It’s a well-established myth that healthy food tastes bad, and it takes root in childhood. Despite heroic efforts from parents, kids will choose that bag of Doritos over a nice bowl of broccoli florets nine times out of ten. But healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad – and with the right recipes, even the most stubborn child will learn that nutritious food can be as delicious as junky snacks.
In this post, I’ll be focusing on a number of superfoods that boost nutrition for adults and children alike. Health.com defines the term as a catchall for “nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals.” According to the post, those who incorporate superfoods into their diets have the potential to decrease their risk for chronic illness, live longer, and better their overall health – so try one of the recipes below to kickstart a healthy diet!
Acai berries are chock-full of antioxidants such as anthocyanin, which has been proven to prevent disease, lessen the risk of obesity, and improve cognitive function. Acai is flavorful and especially delicious as a juice.
Recipe Spotlight: Acai Smoothie Bowl
Don’t be fooled by their humble appearance: these seeds pack a nutritional punch. Chia is brimming with useful fatty acids and needed minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. It’s also a useful substitution ingredient for those looking to go vegan or cut down on fats in baked goods.
Recipe Spotlight: Chocolate Chia Mousse
This particular leafy green has become a trend lately – and for good reason! It’s a low-calorie, vitamin-loaded vegetable brimming with antioxidants. Kale is particularly high in Vitamin K, which lowers the risk of many types of cancer and may even aid the cognitive function of those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Recipe Spotlight: Roasted Garlic Kale Hummus
Who knew that chocolate could be healthy? Cacao is distinct from its more well-known sibling, cocoa, in that it isn’t subject to chemical processing. In regular cocoa powder, this procedure causes 60% – 90% of the original antioxidants to be lost! But by using cacao powder, health-conscious cooks can retain both the nutritional value and delicious taste of chocolate.
Recipe Spotlight: Superfood Hot Chocolate
It’s salty, slippery, and…delicious? Those familiar with sushi and sashimi know that when prepared correctly, seaweed can be a delightful addition to a meal. This superfood is particularly wonderful for its iodine content. Iodine is a relatively rare find in food, but is vital for maintaining a healthy thyroid – which in turn regulates hormonal production.
Swap out your wheat wrap for seaweed!
Recipe Spotlight: Nori Tuna Wrap
Like kale, quinoa has seen an uptick in popularity over the past few years – and certainly deserves it! According to Julie Wilcox at mindbodygreen, quinoa is a protein-rich grain that contains every amino acid and has a high fiber content. As such, it’s an excellent staple for those who have or are at risk of developing high cholesterol.
Try it as a side or a deliciously healthy afternoon snack!
Recipe Spotlight: Avocado BLT Quinoa Salad
These wonderful seeds are a great source of healthy fats and proteins – in fact, they have the same pound-for-pound protein content as meats such as beef or lamb! Studies have also shown that eating hemp seeds can help lessen the risk of heart disease and reduce symptoms of those suffering from skin conditions such as eczema.
Try them as an appetizer!
Recipe Spotlight: Hemp Tabbouleh
Even as a cupboard staple, oats have a surprising number of benefits! According to Joseph Nordqvist at MedicalNewsToday, this fiber-filled food has the potential to limit the risk of coronary artery disease, lessen cholesterol levels, and to even minimize the risk for colorectal cancer.
Eat them as breakfast or dessert – or both!
Recipe Spotlight: No-Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be an unpleasant process – so try a few superfoods. Your doctor will thank you for it, and you’ll probably feel a lot better yourself!