You’re doing what you can to stay fit and fight back against the toll time can take on your health. You stay active and keep in touch with family and friends. You turned in your couch potato card years ago. And you try to eat well.
Now it’s time to take that healthy eating to the next level by transforming your favorite dishes into superfoods.
And you’re not going to believe just how easy it is.
Turn every dish into a superfood with this sprinkle trick
Following are four powerful ingredients you can add to your favorite foods to send their nutritional value skyrocketing.
Inflammation of one sort or another lies at the heart of nearly every disease or health complaint. Heart disease involves inflammation of the arteries. Arthritis causes inflammation in your joints.
Inflammation is behind the insulin resistance that causes type 2 diabetes. Airway inflammation triggers asthma. And your body responds to injuries or wounds with… you guessed it… inflammation.
Drugs that tackle acute or chronic inflammation can help erase pain and allow for healing. But they also come with a steep price.
Acetaminophen can lead to liver damage. NSAIDs can cause internal bleeding. And COX-2 inhibiting NSAID drugs such as Celebrex can trigger bleeding, ulcers, and perforations in your stomach or intestines.
But if you want the inflammation tackling benefits of drugs, without the dangerous side effects there is another option. Simply sprinkle some turmeric into your food.
The golden orange spice is a natural anti-inflammatory which works in much the same way as COX-2 drugs do, but without the risks. Its active ingredient, curcumin, naturally inhibits the enzyme that contributes to inflammation.
But as impressive as turmeric’s inflammation fighting action is, its superfood benefits don’t end there. There’s emerging evidence that curcumin can also stop some tumors in their tracks.1,2,3
Turmeric can add a pop of color and pungent flavor to eggs dishes, stir fries, sides, mains and more.
2. Chia seeds:
If the only thing you know about chia seeds is the silly “ch-ch-ch-chia” jingle from the commercial for Chia Pets, you might be surprised to learn that chia seeds are one of the healthiest superfoods you can eat.
Chia are the tiny seeds of the Salvia Hipanica L. plant, a member of the mint family. Before you grind the seeds, they resemble miniature sesame seeds. But while sesame seeds do have some health benefits of their own, they really don’t hold a candle to chia’s many benefits.
The tiny seeds are a good source of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, which your body converts into DHA and EPA as well as omega-9s. And an ounce of chia (around two tablespoons) contains a stunning 11 grams of fiber and four grams of filling, fat-burning protein.
Plus those same two tablespoons contain 18 percent of your daily recommended amount of calcium, 30 percent of your required manganese and magnesium and a healthy handful of other needed nutrients from B1 to zinc.
In other words, you get a HUGE nutritional bang every time you sprinkle some of these superfood seeds into your favorite dishes.
Experts say the soluble fiber in chia seeds can help fill you up fast, and keep you feeling satisfied longer. That means you end up eating less, which can lead to you losing a little weight without even trying.4,5,6
And the fatty acids in chia could support healthier blood sugar and cholesterol levels.7,8,9,10,11
Sprinkle ground chia seeds into everything from yogurt to meatloaf to transform your healthy dish into a superfood.
You probably know paprika as the bright red powder that you find sprinkled on top of deviled eggs. But this versatile spice can add the rich delicious flavor of peppers—ranging from mildly sweet to fiery hot—to any of your favorite foods.
And while you’ll start using paprika for the flavor, you’ll want to continue for the health benefits.
The superfood spice is a good source of skin-friendly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and vitamin A. The lutein and zeaxanthin in paprika could help reduce your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration.12,13,14,15 And the vitamin C can shore up your immune system and may help arm you against cancer.
The bioflavonoids in paprika help strengthen capillary walls, reducing your risk of broken capillaries and spider veins. And the spice’s capsaicin content can both help relax blood vessels to fight high blood pressure, and boost your metabolism to encourage weight loss.16,17,18
Try adding some paprika to eggs, stir fries, vegetables, and rice and meat dishes.
Lentils have an undeserved reputation as being boring. But the health benefits hiding inside this humble legume can transform any soup, salad or side dish into a superfood.
Packed with protein and soluble fiber, lentils slay hunger, while delivering a big boost of energy.12 And that combination of belly satisfaction and extra fuel can keep you focused and curb snacking for hours.
Lentils are a good source of blood sugar and cholesterol friendly biotin. And the often overlooked legume contains l-arginine, an amino acid your body converts to blood pressure regulating nitric oxide.
Filled with vitamins and minerals lentils are high in iron, manganese, thiamin, phosphorus, folate, potassium and vitamin B6. Plus they deliver a handful of other important nutrients too ranging from copper to zinc.
To turn up the nutrition in your dishes sprinkle in some cooked lentils. Top your salads with them and add them to tacos. Or stir some into the mix when you’re making hamburgers or a meatloaf.
But no matter how you choose to use lentils, they will turn every dish into a health food.
Get the most out of every meal with these four superfood ingredients.