Monday, October 29, 2018

Top 10 Superfoods for You and Your Kids

Frugal mom will agree that it is tough to completely get rid of processed foods in their daily menus. While we all know that processed foods are harmful as it can cause several health issues such as inflammation, it seems like processed foods are affordable. Even vegan families consume some sort of process foods like vegan meats and vegan cheeses.

It was hard for my family when we initially transitioned into a vegan and plant-based family. Truthfully, I will admit that I am not a hard-core vegan. There's a lot of debate on how a vegan should and must behave such as: not consuming or using any animal products including leather bags and cosmetics. Where do we draw the line? In my humble opinion, you do your best! Do not push your conviction to other families who do not have the same lifestyle. We did it for health and dietary reasons. Mainly for me but we decided to do it as a family. We also believe in studies that show the negative relationship of processed foods with behavioral problems and lower IQ's. Read the evidence-based studies HERE  and HERE.

Also, since I am being honest...we do fall-off the wagon too. Most especially when we attend birthday parties. Here's the thing, we want our children to have a healthy relationship with food.

It is really a balancing act.

If your kid needs it because his or her life depends on it ( I am talking about food allergies here), ignore me.

Experts say stick to 80/20 rule, being 80% as the plant-based or whole foods plant-based.

I would suggest providing our children with first and foremost a loving and supportive environment.  Offer foods optimal nutritious foods. Encourage physical activity.

We need to try our best momma's. Sometimes we turn our noses from a significant change. We convince ourselves that "we can't" change our families eating habits. We settle into knowing our kids won't eat vegetables. Just try moms!

Speaking of trying, there are superfoods that we can incorporate into our daily meals or school snacks. These superfoods are versatile you can mix it with stews, smoothies, veggie bowls, desserts, muffins, etc. All you need is creativity and Pinterest (your personal cookbook).






1. Flaxseed

According to Medical News today, flaxseeds are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidant (2017). Its seeds contain protein, lignans, and alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3 which is an essential fatty acid. These nutrients can lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Moreover, it is naturally gluten-free. Vegan families or individuals use this as an egg substitute as well. You can mix flaxseeds or flax meal with smoothies, muffins, homemade granola.

2. Quinoa

High in antioxidants, naturally gluten-free, nutrient and vitamin dense, and low in carbohydrates.

A cup of cooked quinoa contains:

Protein: 8 grams.
Fiber: 5 grams.
Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
Folate: 19% of the RDA.
Copper: 18% of the RDA.
Iron: 15% of the RDA.
Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
Potassium 9% of the RDA.
Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.

How can you incorporate quinoa? You can use them with Buddha Bowls (check Pinterest on Buddha bowls recipes and ideas), stews, Vegan Quinoa Soup, baking, and stir-fry's.

3. Black Beans

Black Beans can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, digestive issues, and diabetes. According to the WHF (World's Healthiest Foods), Black Beans contains 180 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per cup in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), copper, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorus, protein, magnesium, and iron. One cup serving of cooked black beans provided about one-third of a day's protein requirement.

Serving Suggestions: Black Bean Chili, Black Bean Vegan Soup, Black Bean Cakes, Black Beans and Rice,


4.Kale

 One cup of cooked Kale contains protein, fiber, minerals (phosphorous, potassion, calcium, and zinc). Vitamin A, C, and K. It also contains Lutein and Zeaxanthin responsible for the prevention of muscular degeneration and cataracts.

Serving suggestions: soups, stews, Kale Brownies, and Kale salad.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are packed with essential fatty acids, Protein, vitamins (A, B, E, and D), Minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, niacin, and thiamine) and antioxidants. It is also naturally gluten-free! It supports metabolism and provides a boost in energy levels.

Suggestions: Sprinkle on yogurts (low in sugar) or non-dairy yogurt, chia pudding, sprinkle on oatmeal, baking goods, salad topping, and homemade granola.

6. Goji Berries

Goji Berries are anti-inflammatory, high in protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 1/4 cup of this superfoods contain:

100 calories
0 grams fat
3 grams fiber
13 grams sugar
4 grams protein
140 %  DV vitamin A
35–163 % DV vitamin C
100 % DV vitamin B2
91 %  DV selenium
24 % DV potassium
10–100 % DV iron
 4–10 % t DV calcium
18 amino acids (11 of which are essential)
 5 sources of healthy, unsaturated fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid Phytochemicals, including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, lutein, and polysaccharides

Serving Suggestions: Acai Bowls, Salads

7. Cinnamon

Benefits of cinnamon include the prevention of digestive problems, diabetes, and fungal infection.

Serving Suggestion: Low carb (GF if necessary) baked goods, mixed with tea or honey, or mix with a pancake.

8. Spirulina

Aside from cleansing and detoxification, Spirulina contains the highest concentration of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll eliminates toxins and heavy metals such as DDT, PCBs, mercury, cadmium, and lead. Spirulina prevents gastrointestinal problems and aids in fighting infections. It also helps in weight loss as it aids in burning the fat during exercise. Rich in antioxidants, spirulina can also lower blood sugar levels.

NOTE: If you have PKU disease, pregnant or with auto-immune disease; please consult your primary care physician before taking any spirulina supplement. Read on harmful effects HERE.

9. Coconut

The healthy saturated fat in coconut can not only boost weight loss, but it also has antifungal properties, beneficial for your hair, skin and brain functions.

Serving Suggestion: Baking and cooking goods, a teaspoon of Virgin Coconut Oil before meals, mix with your coffee.

10. Nutritional Yeast

Every vegan household has this superfood. Don't be turned off by its name and even if you are not vegan, nutritional yeast should be a staple in your pantry! Nutritional yeast contains the 18 amino acids! Additionally,  nine of those amino acids are essential ones that your body are not able to produce. It also provides compounds such as beta-1,3 glucan, trehalose, mannan, and glutathione, which can aid in immunity, reduced cholesterol levels, and cancer prevention.

Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins (thiamine, folate, B-6 and niacin)Which gives the boost to energy levels.

Serving Suggestion: Vegan cheese sauce, Mac and Cheese, Pasta, mix with scrambled eggs (for non-vegan), tofu scramble, mix with veggie nuggets.


DISCLAIMER: I am not a physician. Please consult with your doctor if you are considering taking supplements or a major change in your diet. I suggest incorporating these healthy super foods in whole form, organic or food form. Take caution in taking Spirulina ( best if you will involve your doctor most especially if you have an underlying condition).










References:

How Healthful is Flaxseeds? by Medical News Today

Benefits of Quinoa

World's Healthiest Foods

Kale Nutrition

Benefits of Chia Seeds

Goji Berries

13 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Benefits of Spirulina

Top 10 Benefits of Coconut Oil

Benefits of Nutritional Yeast








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