrap, or bowl, with or without your favorite salad dressing!
Whole grains have earned their right to be considered a superfood, as they have high levels of heart-healthy soluble fiber. A diet rich in whole grains was found to significantly decrease the risk for heart disease! What’s even better is that there are gluten-free whole grain options out there, such as brown rice, quinoa, and corn (ingredients that we feature in our Greenspot Salad Company Menu). Quinoa is especially great because it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a protein powerhouse!
One large egg has six grams of protein and all nine essential amino acids! It’s also rich in iron and vitamins A, B12, B2, and B5! At one point in time, eggs were considered unhealthy because of their cholesterol content. But with the help of science, we’ve discovered that eggs raise your “good” cholesterol levels, and while they may not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, they don’t increase your risk either. The benefits you gain from eating eggs far outweigh excluding them from your diet.
Like nuts, legumes are also a great source of plant protein! Legumes are also known to improve blood cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Some great examples of this nutritious superfood are garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, black beans, red beans, and soybeans. Black beans and soybeans, in particular, have high levels of folate, also known as vitamin B9, which is responsible for creating red and white blood cells and producing DNA and RNA. For your next lunch, get your blood pumping and add some black beans and edamame to any of our signature salads, wraps, or bowls.
Fish earned its title as a superfood because of its abounding levels of omega-3s, vitamins, and protein. Studies have shown that fish can help with depression, psychosis, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and other thinking disorders, which is why it’s considered a “brain food.” Fish oil is also said to lower blood pressure and risk of coronary heart disease. For a heart-healthy, lean-protein diet, add some ahi tuna to your next order at Greenspot Salad Company in San Diego!
And last but not least, we have the California staple, the superfood of millenials — the avocado. Among other fruits, avocados are nutritionally dense in fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K! It’s also loaded with oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fatty acid, known to lower your cholesterol and reduce blood triglycerides. And because it’s so high in fat (the good kind), it can help you absorb fat-soluble nutrients of other superfoods, like Vitamins A, D, E, and K! So not only are avocados great on their own, but they also increase the nutritional benefits of other healthy foods.
You’re never too young or too old to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and one of the first steps you can take is to change your diet for the better. At Greenspot Salad Company, we believe in the power of heart-healthy ingredients. Try out our signature Superfood Salad, or create your own custom salad, wrap, or bowl with all of the toppings or proteins listed on this page! We love real food and we want you to love it too. Find the closest Greenspot Salad Company near you and visit today, or get your favorite meal delivered to you!