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The Top 10 Superfoods: Boost Energy, Balance Your Hormones, & More!

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Our energy is our most precious resource. It gets us up in the morning, keeps us going throughout the day, and gives us the drive to work out, and the brain power to think through problems.


What type of energy are you curating?


Just as gas is fuel for your car, food is fuel for your body. And while this might seem obvious (especially in this context), what we put into our bodies directly impacts what we get out.


Superfoods for Natural Energy - Fitness & Health Tips - CHI-SOCIETY

In fact, when we eat:

  • Real, wholesome, nutrient-dense foods: We feel energized, uplifted, and satiated.

  • Processed, packaged foods: We are quickly stimulated, then crash. Often referred to as the “blood sugar rollercoaster”, this pattern causes fatigue, mood swings, insatiable hunger, cravings, anxiety, depression, hormone imbalance, and insomnia.


According to Dr. Mark Hyman, the Head of Strategy and Innovation at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, 90% of symptoms, illness, and disease is caused by diet and lifestyle. If you’re feeling tired and irritable, assessing your diet is a great place to start.


  1. Time is limited.

  2. Priorities vary.

  3. There are small windows of opportunities to make health-focused changes.


The action steps I offer in coaching sessions are simple, yet effective, as my primary goal is to help clients feel better fast (even with long days at the office, frequent travel, and booked social calendars).


This is where superfoods come in!


Exceptionally high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, superfoods pack a big bang for their buck when it comes to health and vitality.


Often associated with energy, anti-aging and longevity, these foods:

  1. Boost brain power and mental clarity

  2. Support weight loss

  3. Promote better sleep at night

  4. Fight aches, pain and inflammation

  5. Keep the hormones happy

  6. Do SO much more!


How to Use Superfoods for Health - Best Health & Fitness in Chicago - CHI-SOCIETY

Here are the top superfoods I recommend incorporating into your regime.


Superfood 1. Cinnamon

According to the ORAC scale, which is used to measure the concentration of antioxidants in different foods, herbs, and spices, cinnamon ranks in the top five. Rich in fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin K, this heart-healthy spice:

  1. Supports bone strength

  2. Aids digestion

  3. Boosts metabolism

  4. Balances blood sugar levels


Pro Tip: Naturally sweet in flavor, cinnamon can be used in oatmeal, yogurt, and baked goods. I also recommend adding a sprinkle to your coffee beans before brewing for a delightful aroma, anti-aging benefits, and better blood sugar balance.



Superfood 2. Dark Chocolate

Cacao (raw chocolate) powder, cacao nibs and at least 70% dark chocolate squares are a great addition to your healthy diet and a Nutritionist’s favorite dessert. With a hint of caffeine, fiber, antioxidants, and magnesium, this heart-healthy treat is energizing, satiating, brain-boosting, AND helps alleviate constipation.


Pro Tip: Enjoy up to 1 oz. as a midday pick-me-up, add dark chocolate chips to baked treats, or finish off your next smoothie bowl or banana “nice cream” with a sprinkle of cacao nibs.


Superfood 3. Wild Blueberries

Blueberries & Superfoods - Best Chicago Health & Fitness

Low in sugar, yet packed with fiber, anthocyanin (a powerhouse antioxidant), and vitamin C, wild blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits available. Notoriously linked to brain health and fighting colon cancer, wild blueberries also boost the immune system, support digestion and help lower inflammation.


Pro Tip: Add 1/2 cup of wild blueberries to your morning smoothie, in chia pudding, atop your next yogurt parfait, or enjoy them on their own for a healthy sweet tooth satisfier.


Superfood 4. Matcha

This finely-ground Japanese green tea powder contains about half the caffeine of your average cup of Joe to energize, without overstimulating. Furthermore, matcha’s antioxidants and l-theanine promote a more balanced and sustainable boost.


Pro Tip: Enjoy it in smoothies or matcha lattes!


Superfood 5. Maca Root


Nutty and sweet with caramel notes, this yummy superfood powder can easily be added to smoothies, hot chocolate, lattes, and/or chocolate treats to improve flavor, nutrients, and health-boosting properties. I recommend including maca root in your morning or pre-workout regime as it offers a nice energy boost!


Microgreens & Superfoods - Best Chicago Health & Fitness

Superfood 6. Microgreens


With up to 40 times the nutrient density of their mature counterparts (i.e. a full head of broccoli or kale), these tiny greens are highly concentrated in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C.


Although they resemble sprouts, the biggest difference is sprouts are grown in the water while microgreens germinate in the soil.


Pro Tip: Great as a finishing touch for avocado toast or soup, microgreens can also be added to salads, wraps, tacos, or smoothies. The best part? All you need is a sprinkle to flood your body with megadoses of nutrients.


Superfood 7. Wild-Caught Salmon

Rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, wild-caught salmon is a low-toxicity fish that enhances memory and cognitive function while alleviating aches and pain, fighting fine lines and wrinkles, improving cholesterol levels, and lubricating the joints.


Depending on the variety (sockeye, coho, king, etc.), one 3.5 oz. serving of wild-caught salmon can provide up to 1,700 mg omega-3s!


Pro Tip: Include this superfood in your diet 2-3 times per week.


Superfood 8. Spirulina

Spirulina & Superfoods - Best Health & Fitness in Chicago

This blue-green algae contains 60% protein and is considered one of the few “complete” plant-based proteins, providing all the essential amino acids needed to rebuild, repair and strengthen. Spirulina is also a rich source of alkalizing carotenoids, energizing B vitamins, detoxifying chlorophyll, and blood-building iron.


Pro Tip: Add a teaspoon of spirulina to your green smoothie or find it in a greens powder blend and take it with you on the go – just mix with water, shake and you have an easy-to-travel-with green juice!


Superfood 9. Dark Leafy Greens

The darker the green, the richer in nutrients. Varieties such as kale, spinach, arugula, basil, cilantro, and parsley contain chlorophyll and minerals that help nourish and energize your body on a deeper, cellular level.


Pro Tip: Add spinach or kale to your smoothies and top your soups, salads, eggs, and avocado toast with herbs – simple, yet effective!


Superfood 10. Lemons

Although acidic in nature, lemons are actually alkalizing once processed through the gastrointestinal tract. Rich in vitamin C (a potent antioxidant), flavonoids, and citric acid, lemons help boost the immune system, cleanse the bowels, support detoxification, aid digestion, and prevent free radical damage.


Pro Tip: Drink a mug of warm lemon water first thing in the morning and adding a squeeze of lemon as a finishing touch to your dishes.



 

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