As the year comes to a close, and we’ve had our fill of decadent (but delicious!) holiday meals, we naturally start to think about the new year as an opportunity to start fresh and start making better choices for our health.
Improving your diet doesn’t necessarily mean you only need to eat less. Instead, focus on eating more of “the good stuff.” When it comes to good foods, there are few better choices than those considered superfoods. They are packed with nutrients and components that boost your health when eaten regularly.
There are also lots of ways to make healthy eating easier. Look for plenty of options in the Calgary Co-op Natural Choice section where you’ll find healthy on-the-go options like Brain Bars, Good to Go bars, Keto baking mixes from hOMe Grown Living Foods, and Alberta Naturals timesaving baking mixes.
Secure a good start to the new year and make a habit of eating these superfoods that you’ll be able to find in your local Calgary Co-op store.
10 Superfoods for a Fresh Start to the New Year
Berries, including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries are packed with tons of bioactive compounds with antioxidants. Bioactive compounds with antioxidant capacity help to fight free radicals, which are components that can cause cell damage and, potentially, increase your risk of cancer. Studies show that berries actually reduce your risk of cancer, and fight cell aging.
Honey has benefits as a food and as a home remedy due to its powerful health properties. Honey is said to inhibit bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, help heal wounds, and protect you from some illnesses. Additionally, research shows that eating natural honey can potentially help to decrease your risk of heart disease and even osteoporosis. For a tasty and locally sourced option, look for Drizzle Honey in your local Co-op.
- Leafy Greens
Leafy greens include spinach, kale, arugula, lettuce, broccoli, and other edible green leaves. Leafy greens contain dietary fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and other protective properties. In general, the darker the color green it is, the more superfood agents it contains, even if they are canned or frozen. There’s always a fresh selection of greens in our the produce department, or stock the freezer with healthy greens for those last minute dinner sides.
- Green Tea
Green tea is a long-established superfood that traces back thousands of years ago. The most valuable health compounds in green tea are catechins. Catechins have antioxidant properties. Components in green tea are also said to be beneficial for helping to reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, fight bacteria, and see improvements in cholesterol and triglycerides.
Kefir is a fermented drink made from cow’s or goat’s milk. Found in the Dairy, it’s packed with nutrients, and it contains probiotics that are beneficial for gut health. It also has powerful antibacterial properties due to the presence of kefiran, a type of carbohydrate found in kefir.
Yogurt is a great superfood option, as well. Yogurt is milk fermented with controlled populations of bacteria that are beneficial for gut health. These bacteria are known as probiotics, which can help to alleviate digestive problems, including IBS.
Walnuts and other nuts are best known for their healthy oil content and for being a source of plant-based proteins. What few know is that nuts, especially walnuts, are a great source of antioxidants that help to fight cell aging. A long-term study looked at the impact of nuts in the diet on health status. Research found that long-term nut consumption was linked to lower body weight, lower risk of gallstone diseases, and even type 2 diabetes.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil is among the healthiest of oils due to its content of Omega-3 and components called plant polyphenols. Plant polyphenols are known to help to prevent or slow the development of heart and brain diseases, as well as cancer. This is largely due to the antioxidant properties of plant polyphenols.
The Omega-3 in Olive oil is also beneficial for heart and brain health. Best of all, when used as a dressing, olive oil helps to increase the absorption of antioxidants found in leafy greens, making them even more powerful.
Salmon is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids. The type of Omega-3 fatty acids is unlike those found in plant sources. DHA is a super type of Omega-3 because it impacts brain health and development. Plus, it’s a tasty way to change up your weekly meal plans.
Avocado is chock-full of vitamins and minerals and a great source of healthy fats. It is easily found in supermarkets and goes well with almost any meal. Studies show how it is linked to greater cardiovascular health, weight management, eye, skin, and bone health, and a lower risk of cancer.
The new year is just around the corner, and it is the perfect time to make a resolution to improve your diet. Often, building a better diet doesn’t mean that you need to restructure everything you eat, rather it could mean just integrating more foods that boost your health. These ten superfoods contain components that improve your health all-around, and best of all, they are enjoyable to eat!