Superfoods by Donna Hayek

SUPERFOODS

Definitions:

  • A superfood is a food rich in compounds such as; antioxidants, fiber, and fatty acids that benefit a person’s health.
  • Superfoods have a very high nutritional density; such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Most of these foods are plant-based, so they are full of nutrients and low in calories.
  • Antioxidants are molecules in foods that neutralize free radicals. They help decrease health problems; such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, pulmonary or lung problems, immune deficiency, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Flavonoids are molecules that improve immunity and decrease inflammation. They help promote a healthy complexion, strong nails, abundant hair, increase energy levels, and help to maintain a healthy weight.

 

Examples:

Berries:

  • Acai berries are purple, originated from South America, and have nineteen amino acids and antioxidants.
  • Blueberries are high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin K.
  • Cranberries are flavonoids that decrease the risk of urinary tract infections.
  • Golgi berries are red, originated from Asia, and are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and flavonoids.  They also treat diabetes, and hypertension and maintain eye, liver, and kidney health.

 

Soy:

  • Rich in isoflavones; which are phytochemicals that occur naturally in plants.  Some functions are that it can lower LDL cholesterol, prevent age-related memory loss, can decrease bone loss, especially during menopause.


Green Tea:

  • Low in calories and helps decrease stress levels, inflammation, and arthritis.
  • High in hydration and antioxidants called catechins.
  • Considered an anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic.


Leafy Greens:

  • High in fiber and water; which helps decrease constipation.
  • Rich in carotenoids, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
  • Foods include kale, spinach, Swiss chard, beets, and collard greens; which are abundant in vitamins A, C, E, K, and B.


Salmon:

  • Rich in omega-3 fats
  • Decreases the risk of arrhythmia, helps normalize lipid values, and decreases the prevalence of plaque in the arteries or calcium score.


Dark Chocolate:

  • High in flavonoids, helps to decrease cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  • Boosts the immune system.


Wine & Grapes:

  • Resveratrol is a polyphenol found in wine.  The skin of the grape is considered heart-healthy.
  • Can protect against diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy and improves blood glucose control.
  • Treats Alzheimer’s disease and helps decrease menopausal symptoms.
  • Quercetin is a flavonoid found in grapes; which has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It also helps decrease the prevalence of atherosclerosis and cancer.


Others:

  • Spirulina
  • Blue-green algae
  • Garlic
  • Beets
  • Wheatgrass
  • Tumeric
  • Barley
  • Brazil nuts

 

How to incorporate superfoods into daily meals:

  • Always make a colorful plate to include a variety of vegetables to incorporate various vitamins and nutrients daily into your diet via soups, salads, and stir-fries.
  • Have fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack.
  • Substitute foods for superfoods; such as beef and chicken to salmon and tofu.
  • Add berries to oatmeal, cereal, salad, and yogurt.
  • Consume green tea daily.
  • Use nuts, seeds, and dried fruits as snacks.
  • Use spices frequently; such as turmeric, oregano, ginger, and cinnamon.

 

RECIPES:

Banana and Cacao Smoothie: serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 2 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Ice
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (optional)

 

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

 

Acai Berry Bowl: serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of frozen acai berry pulp
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • Pinch of cinnamon

 

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

 

Spinach Basil Pesto: serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • ½ cup spinach

 

Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients in a food processor and enjoy!

 

Power Up Lasagna: serves 8-12

Ingredients:

  • 9 whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1–8-ounce container of mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-ounce bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups drained and crumbled firm tofu
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 24 ounces of marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Instructions:

  • In a large pot, boil water and cook noodles al dente
  • Pre-heat oven to 3750
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat
  • Add onions and mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes
  • Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute
  • Add spinach and sauté for 2-3 minutes
  • Remove from pan and put the mixture aside in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl, whisk egg and tofu
  • Add spinach and combine
  • Layer the bottom of a 12×8 inch casserole dish with a small amount of sauce to cover it
  • Layer with 3 noodles and ½ tofu mixture, ½ mushroom mixture, sliced tomatoes, marinara sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese
  • Repeat until all food types are completed
  • Bake 45-55 minutes
  • Enjoy!