I’m sure you’ve heard the term superfood before. Maybe it refers to foods with magical powers like those of a superhero. That would be cool, but no. They won’t turn you into superman or wonder woman. However, incorporating many varieties of superfoods in your diet will have positive effects on your health. There is no exact scientific definition for superfoods. But in nutrition, they are known as foods containing high levels of needed vitamins and minerals for the body, as well as antioxidants that will help fight debilitating diseases and cell damage.
With the standard American diet (SAD), our diets are full of empty foods. They have little to no nutritional value. Since our bodies can only hold so much food, every bite we put in our mouths should be as nutrient dense as possible.
Every thing we eat should be intentional and with purpose.
Since the beginning of time, humans have eaten for the purpose of survival. That need of nutrition seems to have gone out the window in today’s society. We eat whatever we want whenever we want it. We focus on food when we are celebrating. We want to snack when we watch movies or TV. We meet with friends and the first thought is where or what will we eat? We eat for pleasure and what will tantalize our taste buds. Have you ever had a bad day, drove through and got an ice cream treat because “I’m worth it”? Let’s think about that one. What are you worth? A lot more than that ice cream I can assure you. You are worth spending a little more time and effort into eating nutritious foods.
How much of our thoughts are geared towards foods and snacks and drinks? Marketing has played a big role in this. What do we see at the checkouts of the grocery or convenience stores? From television commercials to huge billboards for fast-food restaurants, we are bombarded everywhere we go. We have succumbed and our health has suffered for it.
The mentality of nutrition must change if we expect our health to improve. We must get back to eating to live… not living to eat. Research has proven our foods are not as nutrient dense as they were at one time. With industrial farming, over cropping of fields, and the wide use of chemicals and pesticides, our soils have become depleted of vitamins and minerals. When the quality of our soil goes down, so does the quality of our foods. So we can’t settle on eating what our grandparents ate. It simply isn’t as nutritious. We can survive on our current diets to a point. But quality, as well as quantity of life is important to me. I might even live to the age of 75, but if I become riddled with disease and pain, what quality of life do I have? We can do better.
And what about our children? When I was a child, I didn’t hear much talk of cancer. Now many of us are dealing with this dreaded disease in our families and, unfortunately, even in our babies and children. Almost every day, I hear of someone else with cancer. Diabetes, heart disease, thyroid disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia… almost everyone I know is suffering from a chronic disease. It’s time to take a stand. This is not the world in which we want our children and grandchildren growing. Obesity is at an all-time high. According to the CDC, 1 in 6 children and adolescents are obese. This is a sad statistic. We need to think about our children’s future. They may love the happy meals with nuggets and sticks of mystery. But our children are in desperate need of nutrients, which are lacking in meals like this.
When you are at the grocery, look at the items in your cart before you pay. Do you have items that will improve your family’s health? The majority of your cart should be organic vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, celery, avocados, kale, spinach, peppers, apples, berries, and lemons. Make sure you have good quality meats, like free-range chicken and grass-fed beef. We should be eating fish at least twice a week, so be sure to include some wild-caught fish, like salmon and sardines. Don’t forget some raw nuts and seeds to snack on. What about oils? Some extra virgin coconut oil is wonderful to cook with, to apply to skin, for hair, etc. Other healthy oils would include organic butter from grass-fed cows, as well as extra virgin olive oil, which is great on salads. Think about your gut. Do you have foods to help with good gut bacteria? We have to feed them too! How about some onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, as well as some kefir and sauerkraut? Mmm. This is not a complete list, but if your cart is full of items like this, then you’re good to go! Make sure some inflammatory foods didn’t find there way in your cart. They have a way of doing that. Things like sodas, processed meats, breads, and sweets should not be in there. How did they get there?
If your house is packed with good, nutritious foods, you won’t be tempted with junk food. Some of these foods take some preparation, but the time you invest is so worth it for you and your family. Don’t forget… every bite counts!