Superfoods. Sounds like something superheroes eat to get their superpowers. But no, superfoods are for us mere mortals! The term is thrown around a lot in the food industry these days, but the bottom line is eating food super-packed with good-for-you nutrients is good for everyone. Superfoods include seeds such as chia, flax and hemp, fruits such as acai, goji berry and blueberry and various other whole foods found in nature such as raw cacao, coconut, seaweed and more. A food is generally considered "super" if it's low in calorie, high in fiber and packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Certain superfoods can be particularly helpful for runners. As a long distance runner myself, I find a big difference in my endurance, stamina and energy depending on what I eat. The superfoods I rely on to boost my performance are:
- Chia Seeds: They contain enough omega-3 fatty acids and all 20 amino acids to keep you right on track, running or otherwise. Use as a topping for oatmeal or salads or mix into baked goods.
- Kale: This popular green is loaded with fiber and nutrients, to lower blood cholesterol levels, and vitamin K, to help support bone strength. Munch on kale chips or serve raw as a salad with avocado dressing.
- Walnuts: An omega-3 hotshot, walnuts are a great addition to any meal (like oatmeal and salads), thanks to their healthy fats and tasty crunch.
- Banana: A perfect portion of smart carbs to boost energy levels with the added benefit of potassium. Add sliced banana to Greek yogurt for a filling, nutrient-rich breakfast or mid-afternoon snack.
Whether a runner or not, we are all living active lifestyles these days and need proper nutrients to fuel our bodies right. Superfoods are a great way to get enough of those nutrients. With all the products promoting superfood claims these days, it can be hard to find the best ones. To make it easier for you to know which products actually meet high nutritional standards, I put together this guide of my favorite products that include superfood ingredients and can be found in most grocery stores. Fuel your body right and you can become a super-human version of yourself!