It’s true — you are what you eat. When you devour food packed with powerful nutrients, your body responds. You feel stronger, healthier, and possibly even lose weight. Bonus!
Of course, figuring out the best grub to pile on your plate can be overwhelming. A simple Google search or scan of Pinterest will turn up thousands of articles about healthy eating.
Rather than wade through mountains of content, keep it simple. Set yourself on a healthy path by keeping your pantry stocked with these 20 incredible superfoods. When mealtime or the urge to snack rolls around, you’ll have oodles of healthy food on hand.
1) Almonds and Almond Butter
You’ll find protein, magnesium, fiber, zinc, iron, and B vitamins packed into raw, organic almonds and almond butter. Plus, almonds are a fantastic source of calcium, which is a plus for plant-based eaters.
Bite into an apple, and you’ll be filling up on the fiber pectin, and giving yourself a dose of Vitamin C and potassium. Eating apples has been shown to lower body weight and improve cholesterol levels and heart health.
Avocados help reduce inflammation in your digestive tract and arteries and help prevent sugar cravings. Plus, they are filled with vitamins B and E, as well as potassium.
You’ll fight illness and strengthen organs with beets, which are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, as well as betalains, which give them their purple color and are thought to help fight cancer.
“Super” Berries, including acai, blueberry, blackberry, tart cherry, cranberry, goji berry, hawthorn berry, pomegranate, raspberry, and strawberry, pack a powerful punch with antioxidants, natural phytonutrients, such as anthocyanins and flavonoids, vitamins and minerals. This Super Berry powder blend contains 10 exceptional berries. Blend it with water, smoothies or your favorite beverage for a refreshing, healthful drink.
Nutrients in broccoli have been shown to help prevent cancer. Plus, this cruciferous veggie is filled with calcium, protein, chlorophyll, magnesium, Vitamin C, and fiber.
Cacao is chock full of antioxidants, and can help fight sugar cravings and boost your mood. Snack on delicious, crunchy Super Cacao Nibs; you can eat them plain or add them to trail mix, smoothies, and cookies.
Whether you enjoy them raw or cooked, carrots offer your body immune-boosting antioxidants, as well as beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.
9) Chia (or Flax)
These popular superfoods are an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids and contain soluble and insoluble fibers which help regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and help you feel full longer than many regular grains.
10) Coconut (Shreds, Butter, Oil)
Raw, organic coconut is a great source of fatty acids. Plus it’s a natural hormone booster, and anti-microbial food. Avoid processed coconut, and instead, eat whole forms of coconut, like these toasted coconut chips, which are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and no sugar added.
This spicy root adds a delicious spark to meals, teas, and smoothies. This anti-inflammatory food can be a remedy for practically anything: nausea, diarrhea, and even upper respiratory infections and pain relief.
12) Golden Berries
Tangy golden berries — also known as Inca berries, Cape gooseberries, or ground cherries — are packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, fiber, and high in vitamins A, B, and C. Eat ’em plain or add them to trail mix and smoothies.
13) Green Tea
Sip on Super Matcha Green Tea for a potent source of antioxidants, immune-boosting flavanols, and catechins (EGCg). Plus, it’s high amino acid concentration (L-theanine), alkalinizing pH, and chlorophyll-rich composition helps boost your energy and focus.
14) Kale and Other Dark Greens
Kale is, hands down, one of the trendiest superfoods — and with good reason: it’s filled with vitamins A, C, and K, plus magnesium, fiber, iron, and potassium. Wow! Other dark greens with similar properties include mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach, collards, and turnip greens.
15) Maca Powder
Maca root has been used for thousands of years by native Indians of Peru as an indispensable to promoting health and stamina. In fact, Incan warriors would ingest the root before battle to help increase endurance and strength.
The beta-glucans in mushrooms can stimulate and strengthen your immune system. You’ll find a blend of 20 potent, organic mushrooms in Super Shroom powder, which you can use to make tea, or add to smoothies and applesauce.
Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween. These gourds are loaded with beta-carotene, antioxidants, and vitamins.
These tiny, powerhouse seeds are bursting with proteins and amino acids. They make a great substitute for less nutrient-rich grains, like rice
19) Sacha Inchi
This Peruvian superfood is actually a nut-like seed which contains three different types of Omega 3 fatty acids. It’s said to help lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, promote weight loss and aid in regulating blood sugar. Snack on sacha inchi in the addictively tasty Chocolate Chip Trail Mix — trust us, you won’t be able to grab just one handful of this crunchy, sweet, and savory treat.
20) Sweet Potatoes
Because sweet potatoes are, well, sweet, they help satisfy sugar and carb cravings — perfect for people eliminating processed sugar from their diets. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of vitamins A and C, magnesium, Vitamin B6, manganese and certain antioxidants believed to help fight cancer.
Of course, you can also enjoy a potent blend of nutrients found in our Berry or Protein Blend, just 1 simple scoop of Super Food powder added to your smoothie, shake, juice, or water.
Everyone needs their share of nutrients, especially growing kids! Scope out this list to make sure your little ones are receiving enough of these crucial vitamins + minerals in their daily diet.
Folate is part of the B vitamin family and is crucial for helping your kiddie’s cells develop and grow. Make sure your little one gets enough since a lack of folate could lead to anemia down the road.
Eat This: asparagus, chickpeas, lentils, spinach
This bone-friendly mineral is involved in over 300 chemical reactions that take place in the body! Your little one needs their daily dose of magnesium to ensure proper nervous system functioning, ward off inflammation, and keep their hearts beating.
Eat This: almonds, brazil nuts, avocado, cashews, oats, spinach
3. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, bone development, and a strong defense system against infections. Kids also need the vitamin to aid in the growth of their cells and tissues, especially those in the skin, nails, and hair.
Eat This: cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes
4. Vitamin D
This magical vitamin helps your little ones grow up beautiful + strong! Vitamin D builds strong teeth and bones, aids in the absorption of minerals like calcium, and regulates the immune system, cell growth, and insulin production. Be sure that your littles get enough—Michael F. Holick, a professor of physiology, biophysics, and medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine warns that a deficiency could lead to rickets or prevent your child from reaching their potential height and bone mass.
Eat This: eggs, portobello mushrooms, salmon
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E ensures that your little one has a strong immune system and can fight off all the germs she or he encounters at school. It's also responsible for making the blood vessels stay open wide enough so that blood can flow through freely, as well as enabling various cells to work together as a team to perform critical functions in the body.
Eat This: almonds, kale, swiss chard, sunflower seeds
What are your favorite ways to prepare these nutrient-packed foods for your kiddies? Share them with us on Facebook with #bennieblends
Apples may not hold the intrigue of more exotic fruits like mangoes and pineapples, but don’t be fooled! While apples may be one of the most commonplace fruits to be found in the grocery store, they still have tons of extraordinary health benefits! Apples are an excellent source of vitamin C, which can help boost the body’s immune system and ward of illness during cold season. They are also rich in potassium, an electrolyte that is vital for the proper function of the heart and muscles. Apples may also help decrease insulin secretion thanks to their pectin content, but one of the greatest benefits of making apples a regular part of your diet, is the hearty helping of soluble fiber they provide. Soluble fiber helps promote digestive health, detoxifies the body, and stabilizes blood sugar, and the average apple contains 4-5 grams of soluble fiber. Fiber also keeps you feeling full longer which makes apples an excellent food to keep on hand if you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight.
Looking for new and interesting ways to enjoy this kitchen staple? Here’s a list of easy and delicious ways to munch this mega-nourishing fruit!
Baked Apples – Peel and core a few apples, place them in a baking dish with a cup or two of water or cider, fill their centers with dried fruit, seeds, or nut butter if you like, drizzle on some manuka honey, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake at 375 F for 30 - 45 minutes for a delicious and healthy dessert!
Roasted with Root Veggies – Apples are absolutely delicious when roasted with aromatic veggies like onions or fennel and add brightness to root veggies like beets and carrots when roasted together!
Sliced and Dipped into Fresh Nut Butter – Whether you like almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or classic peanut butter, this is the perfect snack to have before or after a big workout!
In Smoothies – If you have a high-powered blender like a BlendTec, throw an apple in with some greens, roasted root veggies, some almond milk, and Superfood + Protein Powder for a well-rounded, nourishing meal!
On a Salad – Chop or slice some tart green or pink lady apples and toss them up with some tender greens, chopped nuts, and a citrusy vinaigrette for a fresh and flavorful salad.
In Fresh Cocktails – Fresh apple juice makes a refreshingly sweet mixer for healthy holiday cocktails, Cheers!
As Nature Intended – There’s something so simply satisfying about taking a bite out of a fresh, raw apple a the peak of ripeness, so head out to your local market, find your favorite variety, and enjoy!
Ahh Chocolate Marble Protein Waffles, can breakfast get any better than that? Chocolate and protein intertwined in deliciously fluffy waffles?! Like seriously, it’s genius and delicious, but I think I already said that last part right? Right.
Ok so why am I calling them protein packed and utterly delicious? Um duh, because they’re just that, super packed with an organic vegan protein blend and they taste so super good. Oh wait, they taste so super great. My bad…
I’m using our Chocolate Protein Blend to give these waffles that added vegan protein! The chocolate flavor is quality blend that doesn’t have a cardboard taste. It adds perfect chocolate flavor and protein that make these waffles even more amazingly healthy.
Superfoods are full of powerful antioxidants, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, protein, and amino acids. This is what gives your body the fighting army (your immune system) it needs against pathogens (the bad guys). The more you keep healthy, stop restricting yourself with calorie counting, or fearing fruit, the better and stronger your immune system will become. Avoiding fruit is a huge disservice to your body. They carry the most powerful fighting, anti-disease carrying components we need on a daily basis. Carbs are not the bad guy here.
I just took a traditional breakfast that is typically bad for you, and reinvented it to be a highly nutritious meal you don’t have to feel bad about.
These waffles are so super easy to make too. I used an organic gluten free pancake and waffle mix. I sub all ingredients with almond milk, flax eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and I add a tsp of vanilla or almond extract. For this, I split the batter in half and used 2 scoops of BennieBlends Chocolate Protein Blend and added that to one half of the mixture making it chocolaty and full of protein.
And then people wonder where vegans get their protein….um duh through plants and superfoods! LOL (vegan jokes)
The ingredients in this lovely blend are simple yet effective. Organic brown rice protein, organic cacao powder, organic pouteria lucuma powder (this is sweet), and organic stevia leaf powder. Anything that has like over 5 ingredients becomes questionable. With this, it’s straight forward. Is it true that this protein blend is bursting with nutrient dense superfoods that will nourish your body from the inside out.
Ok so to give your waffles that marble effect, you’ll need a waffle maker. If you don’t have a waffle maker you can always turn these into pancakes! I mean, who doesn’t love a good quality pancake right?! So ok back to marbleizing. Spray your waffle maker with non stick cooking spray generously. I use coconut oil spray. Pour the chocolate batter into a squeezy bottle or if you don’t have one put it into a zip lock baggie and nip a corner off. Take the non chocolate mixture and pour that into the waffle maker molds. Take the squeezy bottle or baggie and drizzle it on top of non chocolatey mixture. Be generous with it and make a mess. You can go in a circular motion and give it that pattern or you can just zig zag like I did and it ends up looking just randomly, marblizingly beautiful.
For the toppings and sides I used a creamy dreamy organic almond butter because I like the way almond butter and maple syrup taste together as a team. I then added fresh organic strawberries and bananas to the mix because well, it’s strawberries and bananas, like come on! Add a side cup of your favorite non dairy yogurt and you got yourself a well balanced brunch…Hello.
Marble Protein Waffles
Yield: 4 large waffles
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Incredibly fluffy and chocolatey waffles jam packed with protein and superfoods for quality nourishment.
Paleo. Mediterranean. Raw, vegan, gluten-free. With so many different diet options out there, figuring out which one is best for you can be overwhelming.
Proponents of each diet will say that their nutritional program is the very best one, but the reality is that everyone's body is unique and that no single diet could possibly be a perfect fit for everyone.
The ideal diet for you is one that eliminates foods to which you have a sensitivity or allergy, and also includes a range of nutritious foods that suit your tastes, lifestyle and health needs. By figuring out which foods you should avoid and which ones to keep, you'll be able to create a personalized program that will be a sustainable lifestyle instead of a passing fad.
Step 1: Elimination Diet The first step to determining the best diet for you is to find out which foods you should avoid, and following an elimination diet is one way to find out if certain foods are not compatible with your unique digestive system.
A whole range of health issues can be the result of food intolerances, and individuals often don't realize what the cause is until the culprit is removed. The elimination diet is basically a research project on how different foods affect your body and the way you feel.
The elimination diet begins with a very simple meal plan that is repeated daily for three to four weeks. The foods in this meal plan are restricted to fresh, whole, unprocessed foods that typically are easy for the body to digest and are free of toxins or additives.
There are numerous online resources that explain the specific restrictions of the elimination diet, but most resources will recommend eliminating gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, pork, beef, chicken, beans, lentils, coffee, citrus fruits, nuts and nightshade vegetables.
If there are any items on the list of your approved foods to which you think you may have a sensitivity or allergy, be sure to eliminate those items as well for the initial phase of the diet. It's important to note that even though some people do lose weight while following an elimination diet, the purpose of this diet is to discover food sensitivities, not weight loss.
After the initial phase, you reintroduce food groups that had been previously eliminated. As you begin to consume new food groups, you'll notice how they impact your body and the way you feel. Be sure to keep a food journal to make connections between any new symptoms, both physical and emotional, immediately following and up to several days after consumption of a previously eliminated food.
If you start to have any negative reactions within the few days following the reintroduction of a new food group, you most likely have a sensitivity or intolerance to that food group and may want to consider permanently eliminating it from your diet.
Step 2: Determining Which Foods Make You Feel Your Best Once you've figured out which foods you want to avoid, you can more easily determine which foods should form the foundation of your diet.
Dr. D'Adamo's research in anthropology, medicine and genetics led him to develop a system in which the style of diet and exercise that people should follow is determined by their blood type.
For example, blood type O people achieve the best state of health with intense physical exercise, lots of animal protein and less dairy and grains, while blood type A people are better suited for meditative exercises like yoga or tai chi and thrive on organic plant-based diets.
Ayurveda is a holistic health system that was developed in India roughly 5,000 years ago and classifies individuals into constitutional types, or "doshas," based on physiological characteristics.
There are three doshas (or set of characteristics): Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and everyone can be identified as predominantly one or some combination of these.
Health is achieved when individuals find a balance of all three dosha energies, and dosha-based diets are intended to pacify the dosha that presents itself most dominantly while allowing the other doshas to come forward.
For example, Vatas are typically small, thin and restless or hyperactive. They're encouraged to follow a Vata-pacifying diet, which includes warm, rich and oily foods with sweet, salty and sour tastes and excludes cold, raw, pungent and bitter foods.
Pittas tend to have medium to strong builds and intense dispositions. A diet that pacifies Pitta energy favors sweet, bitter and astringent tastes, while eschewing foods that are pungent, salty or sour.
Kaphas tend to have the largest physical builds and calm, reflective personalities. The diet recommended for Kaphas is made up of light, dry, spicy foods with little to no sweet, salty or oily foods.
Step 3: Creating a Personalized Diet Plan Now you can create a diet that works for your body: For example, if you are a Vata whose elimination diet revealed that too much meat makes you feel heavy and sluggish, you might want to follow a flexitarian diet, which is made up of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and vegetarian forms of protein like beans, peas, nuts, seeds and eggs.
If you have type O blood with a sensitivity to dairy, you may want to consider a Paleo diet that is high in protein, low in carbohydrates and eliminates dairy, grains, legumes and refined or processed foods.
Ultimately, any dietary plan you choose should make you feel good and be sustainable over time. Instead of trying to fit yourself into a single diet plan, try combining elements you like from a variety of different diets or adjusting aspects of specific regimens to meet your needs.
Include vegetables with a variety of colors, and be sure that you are getting a good balance of nutrients -- including enough protein, carbohydrates and fats to support your dietary needs -- and you will have created a healthy, enjoyable diet plan that is tailored just for you.
Do you follow a specific diet, such as Paleo or flexitarian? Or do you pick and choose guidelines from different types of diets? Do you find it difficult to follow a particular diet in the long term? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook with #bennieblends
You’ve probably heard that it’s important to eat your colors, but do you know why? Fruits and vegetables within certain color families tend to have higher concentrations of specific nutrients that are vital for your health and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables from each color group ensures that you are receiving balanced nutrition from whole foods.
Beyond ensuring that your diet is balanced nutritionally, creating plant-based meals with an array of different colors guarantees that your food will have a lovely presentation. I know that creating visually-pleasing dishes is an important part of helping people enjoy the experience of a healthy diet and few things are as naturally beautiful as the rich hues and textures of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. When I make a dish that includes all of the colors of the rainbow, I know that I am creating a positive sensory experience that nourishes not only the body, but the soul as well.
If you want to know how to create a vibrantly colored, nutrient-dense meal made up of fresh produce, check out the following guide to learn about the specific nutrients and health benefits of each color group. The more colorful you make your meals, the more beautiful nourishment you will receive.
Red to Pink Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables like tomatoes, red peppers, watermelon, guavas, papayas, and grapefruit get their red to pink color from lycopene, a carotenoid and powerful antioxidant that has a range of health benefits. Some studies have indicated that a diet rich in lycopene can help reduce the risk of some cancers, heart diseases, diabetes, and age-related ocular issues such as cataracts. Lycopene also has the ability to mitigate the potential for free radical damage and reduce visible signs of aging in the skin.
Yellow to Orange Fruits and Vegetables
Another group of carotenoids, beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene, and alpha carotene, can be found in high concentrations in orange and yellow vegetables. The body converts these carotenoids to Vitamin A, which is highly important for maintaining the integrity of the surface of the eye and overall healthy vision. Vitamin A also plays a role in creating a healthy immune system by keeping skin and mucous membrane cells moist and resistant to damage or invasion by bacteria or viruses. To be sure that you are getting enough of these beneficial carotenoids, include a mix of carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, cantaloupe, and apricots in your diet.
Leafy and Cruciferous Greens
You have surely heard that it is important to eat your green vegetables and this is because fruits and vegetables that have a yellow-green to deep green color are excellent sources of lutein, chlorophyll, isothiocyanates, and a host of other vitamins and minerals that will help your body maintain a vibrant state of health. Like Vitamin A, lutein is extremely beneficial to eye health and can help prevent chronic eye diseases like macular degeneration. Chlorophyll is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce free radical damage in the body and is the substance that gives foods like kale, spinach, and watercress their distinctive deep green shade. Isothiocyanates are substances that can be found in cruciferous green vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and bok choy and some studies have shown that these substances can prevent the development of cancer in precancerous cells. For some people, greens are the hardest color group to incorporate into meals regularly. If this is true for you, Bennie Blends Berry Superfood Blend is an easy way to add the detoxifying benefits of greens to your diet.
Blue to Purple Fruits and Vegetables
If you eat lots of fruits and vegetables that have a deep blue or purple color, then you are probably already receiving the benefits of the high anthocyanin content of these foods. Blueberries, acai berries and eggplant get their color from phytochemicals that combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of developing cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. Making a mix of dark berries, like the one’s in Bennie Blends Berry Superfood Blend, have also been linked to a decrease in the visible signs of aging as well as painful inflammation.
We may not give our brains much thought, but as this beautifully complex organ conducts the movement and flow of our bodies each and every day, we ought to give it proper care—just like anything else we possess. As we transition from the pool deck to the office desk, we’ll especially want to make sure our brains are running in top gear. To keep your mind sharp and focused, integrate these 5 super yummy, brain-boosting foods into your diet:
This brain-friendly spice gathered from tree bark activates neurotrophic factors, which are proteins that aid the brain in producing brand new neurons and maintaining the health of older ones. Cinnamon, like spearmint, has also been shown to increase memory and concentration during cognitive tests, so be sure to brew a batch of this cinnamon-laden Cool Superfood Apple Cider before an exam or big presentation.
These legumes are packed with zinc, a memory sharpener, as well as thiamin and vitamin B6, which amp up your ability to zone in on a task and focus with increased energy. Integrate lentils into your regular diet as a staple in your soups and salads— they work as brain boosters throughout various stages of life. For women in their childbearing years, they provide iron, an essential mineral for cognitive functioning. And as we age, we also need folate, a B vitamin found in lentils, that keeps your mind running sharp.
These tasty pepitas serve up abundant amounts of iron (which is critical for normal neurological function), as well as a magical mineral cocktail of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which slows the cognitive impairment that comes with age.
These brain-shaped nuts are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which ward off depression, preserve cognition, and keep those grey cells healthy. And we all know that our brains run full speed after a good night of shut-eye. Walnuts ramp up melatonin levels, ensuring deep,restful sleep for optimal brain functioning the next day.
In addition to providing anandamide, also known as the “bliss molecule,” dark chocolate is replete with flavonoids, which boost memory and improve blood flow through the brain. They’re also chock-full of antioxidants, which lower the chances of degenerative disorders like dementia. And the brain—which uses 20% of the oxygen you breathe—is especially susceptible to free radical damage (and premature brain cell aging), which can be neutralized by cocoa’s high levels of antioxidants. Yet another reason to make a heavenly Protein Smoothie...
What are your favorite ways to eat these brain-boosting foods? Share them with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #bennieblends!