While it is technically possible to out exercise a poor diet...
...it is a lot easier (and a lot less time consuming), to focus on eating the nutrient dense foods your body loves.
Plus, when you support your body with the right nutrients and you'll be able to get MORE out of every single day!
Today, I'd like to share with you 3 of the nutrient-dense superfoods you can use to keep your metabolism moving in full swing.
Add-in these superfoods (you may already have some of them) and workouts will be easier, waking up in the morning won't require a miracle, and when 3 or 4 PM rolls around, you'll be ready to take on the rest of your day instead of begging for a nap...
What Are Superfoods Anyway?
Let's make this simple...
Superfoods are nutrient dense foods that contain a high number of vitamins and minerals.
They are big "bang for your buck" foods...things you can work into your diet that naturally contain the nutrients your body wants, but you don't get enough of. And while you can turn to pills and powders to solve nutrient deficiencies, there is NO substitute for natural sources of vital vitamins and minerals.
When you're looking for superfoods to add-in at mealtime, nutrient density is the keyword. Here are 3 of my absolute favorite nutrient-rich foods:
Kale the "King" of Leafy Greens
Kale is not the only leafy green superfood, but it is one of the most nutrient dense.
Leafy greens like kale are packed with polyphenols - micro-nutrients that work to prevent age-related disease (like heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases). One recent study in the journal Nutrition found that people who get 650mg of polyphenols per day have a 30% chance of living longer!
Kale is also a great source of Vitamins A, C, and K.
If you sad the S.A.D. or "Standard American Diet," there's a good chance you don't get enough of these essential nutrients (they help prevent osteoporosis and other diseases I wouldn't wish on anyone!).
Side Note: My husband doesn't like the taste - if you find yourself in the same situation here are some leafy green alternatives that also pack a nutrient-dense punch:
- Swiss Chard
- Collard Greens
- Beet Greans
- Chinese Cabbage
Kale (or ANY of the above superfood leafy greens) make a great addition to salads.
I've also recently started eating kale chips. Take a look the next time you're in the store and switch out the bags of potato chips in your pantry with kale chips!
Sweet Potatoes - The Replacement Potato
Sweet potatoes are super popular in lower carb diets because they have a slightly lower glycemic index. Compared to white potatoes, eating sweet potatoes don't spike blood glucose levels as quickly.
Compared to white potatoes, they also contain higher levels of fiber and vitamin A.
There's a good chance that you don't get enough fiber in their diet and, I would bet, if you just switched out all the regular white potatoes you eat with sweet potatoes, you'd notice a significant difference in digestion and gut health, energy levels, and food metabolism.
I also think they taste better than white potatoes. Plus, because they are sweet, kids love them. Try replacing your potatoes with sweet potatoes.
Blueberries - Antioxidants PLUS...
When it comes to blueberries, everyone talks about their high antioxidant levels. They have one of the highest levels of antioxidants and vitamin C of ANY food. But, most people forget...
Blueberries contain one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory fatty acids found in nature...
You may have heard about omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oils) and their ability to reduce inflammation all over your body.
Omega-9 fatty acids are like supercharged versions of omega-3s. They...
- Reduce inflammation and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Boost mood and decrease anger levels
- Increase energy levels
- May improve memory & help those with Alzheimer's disease
Everyone loves blueberries! You can add them to nearly any meal.
Superfood Disclaimer: Buyer Beware
Last point (it's a biggie)...
"Superfood" is a super ambiguous term.
It's not a regulated, well-defined, or all agreed upon idea in the nutrition and health world.
Many foods are labeled as superfoods because they are trendy. These trendy superfoods may not offer as many health benefits. Trendy foods can also be over-priced, which makes them unaffordable for many people.
So, beware and remember:
Superfoods are simply foods that pack a TON of nutrients into a single, natural food. They are typically high in antioxidants, contain inflammation reducers (like Omega-9s) and polyphenols that fight against disease, and when you eat them, energy levels typically increase and mood improves.
You don't need special superfood drinks, pills and powders. Sure, they can help -- but some of my favorites (that everyone will actually eat because they aren't exotic) are found right in the produce aisles.
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