My Superfoods

It seems like there are 20,000 different lists of “The top 10 superfoods for your diet” out there, and no 2 are alike. What is a superfood anyway? In my mind, a superfood is something that keeps you happy and healthy. Most importantly, a superfood needs to be something you eat! It’s no use in my mind hearing of the amazing properties behind a certain food if I can’t or refuse to eat it. Here are my everyday superfoods, the foods I eat that keep me happy, healthy, and sane.

1. Whole Grains

What? A whole grain is any grain that has the bran and germ attached to the endosperm. A lot of times, the whole grain gets recognition only for a slight boost in fiber and protein. The truth is that we don’t know exactly why the whole grain is better, but evidence suggests that there’s something extra about having all 3 parts of the grain in you that work together better for your heart in mysterious ways.

Where? Oatmeal, whole wheat flour, brown rice, whole wheat bread, etc.

When? Whenever! In my mind, there’s no reason to use a refined flour in place of a whole grain one. A cookie will come out just as delicious either way if the care and attention is there for it.

2. Probiotics

What? Probiotics are the strands of bacteria added to foods like yogurt and kefir. A regular intake of these helps replenish the natural cultures of bacteria that live in our digestive tracks and break down the food we eat.

Why? Probiotics help us digest foods we eat and fortify our stomachs. They’ve been proven to help prevent and recover from illnesses such as the common cold.

Where? Any sort of yogurt(cow, soy, goat, etc.), kefir, frozen yogurt, and any fortified chocolates(Xocai.com) and granola bars(popcultureprobiotics.com).

3. Wild Salmon

What? Wild salmon is any form of the fish caught at sea, usually the Atlantic. In comparison to its farm raised counterpart, it’s leaner, packed with protein, and has a lower mercury threat. Salmon in general are a great source of Omega-3’s, needed to counterbalance the Omega-6’s in our diet towards a healthier ratio(2:1 omega-6: omega-3). While the farm raised salmon’s have more omega-3’s, it’s because they’re fattier fish in general who were overfed and lived an inactive life. These also carry a high threat of mercury.

Where? Wild salmon can be bought at any fish counter or in the frozen fish section.

When? While wild salmon can be got any time, it’s best to look for it on sale at any of your local grocery chains.

4. Organic Or Local Meat

What? Any meat that is raised under USDA organic certification.

Why? The treatment of animals for human consumption has become appalling in this country. Did we eat meat 100 years ago? Yes, but the meat was very different. Since then, the power has been taken out of the local farmers’ hands and put into big companies, who force feed their animals unnatural diets and genetically engineer them for better meat yield. By purchasing organic or local meat, you’re taking a stand against that injustice. But it’s not only better in that respect; it’s better for you. Grass-fed beef has a much better omega-3 content in the fat than its grain-fed counterpart.

Where? Organic meat can be found in the meat section of your local grocery chains. Local meat can be found at farmers’ markets and eatwild.com

How much? I recognize organic meat can cost a good deal more. However, I still suggest it as someone who leads a highly vegetarian diet otherwise. I also strongly believe in bidding with your groceries, so that supporting local farmers today will help ease the cost in future generations.

5. Nut Butters

What? The paste that is produced after fine grinding of any sort of nut(or legume, in the peanut’s case).

Why? Nut butters are some of the healthiest and tastiest fats in my opinion. It’s no secret we need fat in our diets. And nuts have heart-healthy ones, along with moderate amounts of protein and fiber. I think nut butters are generally more tasty and convenient than nuts.

How? On toast, on oatmeal, in yogurt, in cookie and brownie recipes, in Asian cuisine, and even straight out of the jar occasionally.

Where? Besides any and every grocery store, I highly suggest these retailers: NuttZo.com, Naturallynutty.com, Ilovepeanutbutter.com, justinsnutbutter.com.

6. Dark Chocolate

What? Dark chocolate is any form of cocoa liquor and sugar added to cacao without the addition of a milk byproduct. For this reason, dark chocolate is often vegan, and depending on the cocoa percent low sugar.

Why? I said a superfood keeps you happy or healthy; I didn’t say it needed to be both 😉 Chocolate in general is a food I could not live without, and I truly believe a good amount a day is necessary to keep me sane. Dark chocolate has a higher cocoa content and so has more of the antioxidants in chocolate that fight free radicals in our body.

Which? There are plenty of dark chocolate brands and types out there. For my taste buds, a good 70% cacao content never fails. Look for ones without artificial additives or hydrogenated fats; like most things, the simpler the ingredients the better. And you can really taste the difference between a quality and a cheap chocolate bar. My favorite dark chocolate would be Nibmor’s chocolate, which is raw, and for milk I enjoy Newmans Own Organic’s mocha milk chocolate.

7. Goji Gourmet Cookies

What? Goji Gourmet is a small company out of Brooklyn, New York that makes cookies in 5 different flavors with goji berries and other “superfoods”.

Why? It seems as though every superfood list has gojis on it. And for good reason. The dried berries are some of the most micro-nutrient dense foods out there, not to mention they keep well and are delicious. However, the berries themselves grow in the Himalayan Mountains; even if you get your hands on them, you’d still have to do something with them to make them interesting. Rather than suggest the cookies themselves, I’m choosing to highlight the best and only way thus far I’ve worked them into my diet.

Where? You can find the cookies on the shelves of small cafes throught New York City and Des Moines, Iowa, or order online at gojigourmet.com.

8. Vegetables

What? Vegetables come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and species. The things they all have in common is an abundance of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Why? Those vitamins and minerals don’t do you any good if they don’t get into your body! Seriously, vegetables are  the foundation of any good diet for health and happiness. The fiber will keep your heart and digestion healthy. Any fats are non-saturated and good for joints and brain development. And vegetables are almost universally low on sugar content.

Where? At the store, at the farmers’ market, and potentially in your back yard. Planting your own garden is a great way to take control of what you eat.

How much? 8-10 servings a day is the recommendation.

9. Stevia

What? The stevia plant is a small, green bushy plant whose leaf extract is incredibly sweet, about 300 times that of sugar. Some parts of the plant are also known to be quite bitter. You can also buy your own stevia plant to keep in your home or dorm. They’re an annual.

Why? I have a really big sweet tooth. I do not mind natural sugars in moderation; some of my favorite are turbinado, maple syrup, and agave nectar. That being said, they are nutritionally void and too much at once will spike your blood sugar and so should be avoided. Stevia needs only to be used in such small amounts that it will have no effect on your blood sugar and so is a healthier alternative for everyday.

Which? My favorite brand so far has been NuNaturals. I don’t detect any bitterness in their stevia, and it tastes the closest to the source(I’ve owned and nibbled on my own plant).

How? I add stevia to my coffee, tea, and yogurt primarily. Occasionally, I might add some to my oatmeal or sauces. You can use stevia in any place you might use sugar

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14 Responses to “My Superfoods”

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Love this!!!! Awesome job Evan! This is a great list and explanation of your superfoods!

i think you forgot to add mcdonalds to the list…
im like 90% sure it is a super food, right?

great page! i love reading why and what motivates people to eat the way they do

wheres #10? what about water… could that be a superfood?

Hi, Great article. I found this through a tweet about Justin’s Nutt Butter — darn good stuff. I love your list of suuperfoods, and I was wondering if you have ever tried a probiotic fruit drink called GoodBelly (another great Boulder CO company). I will not go a day without having my GoodBelly in shot form, which includes a multi-vitamin. Check it out if you haven’t already done so… http://www.goodbelly.com

Where did you get a stevia plant? I want one just to try what REAL stevia tastes like, pure and raw.

This is a great list!

Someone happened to be selling it at my local farmers’ market so I picked it up on a whim

This page makes me crave a cookie BAD.

Superfood #10= Fruit… This will cover your love for red apples, AVOCADOS, and COCONUT! And the occasional naner oats!

Just discovered this page Evan and it’s awesome!!!! My superfoods are pretty similar. I also believe in local/organic meats and try to get them from the farmer’s market as often as possible! And chocolate is so totally necessary. Yum.

Hey Evan, I found your blog through Healthy Living with Kelly. Love it! My Superfoods are exactly the same witht the exception of the goji gourmet cookies and addition of flax seed meal. I’m going to look into ordering some of those cookies, too.

I admit to having a bag of flaxseed meal in my fridge and using it far too little 🙂 Have you tried hemp seeds? These are the ones I keep and they’re *fantastic*. Very similar to flax, too, except with a more mellow flavor and a complete protein: http://foodmakesfunfuel.com/product-reviews/nut-butters-and-nuts/bobs-red-mill-nuts/hulled-hemp-seed/

I’ve never tried hemseeds but will definitely look into them. I add flax seeds to both my yogurt and cottage cheese (usually a couple of T a day) for a little nutty goodness.

Thanks for the list! I love all of those things and I’m glad to hear they are “superfoods”! 🙂 Especially the dark chocolate….. 😉


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