Most of us are always looking for ways to be smarter about our food choices, improve our diets and to lead healthier lives. And while the latest diet trends and programs come and go, there are some foods that are always going to be in-style when it comes to nourishing our bodies. These foods are called superfoods.
Merriam-Webster defines superfoods as a “food that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health.” While you may be able to guess some of the usual suspects, some foods that make the superfood list may be surprising – they aren’t all veggies!
Here are 5 superfoods to include in your diet for maximum nutritional value.
Salmon – is an excellent source of high quality protein, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium, and vitamin B12). But salmon is known for its Omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Garlic – it’s not only delicious but garlic is high in vitamins C, B1 and B6, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. Some studies have shown garlic to lower blood pressure and total cholesterol.
Blueberries – these delicious delights are a good source of vitamin K. They also contain vitamin C, fiber, manganese and other antioxidants.
Eggs (and Egg Yolks) – sometimes referred to as “nature’s multivitamin” egg yolks are loaded with calcium, iron, phosperous, zinc, vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12. Eggs are a great source of high quality protein and healthy fats.
Dark Chocolate – you treat yourself to a range of antioxidants when you treat yourself to dark chocolate. Additionally, dark chocolate is loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
Make mealtimes about more than just healthy food
Making time to sit down as a family to eat recepti a home-cooked meal not only sets a great example for kids about the importance of healthy food, it can bring a family together—even moody teenagers love to eat tasty, home-cooked meals!
Regular family meals provide comfort. Knowing the whole family will sit down to eat dinner (or breakfast) together at approximately the same time every day can be very comforting for kids and enhance appetite.
Family meals offer opportunity to catch up on your kids’ daily lives. Gathering the family around a table for a meal is an ideal opportunity to talk and listen to your kids without the distraction of TV, phones, or computers.
Social interaction is vital for your child. The simple act of talking to a parent over the dinner table about how they feel can play a big role in relieving stress and boosting your child’s mood and self-esteem. And it gives you chance to identify problems in your child’s life and deal with them early.
Mealtimes enable you to “teach by example.” Eating together lets your kids see you eating healthy food while keeping your portions in check and limiting junk food. Refrain from obsessive calorie counting or commenting on your own weight, though, so that your kids don’t adopt negative associations with food.
Mealtimes let you monitor your kids’ eating habits. This can be important for older kids and teens who spend a lot of time eating at school or friends’ houses. If your teen’s choices are less than ideal, the best way to make changes is to emphasize short-term consequences of a poor diet, such as physical appearance or athletic ability. These are more important to teens than long-term health. For example, “Calcium will help you grow taller,” or, “Iron will help you do better on tests.”