Monday Munchies - Super Foods (Travel Fitness Diaries)

Super food is a term used to describe foods that contain high levels of necessary vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. Now, we all know about blueberries, salmon, and kale, but did you know that things like kefir and seaweed are also super foods? Today, I'm sharing some lesser known super foods that are excellent for your body and taste amazing.

1. Acai

Have you ever tried an acai bowl? They are delicious and filled with antioxidants. This little purple fruit contains high antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help fight cancer and heart disease. It is also promoted as being great for anti-aging and weight-loss. The best way to consume acai is either frozen or dried, but try and avoid juices as they usually add sugar.

2. Cocoa Powder

We've all heard about the benefits of dark chocolate as a powerful antioxidant. Cocoa powder has much of the same benefits including flavonoids, which help lower blood pressure and improve the blood flow to your brain and heart. When purchasing cocoa, make sure you avoid processed cocoa powders as they delete the benefits of the helpful antioxidants. Buy cocoa that is raw or non-alkalized.

3. Seaweed

Seaweed is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids which help prevent heart disease. It also has a plethora of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, iron, potassium, iodine, and zinc. You don't have to eat sushi to get seaweed into your diet. If you purchase dried seaweed (nori, dulse, arame, hijiki, wakame, and kombu), you can add it to soups, rice, or steamed vegetables.

4. Chia Seeds

Just as popular as acai, chia seeds are also a powerful superfood. You wouldn't think that just by looking at them, but they are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and calcium. They also help you stay full and hydrated, preventing overeating. You can do so much with these little seeds including making chia pudding, adding them to acai bowls, putting them in your water, adding them to smoothies, or sprinkling them over yogurt and granola in the morning. Just don't eat the seeds that come with a Chia Pet.

5. Mangosteen

This fruit is probably the lesser known superfood of this list. Mangosteen contains xanthones, which can help prevent and fight cancer and inflammation. It is difficult to find in the United States, but juices can sometimes be available. Make sure that the juice incorporates the rind, which contains most of the beneficial properties.

6. Maca Powder

Maca contains many health benefits that boost energy, endurance, and libido. It is also great for undoing the damage from fatigue and helps with regeneration and repair from exercise. I recommend adding it to smoothies or baked goods.

7. Kefir

Unlike yogurt, kefir is lighter and thinner. It tastes similar and is made from fermented milk. Because of the fermentation, it contains probiotics, which boost the immune system and support digestive health. In order to get the best benefits, make sure your kefir is made from whole milk and is not overly processed.

8. Hemp Seeds

Another great little seed that is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids needed for growth and repair. They also contain magnesium and potassium. Add hemp seeds to salads, rice, pesto, smoothies, or acai bowls.

9. Black Garlic

Have you ever heard of black garlic? It's a strange thought to be purposefully buying black garlic. However, black garlic, unlike regular garlic (which is still excellent for you), is fermented giving a sweeter taste. It contains heart-healthy and anti-cancer properties as well as probiotics. You can add black garlic to sauces, dressings, dips, and basically anything you would add regular garlic to.

So, what do you think?

These incredible superfoods are great for your health and taste great too. You can find most of these foods on Amazon or at your local health food store. What is your favorite superfood?