Today I am so glad to share with you this fantastic guest post by Jona from Oh Wholly Vegan. Jona is a twenty-something Certified Nutritionist from Prague who happens to be vegan at the same time. She started Oh Wholly Vegan, a plant based food blog, in January 2015 and she’s been passionate about cooking, writing and taking pictures ever since. Her goal is to help vegan beginners with their journey, keep them motivated and inspire people to build healthy eating habits. She’s a very active girl who except blogging has a full-time job as a Marketing Manager in a Czech company, part-time job as an English Teacher in Prague, few side projects and plenty of interests from running and working out to travelling. I hope you enjoy her post as much as I do, I learned so many things! And don’t forget to show her some love too: you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.
Hi, I’m Jona from Oh Wholly Vegan. I am vegan for few years now and somewhere on the road I became a certified nutritionist. My goal is to motivate people to veganism and provide science-based info and advises on nutrition as well as quick and simple recipes to make one’s vegan journey as easy as possible.
What’s so super about superfoods?
I remember when I first crossed the term “superfoods”. I had no idea what it meant and I imagined that it’s probably something that just tastes super duper. No need to say I was wrong. As I dig deeper and educated myself in nutrition more and more I realized that superfoods are foods, ingredients that have high content of minerals and vitamins and/or have great positive impact on human body. According to that definition, there’s plenty of superfoods out there.
So what is it exactly that differs a regular food from superfood? First let’s think for a moment about superfoods origin. Superfoods are known for a very long time, even though the name itself is quite new. Many of these come from places where are bad natural conditions for living, like mountains of South America, tropical rain-forests of Asia or deserts of Africa. These foods had to fight to adapt in such a bad conditions and they did so by “packing” themselves with nutrients.
Superfoods therefore provide nutrients in the most natural, unprocessed way which is very close to human body so we can easily take the nutrients for our own needs. They’re packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential polysaccharides, enzymes and essential fatty acids. They provide nutrients important for one’s skin, hair, nails and brain, have positive impact on digestive system, nervous system, blood system and most importantly immune system. They also help with detoxification and acid-base balance of body. Or easily said, they’re super.
Reasons why we should consider placing superfoods in our meal plan
If you’re still not sure why you should eat those superfoods on a regular basis, think practically. On one hand you can eat “regular” food, try to combine everything so you have enough of this and that OR you can add those superfoods to your meal plan and not care that much. It sounds convenience, doesn’t it? So let’s see which food is the superfood – just a quick note, I won’t manage to talk about all of them, this is the list of my top 4 favourites.
Spirulina is a type of bacteria also known as blue-green algae. Spirulina is a great source of antioxidants, meaning it protects from oxidative damage, prevents cancer and other diseases. Spirulina also lower the LDL cholesterol which leads to cardiovascular diseases. Let’s quickly mention that spirulina has also positive impact on blood pressure, helps with allergies, may prevent anemia and boost immune system and also might have positive impact on muscle strength and endurance and also might help with blood sugar control.
Quinoa [keen-wah] is technically a pseudo-cereal. My most favourite thing about quinoa is that is the one and only plant based food that contains high percentage of every essential amino acids, which are used to build protein cells. That’s convienient for vegans, isn’t it? Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free and has a low glycemic index, therefore can help with your weight-loss (food with high glycemic index makes you feel hungry all the time). Quinoa can also improve metabolic health and has plenty of antioxidants.
- Chia seeds
Chia seeds contain fiber, protein, fats, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B3, potassium, vitamin B1 a B2. Chia seeds are low caloric food which is also naturally gluten-free and has low glycemic index. It’s loaded with antioxidants, quality protein and fiber. From all those reason mentioned above, chia seeds are perfect for weight-loss. It also contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids which among other great impacts have positive effect on your mental health. Chia are great for bones and can cause major improvements in type 2 diabetes .
Who wouldn’t love blueberries right? But did you know that they can be also considered as superfood? They are low in calories, but high in nutrients, they are the queens between antioxidants! They also reduce DNA damage which may help prevent before ageing and cancer, they protect cholesterol in blood, may lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease and can help maintain brain function and improve memory. Compared to other fruits, blueberries are moderate in sugars. And even though I couldn’t find a proof for that, it is believed that blueberries also help with urinary tract infection. Oh and by the way – blueberries may prevent reduce after hard work out!
So as you can see there’s a lot of super foods out there. Some of you never heard about, some of you just haven’t realized it’s superfood. However there’s more than I mentioned above, for example kale, acai berry, chlorella, aloe vera, green tea and more.. Go find them! And add some of those to your meal plan to prevent diseases and improve your immune system and health in general.