There’s no doubt about it; superfoods exist but, in a world where marketing can so easily sway public opinion, it can be hard to know which superfoods really are super and which are simply an over-priced store cupboard ‘essential.’
If you haven’t guessed it already, here at Ayoub’s, we’re very passionate about nuts and seeds. Time and time again, we have seen these wonderful ingredients relegated to the end of superfood lists or even left off altogether when really they should be up there at the very top.
We’ll admit it, humble nuts and seeds may not be as sexy or exciting as bright purple acai berries or chlorella powder that will turn any smoothie a vivid green color, but that doesn’t make them any less nutritious.
Here are our five reasons why we think nuts and seeds are the real unsung superfoods!
- They’re A Great Source Of Plant-Based Protein
Increasingly, whether for health reasons, for the planet, or due to ethical concerns, more and more people are reducing their intake of animal products. Without meat, dairy, or eggs in your diet, it is essential to look for plant-based sources. There are dozens of fantastic plant-based protein sources, including, you guessed it - nuts and seeds! A single tiny 28g serving of almonds contains a massive 6g of protein, while the same serving of pumpkin seeds contains 5.8g.
- They’re Packed With Antioxidants
When we think of antioxidants, we often jump straight to berries like blueberries, goji berries, or acai berries and forget that nuts and seeds are also exceptional sources of these cancer-fighting vitamins. Walnuts, in particular, are one of the richest sources of antioxidants there is, ranking second out of 1113 of the foods most commonly eaten in the United States.
- They’re Good For Your Gut
In recent years, a growing amount of research has uncovered the connection between a healthy gut and a healthy body, and the key to a healthy gut is a healthy gut microbiome. In order to grow a healthy gut microbiome, you need to be feeding your good gut bacteria by eating enough fiber. A one-ounce serving of chia seeds provides a massive 35% of your DV for fiber. A one-ounce serving of flaxseed provides 28% and a handful (one-ounce) serving of pumpkin seeds provided 19%! To put that into perspective, you’d need to eat four cups of chopped kale to consume the same amount of fiver as there is in 2tbsp of chia seeds!
- They’re Accessible
Because of the rise in superfoods like acai berries, blue-green algae, chlorella, and barley grass powder, many people now see superfoods as expensive, exotic, and largely hard to find when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of the best superfoods like nuts, seeds, and vegetables like broccoli can be found in any grocery store and are extremely accessible making it easy for anyone to start eating a healthier diet.
- They’re Full Of Healthy Fats
Fats aren’t created equal - in fact, some fats like those found in nuts and seeds, are actively beneficial to the body. The key difference between the kind of fat in nuts and the kind of fat in a custard tart is that the fat in nuts and seeds is largely monounsaturated. Unlike saturated fats which clog up your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease, monounsaturated fats are actually beneficial for heart health, helping to remove fat from your arteries and lower your bad LDL cholesterol levels.
So there you have it. As you can see, nuts and seeds have a lot going for them and have definitely earned their place on the superfood list!