As we enter the holiday season, some of us may feel a bit more run down than usual. The outside temperature drops, we have many social commitments, presents to buy, family to invite, close work projects… life is busy these days and maybe a bit stressful!
If you feel stressed or run down, there are some small tweaks you can do to upgrade your diet and protect your health. In another post we covered my 10 Tips To Stay Healthy During The Holiday Season, and today we will talk about one of my favorite subjects, Superfoods.
What are Superfoods? They are foods — mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy — thought to be nutritionally dense and thus good for one’s health. Superfoods have extra-large doses of vitamins and minerals; therefore, even at small portions, they can help us ward off diseases and live a longer, healthier life. Some of the nutrients that certain Superfoods contain include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber and phytochemicals.
Whenever possible, add these 10 Superfoods to your diet.
- Kale. It contains lots of iron, vitamins A, C and K, fiber, antioxidants and is a great detoxifier. In the winter, stir-fry it with some sundried tomatoes and walnuts or add it to your smoothies.
- Spinach. Spinach contains lots of vitamin A, C and K, is loaded with antioxidants and is a good source of protein. In the winter, steam, boil or blend it raw in your smoothie.
- Broccoli. This vegetable helps to detoxify the body and has one of the highest vitamin C concentrations in veggies. I recommend it steamed.
- Red Beets. They help cleanse the liver and are a unique source of betalains, which is a phytonutrient that can combat tumors. Juice them or roast them with sweet potatoes and herbs.
- Pomegranates. They contain hundreds of edible seeds called arils, which are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and bioactive plant compounds. Pomegranates pack Punicalagins, which are extremely potent antioxidants: so powerful that pomegranate juice has been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea. Add them to salads, stir-fry dishes or eat them as a snack.
- Turmeric. This magic spice is known for its amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It’s my favorite spice to make hot seasonal drinks like Golden Milk (see post Super Drink For The Holidays).
- Ginger. It helps warm up the body; eases stomach aches, eliminates gas and soothes the intestinal tract. Use it in your smoothies, in your stir-fry dishes or in soups.
- Raw Cacao. It’s one of the highest antioxidant-rich foods around… and so yummy! Add it to your smoothies or make raw cacao desserts with it.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon reduces the risk of cancer, cholesterol and also helps to regulate blood-sugar levels. During the Holidays, it’s a great spice to add to your hot drinks, smoothies and desserts.
- Hemp Seeds. They contain lots of fiber, protein and Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as essential amino acids. Add them to your smoothies, or sprinkle on top of your cakes or salads.
Besides including these Superfoods in your meals, try to drink lots of water, take some time to breathe deeply and step on your yoga mat regularly, even if it’s for a short time (for inspiration, read my post “A Short Yoga Sequence For The Holiday Season”).