The Best Superfoods To Boost Your Energy
For those of us living in Canada, winter is upon us. You might be dreading it this year more than most, after months of already being totally out of your regular routine. This winter season it’s important to maintain a state of good health by actively improving your mood and boosting your energy levels to help keep you on track. Here’s what you need to know about the best superfoods to boost your energy:
What is a superfood?
By now you’ve probably heard this word a thousand times, but do you really know what a superfood is? A superfood is basically a fancy term for a food that is nutritionally dense, packed full of nutrients and very beneficial for your health.
We are bringing back some classics, while adding in a couple foods that might be new to you.
First on the list is miso. Miso is a traditional Japanese condiment consisting of a thick paste made from fermented soybeans. It’s the fermentation process that breaks down food molecules so they are more readily digestible, making it much easier for your body to absorb the nutrients.
Miso is a powerful protein booster, helps with digestion, and contains vitamin B12. If you’re low in B12 you may experience fatigue, depression, brain fog and a general lack of energy. Miso is a great way to add this important energy-boosting nutrient into your diet.
The best part about miso is that you can easily add it to meals you already make such as salad dressings, soups and stews. You can also add a spoonful to a cup of hot water for a nourishing and comforting drink on a cold winter’s day. Miso is stored in the fridge and lasts a long time. Give it a try!
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that can be taken as a dietary supplement and most commonly comes in tablet or powder form. It has a very high protein and nutrient content, making it one of the famed superfoods and a known endurance-booster. Spirulina is a great source of protein, vitamin B1, calcium and a highly absorbable form of iron that is gentle on the digestive system.
You’ve probably heard of spirulina before, but have you tried it? One of the easiest ways to incorporate spirulina into your diet is by adding a heaping teaspoon of spirulina powder to your post-workout smoothie. Blend it with oat milk, a frozen banana, and a scoop of nut butter, mmm. You can also add a dash of cinnamon and ground ginger for extra warmth on those frosty mornings.
Don’t let the smell turn you off, this dense green superfood packs an energy punch you’ll want this winter.
Flaxseed is the small, shiny seed of the flax plant, most commonly brown or golden in colour. Flaxseeds are the most concentrated plant source of omega-3 fatty acid providing heart-healthy nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties.
It’s best to buy flaxseeds whole to ensure freshness. Store the seeds in the fridge up to 3 months, or extend their shelf life by storing in the freezer up to 6 months. To get the full benefits of flaxseed they should be ground as you need them. Grinding the seed, in a coffee grinder for example, allows for maximum digestion and absorption of their nutrients. They smell the best right after they are freshly ground, giving off a rich nutty aroma. Ground flaxseed is a great source of fiber so make sure to drink extra water when consuming, to keep things moving in your digestive tract.
A delicious way to warm up on a cold day is to add a couple spoonfuls of ground flaxseed to a cup of applesauce, topped with cinnamon, or add to oatmeal. Flaxseeds are an easy staple to add to your pantry items, pick it up at your local bulk store and they will last until spring!
4. DARK LEAFY GREENS
A food doesn’t have to be grown in the far edges of the planet for it to be deemed a superfood. Something you can grow in your own backyard can be just as nutritionally sound. That’s where dark leafy greens come in. We’re talking leafy greens like kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, and beet greens.
Swiss chard, for example, is highly concentrated in phytonutrients, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and provides powerful antioxidant protection.
Add chopped greens into soups and stews, saute with olive oil and garlic, or mix it up and use a variety of greens in salads instead of your usual lettuce.
Have you ever bought a bunch of kale, only to have it go limp in the fridge after a few days? To keep your greens crisp and fresh, chop them and then wash and spin using a salad spinner. Store the greens in the spinner, in the fridge keeping the drained water in the bottom. Voilà – fresh greens for a week or two!
If you want to keep your energy boosted this winter, you’ve got to stay healthy, and have an immune system that is equipped to ward off harmful microbes. That is where our old friend garlic comes in.
Garlic contains unique sulfur compounds that contribute to its health benefits. One of these compounds is allicin, which acts as a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent. It is also the reason for garlic’s pungent smell so the stronger the better! The allicin is released when you cut into the garlic, so allow the chopped goodness to sit for 5-10 minutes before adding it to your cooking.
Garlic is a sure way to add flavour to many of the dishes you already make, such as spaghetti sauce, homemade hummus, salad dressing and mashed potatoes.
There you have it, a few items to add to your regular recipes this winter. Instead of worrying about what to eliminate from your diet as part of a New Year’s resolution, practice introducing these superfoods, and they’ll eventually crowd out the foods that don’t have you feeling as strong and energized. Keep it simple and enjoy!
To find these supplements or for more health, fitness, and wellness advice to help boost your energy this winter visit us in store and have a chat with one of our experts. We can also be reached on Facebook and Instagram. If you try any of the superfoods mentioned above, be sure to tag us! We are #ReflexNation.