A common question we hear from people who want to live a healthier lifestyle is “How do I incorporate superfoods into my diet?” Some people fear that eating superfoods means completely altering their daily meals and snacks, but that doesn’t have to be the reality. A quick and easy way to incorporate superfoods into your daily life is to swap out unhealthy foods that are currently part of your daily diet for nourishing foods that will increase energy, aid weight loss and support the immune system. We call this a superfood swap!
An easy way to begin superfood swapping is to switch up one food item each day. To help you out, we’ve compiled seven superfood swaps for you to try in the upcoming week!
1. Brown rice → Quinoa
While brown rice is a great alternative to white rice (kudos to you if you’ve already made the switch), swapping quinoa for brown rice will provide you with many more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Quinoa has 3 grams more protein than brown rice and packs a lot more fiber and iron. Also, although slightly higher in fat content, quinoa helps lower cholesterol.
2. Milk and dark chocolate → Cacao
Good news: eating healthy does not mean giving up chocolate - it simply means a quick swap is in order! Swapping cacao for your everyday milk or dark chocolate is super beneficial to your health. But why is cacao better for you than regular chocolate? Cacao comes straight from the cacao bean as a pure, unprocessed chocolate that is high in magnesium so it balances brain chemistry and builds strong bones. Plus, cacao is available in many forms, including nibs, paste, and powder, so it’s perfect for all of your baking needs.
3. Coffee → Maca
While coffee does have many health benefits, swapping maca root powder for coffee once in awhile will be beneficial for your health. First off, maca is a great way to get that energy boost without the added jitters. Plus, consuming maca regularly has been correlated with a longer life. Maca builds immunity, helps us focus and can even reduce stress. We’re not saying you should trade maca for coffee forever, but making the switch (through a smoothie, or simply by adding to water) once in awhile will be good for you. You could even add a little maca powder to your coffee, and perhaps have one cup instead of your regular two or three.
4. Peanut butter → Almond butter
While we recommend any nut butter that has no added sugar or artificial ingredients, swapping almond butter for peanut butter can provide some health benefits. When compared to peanut butter, almond butter has 25% more of the fats you do want and and half the content of the fats you don’t want. Plus, almond butter contains much more vitamin E, iron, and calcium than peanut butter. Finally, almond butter is higher in fiber, which makes you feel fuller faster - and ultimately could help you lose weight!
5. Pasta → Zucchini noodles
This swap all comes down to numbers. If we were to put two dishes in front of you, one weighing in at 480 calories and 90 grams of carbs and one with 66 calories and 12 grams of carbs, which would you choose? The answer is clear: zucchini noodles trump pasta every time. Not to mention, zucchini noodles look just like regular pasta, and science shows that we eat with our eyes. So you’ll hardly know the difference!
6. Energy drinks → Smoothie with chia seeds and hemp protein
Whatever you do, drop the energy drinks. Studies show that these drinks have been linked to cardiac arrest, headaches and migraines, anxiety, insomnia, diabetes, and high blood pressure. If you’re in need of that energy boost, try a smoothie with chia seeds and hemp protein instead. Chia seeds stabilize blood sugar, keeping you energized throughout the day, and they look great on top of a smoothie bowl. Plus, hemp protein provides a vegan source of energy, and easily mixes into your smoothie.
7. Bread crumbs → Flax seed powder
Bread crumbs are often filled with corn syrup and sodium, and can easily be replaced by many other options. Flax seed powder is one of our favorite alternatives, especially because of all its superfood powers. In fact, flax seed powder contains more Omega-3 than fish oil. Other benefits include blood sugar regulation, promotion of healthy skin, and strengthening of the immune system.