Superfood fads come and go (and I lovingly partake in them, because quite frankly, they’re fun–and come on, who doesn’t want an acai bowl) but often we overlook just how powerful more commonplace foods can be. It’s time to pull those babies out from under the rug, dust ’em off, and enjoy because there are LOADS upon loads of essential nutrition we skip over in some not-so-flashy foods. Here are five of my top favorite foods I like to incorporate into my diet to really amp up my nutrition density–and feel reeealll good in return.
1. Raw Egg Yolks
I love raw eggs. If you’ve taken a look at my smoothie recipes, you’ve probably seen one as an optional ingredient. Not only are they delicious in that they make smoothies and drinks super rich and creamy, but similar to cooked eggs, they are a nutrient POWERHOUSE. The humble egg has much to offer, my friends. High contents of vitamins A, D, E, K, B6 + B12, plus they’re an amazing source for Omega-3, which is crucial as Omega-3s are an anti-inflammatory fat (whereas too much Omega-6 can be inflammatory). Eating the yolk raw keeps the the enzymes in tact which in turn helps us to better assimilate the nutrients, and when cooked, some of those enzymes are destroyed. Basically, a raw egg yolk is a huge step up nutrient-wise. Read more from someone who I got this information from/who knows more than me here.
Quality is key with raw egg yolks though, since I know you’re wondering about salmonella. I buy pasture-raised local eggs (the highest quality) at my co-op, but at the very least I buy organic, cage-free eggs. As the quality goes up, the risk for salmonella shrinks to almost nothing. You can also wash the outside of the shells before cracking them open to ensure nothing on the egg shell carrying salmonella will get into your egg and into your body. I don’t think twice about it, but the decision is all yours.
They’re not that scary AND they’re what I consider to be one of the healthiest foods ya can eat. Sardines are jam-packed with calcium (for strong bones), Vitamin D (to make everything work better), Omega-3s (for healthy glowing skin and anti-inflammation), selenium (an essential mineral full of antioxidants!), and more good stuff. If any food is a superfood, it’s sardines. I like to put them in salads, cover ’em in pesto or guacamole or fry ’em up in a skillet.
Watch this video Liz Wolfe–health extraordinaire, author and NTP–made about why sardines are the best.
3. Fermented (Probiotic) Foods
Our gut is our best friend and worst enemy, depending on how we treat it. That sounds dramatic, but dude…I’m a brand new me now that my gut is healthier. I’m planning on doing a post soon about healing my gut and all the incredible good that came from it, but know for now that fermented foods played a huge role in my gut healing journey. Eating fermented, probiotic-rich foods like raw sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, and kefir among others populates the gut with good bacteria that keep the gut biome flourishing. That means healthy digestion, an improved immune system, and many studies also show a direct link between gut health and mental health (which I have experienced to be true to a shocking degree). Remember that when buying things like sauerkraut at the store, you’re looking for it to be in the refrigerated section and to use the word “raw”–that means it was actually fermented and the bacteria is alive and well, as opposed to unfermented sauerkraut which is really just cabbage in vinegar.
4. Prebiotic Foods
Now in order to keep all that good bacteria in your gut, you have to feed it! Prebiotic foods feed the good bacteria and keep ’em around–the pair of probiotic and prebiotic substances equals the most effective way to keep your gut happy. In this awesome article by Dr. Axe, he describes it as such:
“By definition, prebiotics are a type of non-digestible fiber compound. Just like other high-fiber foods, prebiotic compounds — including the kind found in foods like garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, dandelion greens and onions — pass through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and remain undigested, since the human body can’t fully break them down. Once they pass through the small intestine, they reach the colon, where they’re fermented by the gut microflora.”
Bananas, pure maple syrup, and asparagus are also good sources of prebiotic fiber.
Not only is coconut delicious and versatile (in that it comes in so many forms: coconut cream, coconut butter, coconut flakes, coconut oil!) but it’s also arguably one of the best sources of fat-for-fuel. Coconut contains MCTs–or medium-chain triglycerides–which are a type of fat your body uses for fuel, rather than storing for later use. Dr. Axe has another fantastic article on this which you can find here. Coconut oil is prime to cook with because it has a high smoking point, which means it won’t oxidize and cause an inflammatory response in the body (which is why cooking with olive oil, which has a lower smoking point, is not recommended); coconut milk/cream is the perfect replacement for a lot of dairy products like heavy cream and milk; and coconut flakes taste reeeeaaall good on top of a smoothie bowl. We all know by now that fat is good for you, and you can’t get much better than the type of fat coconut gives ya, so eat up!
Alright my friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Any other foods I should be eating more of? Sound off below and I’ll talk to you soon.