It's easy to get stuck in a nutritional rut.
We aren't that different from little kids in our food choices. Sure it might not be a steady diet of mac and cheese and hotdogs (cuz we're grown ups, or whatever), but we still lock onto a small group of foods we like and eat those over and over.
And while you may have locked onto a nutritious handful of foods, eating more variety of nutritionally dense items can still be massively beneficial to you.
So let's look at 5 superfoods you probably don't eat, but you definitely should.
Of all the foods on this list, garlic is the one most people probably get some of in their diet, usually as a seasoning on something else.
But garlic can do a lot more than add flavor to your ground turkey and repel vampires.
This member of the onion family carries with it some potent medicinal and antimicrobial properties. In fact, an old folk remedy for treating illness is minced garlic and honey.
Carry some mints with you and start getting more garlic in your diet.
2. Pumpkin Seeds
It's jack-o-lantern season and along with handing out highly sugary confections to little kids, you will be seeing a lot more pumpkins pretty much everywhere.
These little guys are packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants.
On top of the nutrient punch they pack, their is also evidence showing they are linked to a reduction in certain cancers, improved prostate and bladder health (because who doesn't want that in their life?), lowering of blood sugar levels, and they may improve heart health.
Maybe instead of smashing pumpkins on November 1st, take advantage of the nutrition just sitting on your front porch.
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds do much more than grow into puffy hair cuts for weird porcelain figurines, they are loaded with so much good stuff it's hard to believe it can all fit into such a tiny package.
Check out the nutrition in one ounce of chia seeds:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 4 grams of protein
- 9 grams of fat (5 of omega-3)
- 30% of recommended daily intake of magnesium
- 18% of the RDI of calcium
And there's a lot more, but those are the highlights.
And just like pumpkin seeds, they contain nutrients that may help lower your risk of heart disease.
Soak some seeds in almond milk over night with a touch of vanilla extract and top with some organic peanut butter for a real treat.
Oh you don't eat beets? Well, your missing out on a bevy of the good stuff.
Beets can help keep blood pressure in a healthy range, and can lower your BP within a couple of hours.
If you are an athlete, you need beets in your life. They are nature's little performance booster. Beets help improve the efficiency of mitochondria, which are the little powerhouse centers of the cells.
The most exciting feature of the beet is that it helps to improve oxygen efficiency in the body.
Beets are funny thing when it comes to taste - people either love them or hate them. If you can't eat a beet, add them to a solid smoothie and grind them up so you can still get the benefits without the taste.
This final addition to our list is a surprise only to our American audience.
Cultures all over the world consume seaweed and reap the benefits.
Seaweed can really help support thyroid function because it contains iodine and tyrosine. It's also packed full of vitamins and minerals, many of which are severely lacking in the North American diet (especially the minerals).
Finally, when it comes to gut health, eating seaweed is at the top of the list of good things you can do to keep your tummy happy and healthy.
This list isn't comprehensive, but these 5 superfoods will get you started down the path of having more variety in your diet and getting the nutritional benefits from it.
Start this week and give one of these a try!