(StatePoint) In a world where fatty, fried and frosted foods are often the cheapest, quickest and most readily available options, it can be easy to forget the true purpose of eating -- to healthfully fuel our bodies.
"The higher-quality fuel you put in your body, the better you will function. The right diet can potentially prevent you from developing certain diseases and conditions," says Gerry Cysewski, Ph.D., co-author of "Spirulina: Nature's SuperFood," and Chief Science Officer of Nutrex Hawaii, a nutritional supplement manufacturer.
And despite what many people think, healthful eating doesn't have to come at the price of taste or time. Foods rich in nutrition can make quick snacks and be incorporated easily into your favorite dishes.
Here are ideas for how to fit three superfoods into your diet:
Skip the sodium overload of chomping on chips and lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes and even the common cold with some blueberries. Blueberries are full of flavor as well as antioxidants, phytoflavinoids, Vitamin C and potassium.
While they make for a great snack on their own, blueberries are also delicious as a yogurt, oatmeal or cereal topper.
For a wealth of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, take a cue from the ancient Mayans and Aztecs and incorporate spirulina in your daily diet.
Hawaiian spirulina, a microalgae-based superfood, contains more than 100 nutrients, and a three gram serving contains higher levels of key antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals than five servings of fruits and vegetables.
"A single serving of spirulina is like a rainbow of good nutrition, containing the orange of beta-carotene for immune system support, the yellow of zeaxanthin for eye and brain health, the green of chlorophyll for anti-toxin health benefits, and the blue of phycocyanin for inflammatory balance," says Cysewski.
What's the best way to get your daily dose? Consider taking pill supplements, or if you prefer, mix spirulina powder in dips like guacamole or hummus. Or for a tasty breakfast, lunch or snack, try this smoothie recipe:
Blend these ingredients together and serve immediately:
o 1/2 cup yogurt
o 1 cup of fruit juice (apple, orange or pineapple)
o 1 or more of the following: 1 papaya, 1 peach, 1 mango
1/2 cup of boysenberries or raspberries
o 1 teaspoon Hawaiian Spirulina powder
More information on the benefits of spirulina can be found at www.Nutrex-Hawaii.com.
Popeye was onto something when he downed those cans of spinach. The dark leafy greens contain minerals, vitamins, pigments and phytonutrients that benefit eyesight, blood pressure, muscles, bones, skin and a healthy nervous system.
For a low-fat, low-calorie source of iron and protein, put the burger down and eat spinach instead. Opt for the fresh variety, swapping out iceberg lettuce in salads, or sauté lightly with olive oil and garlic for a great side. Spinach is also tasty in omelets and makes a healthy alternative to ground meat in lasagna.
With a little creativity, giving your body the right fuel it needs to stay healthy can be convenient and delicious.