We all strive to lead healthier lives, but let’s face it—some days we’re active and drinking green smoothies, and other days we end up face down after falling off the wagon. The latest edition of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends a diet that includes various food groups. However, a busy schedule and a tight budget can make it difficult to pursue more nutritional eating habits.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy diet, though. By incorporating superfoods into your everyday recipes, you and your family can enjoy delicious meals that are brimming with goodness—all without breaking the bank.
So where do you start and how do you pick the right kind of superfoods for your recipes? Check out the following tips to find out.
Know Your Superfoods
Before you can start adding superfoods to your meals, it’s vital to know what they actually are. While there’s no definitive list out there, some of the best kinds include the following:
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and Swiss chard are loaded with nutrients like iron, magnesium, calcium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc. Plus, they contain anti-inflammatory compounds. These superfoods make excellent salad ingredients, but you can also use them for stews, soups and smoothies.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are generally packed with protein, rich in fiber and contain monounsaturated fats (the good kind). They’re also known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some popular nuts include pecans, almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and walnuts. Chia seeds, flaxseed, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds are also crowd favorites.
You can sneak some of these superfoods into salad dishes, sprinkle them over cereal, or add them to smoothies. However, a post from Bill Lentis points out that it’s crucial to have a durable blender. It should process hard ingredients like nuts and seeds effortlessly, otherwise, you’ll end up with a lumpy smoothie.
Berries are another superfood full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They’re incredibly versatile and can be added to desserts, iced beverages, cereals, and snacks.
Some common types include mulberries, blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries. However, acai, goji, elderberry and camu are often available in powder form and used as a nutrient-packed addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes.
Speaking of powders, you can find an amazing variety of plant-based options, from matcha and cacao to maca and wheatgrass. There are also super blends, consisting of superfood greens, antioxidant-rich berries, adaptogenic mushrooms, and other powerful ingredients. Plant-based powders make excellent additions to smoothies, oatmeal and batters. You can even add them to hot beverages like lattes or hearty recipes like chili.
We all have that one item we can’t stand to see on our plates. However, if you’re moving towards a healthier diet, being open-minded can help you overcome your “food biases.” Instead of having a superfood you dislike the normal way, try being creative and using it in an unorthodox fashion. For instance, toss some finely shredded broccoli into a salad instead of eating it cooked.
Start Small and Make Substitutions
Picking the perfect superfoods for your meals doesn’t mean you have to perform a pantry overhaul overnight. If you start small, you’ll make more sustainable decisions and promote long-term habits. Switch out that regular coffee for a healthy latte or use whole grains instead of refined ones.
Picking the perfect power products for your recipes doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive. Once you know your superfoods, you can start small and make substitutions. Before you know it, you’ll enjoy healthier meals and all the benefits!
Looking for even more ways to use superfoods in your everyday recipes? Head to the Navitas Organics Recipe Library for super-powered inspiration!