Food fuels us. Our bodies are constantly seeking out nutrients for energy and vital daily functions. Have you ever felt hungry even though you just ate? The reason we eat and snack more frequently throughout the day is because the food we’re consuming is lacking the nutrients we need. The average American gets almost ½ of their daily calories from snacking. That’s why it’s important to snack smart with superfoods.
So, what are superfoods? They’re calorie-sparse, nutrient-dense, health-empowering, plant-based foods.
Let’s start with the most nutrient-dense foods in existence – greens! Greens are one of the best superfoods there are. They are rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals like chlorophyll, magnesium and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which are important for cardiovascular health. Incorporating greens into your diet doesn’t have to be challenging or flavorless. Get started with a salad made with fresh arugula and kale with a light homemade dressing (squeezed lemon, sea salt, minced garlic and apple cider vinegar). You’ll be surprised at how full you’ll feel after this healthy meal.
With summer just around the corner, it’s also the perfect time of year to enjoy the bounty of local superfoods as seasonal fruits and vegetables arrive at your local year-round farmers market, Heinen’s Grocery Store. Alliums, garlic, wild leeks, ramps, fiddleheads, mushrooms and asparagus are all wholesome options to add to salads, pizzas and stir-fry. Lower glycemic fruits like blueberries, blackberries and raspberries will naturally help you manage your sugars. Whether you eat them as a snack or use them as smoothie ingredients or granola toppings, they’re a healthy, yet satisfyingly sweet bite. Other great snacks to try include sprouted nut and seed mixes, kale chips or hummus. These nutritious options will help satisfy your snacking urges and also taste great piled on top a bed of fresh greens.
Smart snacking and eating the rainbow with a focus on greens will assist in purification and detoxification of your body from the winter and give you the nutrients you need to take on these busy warm weather months. Happy Snacking! Happy Spring!
– Dr. Todd