Superfoods: What Are They?
Ever wonder what makes a food a “superfood”? It’s a term commonly used in the food industry today but where did it originate from? The term “superfood” is a relatively new term that refers to foods that offer maximum nutritional benefits for minimal calories. They are foods jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants - think foods with a very high nutritional density.
That’s Bananas, No It’s a Superfood!
The first documented use of the term is from a 1918 publication in connection with bananas. Full of vitamins B6 and C to support immune health and metabolism, and manganese, an essential mineral, bananas were the first superfood. The second recorded superfood came 73 years later when the US government endorsed blueberries “as an incredibly nutritious food in 1991.” After that, the category continued to expand.
Our Favorite Types of Superfoods
- Blueberries: Are high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin K.
- Goji Berries: Used for over 5,000 years in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicines, they have incredible nutritional value. They are a good source of protein, iron, potassium, and fiber.
Kale, Spinach & Collard Greens are often identified as superfoods rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, and many B vitamins.
Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids and antioxidants and boosts the immune system. The component in dark chocolate responsible for these benefits is Cacao Powder. For an added boost of energy, try our Cacao Powder with Maca and for extra crunch try our Cacao Nibs.
Getting More Than One a DayAlthough the term may have you thinking these are magical foods, they are not miracle workers. It’s best to include superfoods as part of a well-balanced diet. Speaking of well-balanced diets, did you know that roughly ¾ Americans eat a diet deficient in fruits and veggies? Natierra wants to change that and help you add plant-based nutrition into your daily routine!
Here are some quick tips to help you get more superfoods into your diet:
- Generally brown or beige foods are lower in antioxidants. Look at the colors on your plate and add in foods with rich colors like kale, beets, and berries.
- Add shredded greens to soups and stir-fries.
- Add berries to oatmeal, cereal, salads, or baked goods.
To inspire you to build superfoods into your daily routine here is a healthy holiday treat: Peruvian Hot Chocolate. Did you know that in Peru hot chocolate is traditionally drunk during the holidays? All over Peru during the holiday season, people hold gatherings called chocolatadas, where hot chocolate is served along with panettone: a fruit and chocolate chip cake of Italian origin.
Peruvian Hot ChocolatePREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 minutes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 piece of orange peel dried (roughly 1 inch long)
- 1 star anise
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups whole milk (Tip: Swap for plant-based milk for a dairy-free alternative)
- ½ cup evaporated milk (Tip: Swap for plant-based milk creamer)
- 3 tbsp of Natierra Cacao Powder (Tip: Give yourself an energy boost using Natierra Cacao Powder with Maca)
- 1½ tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- Sugar to taste
- Gather the ingredients.
- Place a small pot on the stove over medium heat, add ½ cup water and immediately add all the spices except nutmeg.
- Cook the spice infusion half-covered over low heat for 10 minutes. Turn off the stove, remove from the heat and strain the spices. Discard the spices and preserve the infusion.
- Return the infusion to the pot over medium-low heat. Dissolve the cacao powder and instant coffee in the pot, whisking with a hand mixer.
- Add the whole milk and the evaporated milk. Stir well until all ingredients are mixed.
- Add a pinch of nutmeg and continue beating without letting the mixture boil.
- Dissolve 1 tbsp of cornstarch in 3 tbsp of water. Add the diluted cornstarch to the chocolate and continue whisking until the chocolate is thick.
- Cook for 3 more minutes, add sugar to taste, and serve hot in large cups. (Tip: If you like chocolate with a lot of foam, blend it before serving.)
Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 91mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g