7 real superfoods I eat everyday. And so should you.
I spend a fair amount of time on social media these days, and I confess I’m developing a wee pet peeve: those “top superfoods” pictograms that show a bunch of different fruits and vegetables that you should eat on a daily basis.
Now, I don’t have anything against fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. They are all great foods and I eat all of them many times daily. What gets my goat is that these food lists very rarely contain any of what I’d consider to be the true superfoods: things like bone broth, fermented foods, and cod liver oil.
So, rather than just grumble about it every time I come across what I believe to be an incomplete list, here’s MY list of the 7 real food superfoods I try to eat everyday. Now, this list is in no way saying that this is all you should eat. Far from it. But these are the things that I make extra effort to get in at some point, for reasons I’ll explain below:
1) Bone broth.
This is basically my multi-mineral. Homemade bone broth is a nutrient-dense powerhouse. It is absolutely packed full of nutrients that many of us are deficient in, and it’s a way better choice than a supplement because it’s so bio-available – your body has to do very little to absorb the nutrients in this form. I’ve written a lot about bone broth and provide a recipe here. I drink it as tea every morning, I use it as a base for soups, stews, and sauces, I cook with it, and I often use it to reheat foods.
Now, a good bone broth will also be a great source of gelatin, but this superfood is so awesome I’ve started adding it in other places as well. Gelatin is made from the cartilage of animals, and thus is an excellent source of collagen and the important amino acids glycine and proline, which most people don’t get enough of in their regular diet. Want a good supplement for your hair, skin and nails? Try adding gelatin to your daily diet. I add a tablespoon or so to my morning green juice, or use it to make healthier treats like these gummies, or even homemade marshmallows like this. But not all gelatin is created equally! This is the only gelatin I use and recommend.
3) Fermented foods.
Forget the digestive enzymes and probiotics, pass me the cultured veggies and kombucha! Probiotic-rich fermented foods have a hugely important role in aiding digestion, supplementing beneficial bacteria, and boosting our immunity. Luckily, these foods have been making a comeback and so are easier to find than ever. Try raw lacto-fermented sauerkraut (or easily make your own), water kefir, kombucha, or even lacto-fermented pickles. We try to have something fermented with every meal.
4) Green juice.
It’s nearly impossible to get all the nutrients you need from diet alone, even if you eat your veggies (which I believe you should do at every single meal, even breakfast). Soil erosion is diminishing the nutrient density of much of the food we do eat. One solution is to juice and get the nutrients from more veggies than you could possibly eat in one sitting. The only kind of juice I recommend is a green juice, and I’ve got a great formula for a yummy-tasting one here.
5) Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
I can see your nose scrunching up in disgust now… but bear with me before you completely write off this superfood. You hear tales of grandparents giving their kids cod liver oil, and with good reason: it’s an excellent source of the brain-building essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, as well as vitamin A. It’s one of the few food sources of vitamin D. The fermentation process enhances the content of both vitamins A & D. Does it taste gnarly? Yeah. But that’s okay. Sometimes you’ve just gotta suck it up in the name of good health – or they sell it in capsule form as well if you just can’t take it straight. This is one supplement where quality is absolutely paramount. The ONLY brand I recommend is Green Pastures, which you can buy here.
6) Coconut oil.
This medium-chain triglyceride is one of my favorite fats: it’s an excellent source of lauric acid, the fatty acid that gives coconut oil its powerfully anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoa properties. Unlike many other fats, it doesn’t require a lot of effort by your body to break it down. Rather, it is sent directly to your liver for processing, where it is converted immediately into energy and rarely stored as fat. We use it for cooking anything at high temperatures, baking, and we’ll even just take a spoonful of coconut butter right out of the jar to eat as a snack or for a pick-me up. It’s some good stuff.
The anti-inflammatory super-root, turmeric is becoming quite the rockstar of superfoods. And for good reason. It’s wonderful for your liver, is extremely anti-inflammatory, fights cancer, and purifies the blood. I wrote about the different ways you can get more turmeric into your diet here, but my favorite two currently are golden milk (find recipe here) and by adding liquid turmeric to my chai tea in the afternoons. Yum!
If you could write a list of superfoods, what would they be?
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