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3 Unusual Super Foods

Over the weekend Andrea, Maren and I sauntered our frozen behinds to a new yogurt and smoothie place in downtown Lincoln called “Red Mango.”

To be totally honest, we weren’t going to go because someone was being quite the stinker at dinner (no…it wasn’t me), but we wanted a tasty treat so we gave in.

Gotta live a little, right?

It was a pretty good place to get an after-dinner treat, even if it was freezing cold outside and we were eating frozen yogurt.

As I was adding my eccentric mixture of toppings (blueberries, blackberries, cookie dough and Reese’s Pieces), I began to think about a few power foods that we don’t ordinarily think of as “power foods.”

Sure you’ve heard about how blueberries and almonds are super foods, but what else is there?

Look no further because I compiled a quick list of a few more superfoods that you may not have known (or maybe you’re a smarty pants and knew) …or at least don’t eat on a regular basis.

First up we have cranberries (not the Irish rock band popular in the ‘90s).

I’m sure you’ve heard the benefits of cranberries for urinary tract infections, but did you also know they are a powerhouse of nutrition?

It’s true!

But the thing is to truly get the most benefit out of cranberries, you have to eat the berry and not simply drink the juice.  Nor does it mean you can take a supplement with the main extract.

This is going to be a common theme in talking about superfoods – you get the most benefit by eating the food whole rather than buying a commercial juice or buying a supplemented extract.  Most vitamins work best synergistically – which means vitamins work best by working together.

I mentioned this on the ELS Boot Camp Facebook Fan Page (click here if you don’t already ‘like’ it), but adding cranberries to things like salads, yogurt or oatmeal is an easy way to add the superfood.

Up next we have barley.  This one may sound a bit weird, but swapping regular oatmeal for barley makes for an easy way to infuse a bit of variety into your normal eating routine.  Just like good ol’ fashioned oats, barley is rich in the all-important fiber, as well as key minerals.

Try doing barley oatmeal or subbing it into other treats where you normally use whole oats.

Then, add the next powerfood to your oatmeal…

Walnuts.

Like all nuts, walnuts are rich in protein and healthy fats.  They say walnuts are shaped like your brain because that’s what they help the most.  I don’t know if that’s true, but it sounds good and if it makes you eat more of them, then that’s cool with me.

They’re also rich in super-duper powerful phytonutrients and specific type of Vitamin E.

To add them, do as I said earlier and mix crushed walnuts in with your oatmeal or yogurt.

You can also crush them and add them as a salad topping (maybe with cranberries?).

Add them to your homemade granola.

Side Note – all boot camp clients should have an awesome homemade granola recipe from me.  If you don’t have it, let me know and I’ll email it along with my homemade protein bar recipe (clients only).

You could actually combine all 3 of these superfoods into one tasty dish.  You could make the barley hot cereal and top it off with crushed walnuts and dried cranberries, or make some yummy granola with the barley and walnuts as main ingredients and mix in dried cranberries.

If you’d like to throw in another superfood – all-natural yogurt – you could grab a bowl, throw in a cup of the yogurt and then add a handful of crushed walnuts and half handful of cranberries for a low-calorie yet very nutrient-dense meal.

I’m stopping now because talking about food is making me hungry so I must saunter on over to the refrigerator and grab a bite to eat before I get cranky.

That’s twice I’ve used the word “saunter” in one email.  I never thought I’d use it once…ever!

I like to flex my mental muscles too :-)

Have an awesome day!

Ed

About The Author

Ed Scow, also known as "The Fit Dad", likes long walks on the beach, snuggling, hand stand push-ups and pretending to work. He's also a fitness & nutrition expert, proud papa and husband to a smokin' hot wifey.

Number of Entries : 165

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