It’s no secret that our diets play a major role in our health, and that some foods are more nutritious than others. In fact, some foods are so superior that they’re referred to as superfoods. What makes them super? The fact that they’re chock-full of some of the best vitamins, minerals, and proteins. You may think that only a small group of foods are worthy of the superfood title, but there are actually many to eat and choose from. With that said, here are five of our favorites that you should be eating as often as possible.
Popeye was onto something. Spinach tops our list because it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods, with Vitamins A, K1, C, and B6, as well as iron, folic acid, and calcium – just to name a few. Additionally, it’s a bountiful source of antioxidants. If you didn’t know, antioxidants attack free radicals in the body which can help slow down the aging process as well as ward off cancers. Many of us don’t get enough magnesium and potassium in our diets, and spinach has these minerals as well. Spinach isn’t just for salad and dip. You can find it in several of our dishes, including our Tempeh Sauté, Green Eggs & Ham, and Garden Fresh Quesadilla.
Yup, the berries you grew up eating in your pancakes are indeed a superfood. As we already said, antioxidants are important for delaying physical and visible signs of aging in addition to preventing diseases. Blueberries happen to have one of the highest levels of antioxidants, making them extremely healthy. The antioxidants found in blueberries help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of heart disease. Another benefit of blueberries is their sweet taste which makes eating them feel like a treat. Despite their sweetness, they have less sugar than many other fruits. When blueberries are in season, you can find them on our fruit garnishes, Groatmeal, and Seasonal Fruit Plate.
You may be surprised to see a grain on this list. Today’s diet culture has trained us to assume that all carbs are the enemy. While it’s true that some carbs (like refined white grains) are unhealthy, quinoa isn’t one of them. Unlike white rice or pasta which are simple carbohydrates with less nutritional value, quinoa has fiber, vitamins, and minerals. And not only is quinoa a source of protein, but it’s a complete protein, meaning that it has all nine essential amino acids. Many carbs are high on the glycemic index, which means that they quickly cause blood sugar levels to spike. Because of its low glycemic index, quinoa is great for diabetics or anyone concerned about their blood sugar levels. Want to give quinoa a try? Our Hot Quinoa & Wild Rice Salad and Guacamole Veggie Burger are two yummy options! You can also sub it for a starchy side dish in most of our meals.
Not only does green tea look cool in your coffee cup, but it also has tons of medicinal benefits. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which are micronutrients packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re a coffee drinker, you may want to consider trading your daily cup of joe for a green tea instead. It has less caffeine than coffee, so it won’t make you as jittery. Paired with the amino acid L-theanine – which is also in green tea – you’ll have better mental focus. For anyone looking to lose weight, green tea helps increase fat burning and boost metabolism. It’s a tasty addition to any breakfast meal and a great way to start your day.
Who doesn’t love avocado? Avocados have gotten a lot of buzz over the past few years, and rightfully so. They have omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, E, K, and several minerals. Plus, they’re low in carbs for anyone who is on a ketogenic or low-carb diet. Outdated diets have demonized fats, but people are finally coming to realize that healthy fats exist – and avocado is one of them. The fats in avocados are good for heart health and are anti-inflammatory. Avocados also contain antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which benefit eye health and decreases risk of cataracts. Our Garden Harvest omelette and Pesto BLT are just two of our dishes that have avocado.
Healthy food is central to our mission at the Rainbow Restaurant in Fort Collins, which is why you can find all five of these superfoods – and many others! – on our menu. Nutritious meals don’t have to be boring and bland. Nourishing fruits, veggies, grains, and meats can be turned into flavorful, delicious meals. In fact, we do it every day.
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