As college women, it seems nearly impossible to consume the recommended daily intake of nutrients and antioxidants. Our busy college schedules often guide us towards quick fixes that are unhealthy. These quick fixes include my guilty pleasure, the amazingly delicious spicy Chick-fil-A sandwich. However, there are foods that are quick and convenient, and they pack a powerful punch sure to make your taste buds thank you. Superfoods, simply put, are nutrient powerhouses that will give you the energy kick you crave. I’ve researched the superfood heavyweight champions and have narrowed it down to five superfoods that were basically created for collegiettes.
1. BlueberriesThis superfood is extremely high in antioxidants and vitamins C and E. Blueberries are an amazing superfood for collegiettes because of their memory boosting capabilities. Along with boosting brain function, blueberries also protect eye health and prevent glaucoma. What really makes this superfood great for us girls is their convenience; you can load blueberries up in a sandwich bag and be out the door. They are finger foods, so you can virtually eat them anywhere: in your car, on the bus, during class, while walking between class or at the library. Blueberries are low in calories and high in fiber. As a college girl, this is music to my ears. Blueberries will leave you feeling full without being sluggish; they also have no adverse effects on your weight, which is always a plus.
2. YogurtNow, you might be thinking to yourself, “Why would she put yogurt on here? Everyone already knows that. Duh!” If you are questioning why I would list an apparent item such as yogurt, here it goes: Not all yogurts are superfoods! The true superfood of the yogurt family is plain yogurt. Of course, plain yogurt is not something you would typically eat on its own. However, plain yogurt is higher in potassium and calcium than many other dairy products. Ways to incorporate plain yogurt into your diet include using it as a dip for veggies and as a spread for sandwiches or wraps.
3. NutsAlthough nuts do have a high fat content, any type of nuts can be good for you in moderation. Nuts earn their superfood title because they are high in protein, antioxidants, fiber and heart healthy fats. This superfood is great because it’s a convenient, discreet snack. Feel free to take a bag of nuts with you anywhere you go. You will feel full after a healthy portion of nuts. They add texture and an instant boost of protein to oatmeal, cereal, salads and baked goods. They also have the power to lower cholesterol as well as promote weight loss. What else could you ask for from these super packed snacks?
4. WatermelonHave you been drinking watermelon? We should all take Beyoncé’s words of wisdom and put more watermelon in our diets. Other than watermelon being a superfood because they were mentioned by the “Flawless” Beyoncé, these superfoods earn their stripes by being low in sugar and high in vitamins A and C. While watermelon isn’t in season until summer, I think they are a notable superfood because they are low in calories, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and potentially lower blood pressure. So remember, when summer returns, take a big bite into a juicy slice of watermelon and think of Beyoncé.
5. SalmonA superfood doesn’t have to be confined to fruits and vegetables. Salmon is a very heart-healthy fish that is really simple to cook even for us busy college women. Salmon can be steamed in a matter of minutes. Salmon is a high protein fish with omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce cardiovascular disease. Unique “superpowers” possessed by salmon include the ability to protect skin from the sun as well as the harmful effects of UV rays. Next time you decide to take out the skillet, try steaming some salmon, and don’t be afraid to try new recipes.
Although endless Lays potato chips and Chick-fil-A waffle fries are tempting choices for late-night cravings, treat your body right and invest in some healthy superfood alternatives. Unhealthy snacks doused in grease and oils will make you feel bloated and tired, so wake up and try these superfoods next time you’re doing your Sunday afternoon grocery shopping!
Photo credit: www.superfoodnetwork.org