LifeTime WeightLoss Logo


« Healthy Kitchen: Portable Egg Cups | Main | Why Meal Plans Don’t Work »
Thursday
Feb112016

7 Superfood Menus to Supercharge Your Diet 

How nutrient dense was your diet today?

Some foods offer us nothing positive for the calories and artificial ingredients they contain. These are the "empty" options that we want to let go of on the way to better health and successful weight loss. 

On the other hand, there are foods that serve as pinnacles of nutrition. Within an overall healthy diet, they can take our nutrition from good to great.

But what does a superfood diet really look like? How far will it take me from my normal tastes and routines? Read on for a list of the top superfoods you can enjoy - and seven menus that will help you incorporate them today. 

What Are Superfoods?

While all fresh fruits and vegetables as well as natural sources of meat are nutrient dense and contain high levels of many vitamins and minerals, certain foods are so packed with nutrients and antioxidants that they’re often referred to as “superfoods.” These foods provide you with numerous health benefits and fight off harmful free radicals in the body. Check out the list below for some great ideas to get more out of your eating choices, and continue on for suggested superfood menus!

  • Avocado
  • Basil
  • Blackberries
  • Black Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Chia Seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut Oil
  • Cranberries
  • Dark Chocolate (80% cacao or higher)
  • Egg Yolks
  • Garlic
  • Grass-Fed Beef
  • Green Tea
  • Kale
  • Lentils
  • Parsley
  • Pinto Beans
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Raspberries
  • Walnuts
  • Wild Caught Salmon

How can I incorporate superfoods into my day?

The next question becomes this: “What are some tasty and easy ways to add superfoods to my daily diet?"

For starters, I would say begin with the ones you have tried before and know you like. Those will be easiest to buy and incorporate into your routine. From there, choose a few that you’ve tried in the past but maybe weren’t a huge fan of. (Let’s be honest: you were probably 10-years-old and didn’t give them a totally fair shake.) It may take a few tries to develop a genuine taste for them, OR you might be pleasantly surprised and love them.

Use the ideas below for preparation, or look for creative recipes that make each of your superfood choices appealing to you.

Knowing that these foods are doing wonders for your health, physique, complexion, mood, and so much more is motivation enough for making them staples in your diet. Before you know it, you’ll feel the benefits of these foods, and you’ll want to branch out and try additional foods from the list as well as more adventurous choices. Use the seven ideas below to get started!

Breakfast Menu Ideas

Chia Pudding

This superfood is super easy to make and can be quite the time saver in the morning! It can also serve as a great snack or dessert - making it a versatile menu idea! Requiring only four ingredients, this tasty chia pudding consists of unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla extract, and liquid stevia (optional). Top with fresh berries! Since the chia seeds need some time to gelatinize and turn into a pudding texture, I’ve found that taking 5-10 minutes at night to prepare and allowing it to sit overnight saves me time and decision-making in the morning and results in a tasty, nutritious breakfast.

Low-Carb “Cereal”

Are you a regular cereal eater in the morning? Hopefully sooner rather than later, you can break the suboptimal nutritional pattern and replace it with more nutrient dense options. However, a great stepping stone is finding a healthier type of cereal-based food. This low-carb “cereal” could be just the ticket! Filled with superfoods such as almonds, pecans, flaxseed, and blueberries, it is sure to start your morning off with a bang!

For days when you have a little more time, feel like a slightly bigger breakfast, or want something warm, check out these additional 10 better breakfasts for menu ideas that are packed with many superfoods and are sure to leave you satisfied.

Lunch Menu Ideas

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a tried-and-true lunch item for many people, but this version of chicken salad is like no other.  Loaded with superfoods, this antioxidant-rich, mid-day meal will be just the thing to get you through your work day. An important note about this dish: Be sure the chicken is organic, free-range chicken to optimize nutrient value (and avoid harmful antibiotics and hormones). A blend of numerous other superfoods (both veggie and fruit) results in a flavorful and easy Rainbow Chicken Salad.

Dinner Menu Ideas

Grass-Fed Ground Beef with Fixins’

A staple in my grocery cart is grass-fed ground beef. We use it in a variety of ways, and it serves as a great addition to simple dishes. Incorporating grass-fed beef into my week usually means at least two meals with healthy fats, ample protein, and high levels of certain vitamins and minerals. Bun-less burgers topped with avocado slices, onion, and spinach make an easy dinner. Add some baked sweet potato fries on the side. Looking for another great use for grass-fed ground beef? Have a taco night and top your creations with cilantro or spinach (instead of iceberg lettuce), shredded cheese, onion, and homemade guacamole (recipe below).

  •  2 avocados
  •  Lime juice from ½ lime
  •  1-2 tablespoons cilantro
  • ¾ cup diced tomatoes or salsa
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic & Rosemary Grilled Salmon

Salmon is one of my favorite dishes as it has amazing flavor and takes hardly any time to cook/grill/prepare! Not to mention, it’s one of the most nutritious foods and packed with ample amounts of omega-3s. This particular dish (recipe here) also includes a few other beneficial foods such as olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Complement this main dish with asparagus and roasted (sweet) potatoes to make a plateful of super-sides. 

These grass-fed beef and salmon ideas are just a few of the easy ways to add phenomenal superfoods into your dinners. Want additional suggestions? Check out these 5 Healthy 15-minute Meals!

Snacks

Mixed Nuts

Nuts are one of the food items I recommend most to my clients for upgrading their daily eating routine. They're full of nutrients and healthy fats, and they're a convenient way to feel full longer. Nuts (e.g. pistachios, walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.) are a perfect snack idea and/or addition to breakfast. Bake them on a low temperature in the oven with a blend of spices (including cinnamon - itself a superfood!), and you’ll end up with tasty mixed nuts to munch on at any time.

Some of the snacks you currently turn to may seem healthy, but are they? Try adding in a superfood or two with these healthier snack alternatives.

Dessert

Chocolate Protein Brownies

For many people, finding a dessert that fits into their healthy way of eating plan is a crucial addition at least every once in a while. As with all meals and snacks, a good rule of thumb is to include protein. This advice is critical for desserts. Try these chocolate protein brownies rather than the sugar laden boxed brownies that line your local grocery store shelves. Not only are they more nutrient-dense, but they’ll leave you feeling more satisfied.

Thanks for reading! Are you interested in more ideas for superfood recipes? Talk with our dietitians today!

In health, Becca Hurt, MS, RD, Assistant Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

Enclosure

PrintView Printer Friendly Version