Hello! I’m writing this from the road while superfood hunting in Brazil! Travel always sparks so much new variety in my diet, as I’m reminded how many wonderful foods there are to discover and eat around the world.
I eat so many new foods while I’m on the road, which is a wonderful adventure. But it also makes me appreciate the foods I have access to every day while I’m at home. I champion variety, but there are a few plants that I eat almost every day. I want to share with you their tremendous healthy benefits and why I love them so much.
1. Dark Leafy Greens
Greens are one of the most important foods that we require: everything from minerals to fiber to chlorophyll. Green’s antioxidant vitamins, brain and cellular support properties all contribute to healthy-aging, making them an excellent daily choice. According to a 2015 study, adding more leafy greens to your diet could help support cognitive function and eating leafy greens such as collards and kale helps with calcium intake and strong bones as well.
I eat greens every day, but I wildly mix it up: everything from romaine, to arugula, to red leaf lettuce, to kale, to spinach. It’s important to mix up your greens to get the full spectrum of nutrients.
2. Chia Seeds
The main reason I eat chia seeds daily is because they have a high concentration of the plant-based ALA omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are part of cell membranes and play a role in heart health, the health of your cellular walls, and more. (The word essential is used to describe substances we can’t get from outside sources). Up to 60 percent of the oil that is found in chia seeds is comprised of omega-3s.
Chia is also full of fiber, which helps with digestive support. And, although it is not a complete protein alone, chia seeds deliver many important amino acids.
It is easy to travel with chia seeds and use them. I eat them two ways, dry and ground up in a coffee grinder or whole and soaked overnight in water (or for at least five minutes). Do not eat whole, unsoaked chia seeds. You see them in photos and they look cool this way, but they are tough on digestion if they aren’t ground or soaked. Put them in smoothies or on fruit, mix them in salads and salad dressings, and more!
I eat some sort of coconut every day as my source of healthy fat, usually coconut oil or coconut yogurt. Fat-soluble vitamins are only absorbed by your body in the presence of… fat!
I also eat coconut yogurt for the probiotics, which support gut health. I also just love the flavor of coconut! Coconut yogurt has a tanginess that can add that missing flavor and taste to my diet without eating cheese.
I love the taste and the consistency of avocados, and I eat one every day. Avocados are full of good fats that help promote health and increase the bioavailability of fat-soluble vitamins and phytochemicals. Exploratory studies suggest that avocados may support weight management and healthy aging.
I love how good avocados are for me! With a little Himalayan crystal salt sprinkled on, it is literally one of the best foods ever. I usually make rice cakes and avocados. I don’t eat toast, but I do eat fermented, gluten-free bread at times with avocado, as well. It’s so good!
5. Baru Nuts
I eat baru nuts every day. Baru nuts are a healthier version of peanuts, a better environmental option than almonds, and have more nutrients per calories than most nuts. I discovered them on my last trip superfood hunting in Brazil and they taste fantastic.
Baru nuts are such a great snack for protein, fiber, iron, and zinc. It is a wonderful nut.
Those are the top five plant-based foods I eat almost every day. Each one brings incredible benefits for your body. Try adding one to your diet this week!