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7 Low-Carb Keto Superfoods

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<h5>Have you heard the term “superfood” before?</h5> It gets tossed around quite a bit these days by health professionals and fitness enthusiasts. And for good reason. Certainly, if there are vastly superior food choices, we should all know them and do our best to add them into our diet, right? But what classifies something as a superfood? Are they backed by science? And if you follow a specific diet like keto, are superfoods an option for your normal daily eating habits? There’s a lot to unpack regarding superfoods. Fortunately, once you cut through some of the dogma, the message becomes pretty simple. In this article, we’ll take a look at what a superfood is, how they can benefit you, and seven superfoods that are perfect for the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide/"><b>keto diet</b></a>. Let’s dive in! <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">What Are Superfoods?</p></h4><div class="text-center my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-right" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/superfood-advertising-label.jpg" alt="Super Food Advertising Label"> </div>Truthfully, the term “superfood” comes from the world of marketing. It was invented―and is still used today―to sell specific types of food. And kudos to whoever coined the term, because when something gets classified as a superfood, it sells like crazy<sup>1</sup>. The label alone can improve supermarket sales by up to 20%. But what are superfoods? And if a marketing company came up with the term, how do we decide which foods meet the criteria? A superfood refers to something edible that is densely packed with nutrients. The belief, or at least what they’ll sell you on, is that superfoods are so packed with nutrients that they can positively sway or impact your health. If health were a pendulum, superfoods help swing the pendulum in the direction of health―in theory, of course. <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">History</p></h4> Interestingly, the term “superfood” was coined as early as World War I<sup>2</sup>, and used as part of a marketing strategy by the United Fruit Company. Bananas were the original superfood, and the company pushed people to incorporate them into their daily diet because they’re cheap, easily digestible, and can be prepared in many ways. In recent years, a few medical journals have endorsed the idea of superfoods, which has in turn caused the consumption of particular superfoods to take off. For example: kale, seaweed, and ginger have boomed in popularity as a result of their superfood labeling. <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">What Makes Superfoods So Beneficial?</p></h4> We know that eating healthy, non-processed foods is key to reaching our fitness goals and being healthy. Processed foods tend to be packed with preservatives and other chemicals that are difficult to digest and can make you feel sluggish. By the way, a rule of thumb: if you can’t pronounce the ingredient on the label, don’t eat it. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/array-of-superfoods-on-a-grey-counter.jpg" alt="Array of Superfoods On A Grey Counter"></div> <p>Superfoods are essentially the opposite of processed foods. They are single-ingredient, wholesome, vitamin- and mineral-packed sustenance choices that promote our health and allow our bodies to function optimally. They can ward off disease, protect against free radicals, keep us healthy, and make us feel energized.</p> <p>For superfoods, the only rule of thumb is to consume liberally and eat a variety of them so your body can thrive off the various nutrients.</p> </div> </div> <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Nutrients</p></h4> Superfoods are packed with <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-micronutrients-why-they-are-important/"><b><i>micronutrients</i></b></a> but can be any of the three <i>macronutrients</i>. Confused? Here’s what that means: <h5>Micronutrients</h5> When referring to the nutrients or <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-micronutrients-why-they-are-important/"><b>micronutrients</b></a> in superfoods, we’re referring to the<sup>3</sup> vitamins and minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants that keep our bodies healthy. For example, vitamin A is essential for vision and skin health. A deficiency could lead to problems over the long-term. In a healthy human diet, one would consume plenty of this as well as an array of other <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-micronutrients-why-they-are-important/"><b>micronutrients</b></a> throughout a day or week to keep their body functioning properly. <h5>Macronutrients</h5> A <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/do-micronutrients-matter-as-much-as-macronutrients/"><b>macronutrient</b></a>, on the other hand, is what all human food is comprised of. There are three macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Superfoods vary in terms of their primary <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/do-micronutrients-matter-as-much-as-macronutrients/"><b>macronutrient</b></a>. For example, salmon, olive oil, and leafy green vegetables like kale are all considered keto-friendly superfoods. But salmon, touted for its Omega-3 fatty acids, is primarily made of protein; olive oil is made of fat; and kale offers some carbs. So, how are they the same? Well, all three items share a similarity: they are considered superfoods. This is because salmon, olive oil, and kale all contain vast amounts of micronutrients: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and the like. <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Superfoods & Dogma: Remember What’s Important</p></h4> You now know that while superfoods are packed with micro and macro nutrients, it is essentially a marketing term used to sell more food items. Though superfoods can point you in the right direction, it’s important to keep that piece about marketing in your mind going forward. In the nutrition world, there is always dogma to cut through. It’s better to make informed choices based on what works for you instead of buying into fads or “hot ticket” food choices. <h5>How?</h5> Doing this is actually pretty simple. Here’s how: Eat healthy, sustainable foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals. Try new foods. Regularly assess how your food choices make you feel. Do you feel more <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-energy-how-the-keto-diet-combats-fatigue/"><b>energy?</b></a> Are you reaching your goals? Great! Then keeping eating those foods. All in all, don’t worry too much about it if your choices are labeled a “superfood” or not. The label can point you in the right direction, but ultimately, <i>experience</i> should guide your eating preferences. If you follow a specific diet like keto, you can find some nutritionally dense, keto-approved options below. <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">What can I eat Keto?</p></h4> A ketogenic diet usually limits your carb intake to 20–50 grams per day. Fortunately for adopters of keto, incorporating more superfoods won’t be difficult. This is, in large part, due to the fact that achieving ketosis is difficult (or impossible) when you eat a lot of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/the-ugly-truth-behind-the-standard-american-diet/"><b>processed foods.</b></a> The keto diet promotes wholesome vegetables, various proteins, and liberal doses of good, natural fats. As you’ll see below, many of these food choices are already considered “superfoods.” <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">7 Keto Superfoods</p></h4> <h5>Here are some superfoods you can adopt on the keto diet. Check out our <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/"><b>latest recipes</b></a> for more.</h5> <div class="row mb-4"> <div class="col-12 col-md-5 push-md-7 align-self-center"> <img class="img-fluid" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/Organic-Rainbow-Chard.jpg" alt="Organic Rainbow Chard"> </div> <div class="col-12 col-md-7 pull-md-5"> <h5>1. The Benefits of Dark Leafy Greens</h5> <p>Dark leafy greens are both a superfood and a staple of the keto diet. Low carb, and packed with vitamins and minerals, they will likely be a staple of your keto meals.</p> <p>Dark leafy greens<sup>4</sup> are packed with folate, zinc, calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. They are highly anti-inflammatory, collagen-boosting, and may also be cancer-fighting<sup>5</sup>.</p> <p>Dark leafy greens include kale, swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, and arugula. Non-starchy vegetables like these can even help people monitoring their blood sugar or those with type 2 diabetes. Whether you cook them with olive oil (see #6) or add them to a salad, their preparation options are also endless.</p> </div> </div> <div class="row mb-4"> <div class="col-12 col-md-5 push-md-7 align-self-center"> <img class="img-fluid" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/Fresh-Blueberrys-On-The-Branch.jpg" alt="Fresh blueberries on the branch"> </div> <div class="col-12 col-md-7 pull-md-5"> <h5>2. The Benefits of Berries</h5> <p>Berries are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They’re also a treat for people on the keto diet that want a little something sweet.</p> <p>Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries help reduce inflammation<sup>6</sup> and the risk of heart disease, based on a number of scientific studies. In addition to being heart healthy and fiber-rich foods, some evidence also shows berries can help treat<sup>7</sup> various digestive and immune-related disorders.</p> <p>People on keto may have to limit their berry intake. Even blueberries<sup>8</sup>―probably your best choice due to their low glycemic index―have sugar in them. Thus, eating blueberries may prevent you from reaching ketosis if consumed liberally.</p> </div> </div> <div class="row mb-4"> <div class="col-12 col-md-5 push-md-7 align-self-center"> <img class="img-fluid" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/eggs-and-bacon.jpg" alt="Eggs and bacon"> </div> <div class="col-12 col-md-7 pull-md-5"> <h5>3. The Benefits of Eggs</h5> <p>If a <i>true</i> superfood does exist, a lot of people would say it's eggs. This may seem strange since as recently as ten years ago, their cholesterol content led many to believe they were unhealthy. That’s no longer the perception<sup>9</sup>.</p> <p>Eggs are packed with A and B vitamins, choline, selenium, iron, and phosphorus. They also have a lot of protein, are cheap, and are very versatile to prepare.</p> </div> </div> <div class="row mb-4"> <div class="col-12 col-md-5 push-md-7 align-self-center"> <img class="img-fluid" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/Garlic-bulb-and-garlic-cloves.jpg" alt="Garlic bulb and garlic cloves"> </div> <div class="col-12 col-md-7 pull-md-5"> <h5>4. The Benefits of Garlic</h5> <p>No one has to tell a seasoned keto dieter how great garlic is. They’ll tell you it’s not a matter of when they cook with garlic, it’s more a matter of how much garlic they need to buy each week at the grocery store.</p> <p>Why? Because garlic is cheap and makes simple protein and veggie dishes taste delicious. But did you know it’s also considered a superfood?</p> <p>Garlic is full of manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium, and fiber. In fact, it has been thought of as medically-beneficial for centuries.</p> </div> </div> <h5>Pro Tip:</h5> Next time you make eggs, cook a little garlic with olive oil in the pan before adding them in. Enjoy the amazing taste of this three-pronged “superdish”. <div class="row mb-4"> <div class="col-12 col-md-5 push-md-7 align-self-center"> <img class="img-fluid" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/raw-salmon-fillet-with-peppercorns.jpg" alt="Raw salmon fillet with peppercorns"> </div> <div class="col-12 col-md-7 pull-md-5"> <h5>5. The Benefits of Salmon</h5> <p>Another <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/protein-powder-is-for-more-than-just-body-builders/"><b>protein</b></a> on the list for keto dieters is salmon. While there are other suitors, salmon ranks the highest as a keto-friendly, protein-packed superfood.</p> <p>It’s a source of healthy fats full of Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, B vitamins, and potassium. Research suggests<sup>10</sup> it can lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and help you maintain a healthy weight. </p> <p>Salmon will fill you up, help your muscles rebuild, fuel your brain, and allow you to stay in ketosis at the same time.</p> </div> </div> <div class="row mb-4"> <div class="col-12 col-md-5 push-md-7 align-self-center"> <img class="img-fluid" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/avocado-cut-in-half-with-wooden-spoon.jpg" alt="Avocado cut in half with wooden spoon"> </div> <div class="col-12 col-md-7 pull-md-5"> <h5>The Benefits of Avocado</h5> <p>Avocado offers a liberal dose of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fat. As you’ve surely noticed by now, these superfoods all pack a powerful punch of health-promoting nutrients. For avocados, it’s a green, spherical punch.</p> <p>The culinary applications of avocado are wide. Put avocado on salads, use it as a garnish, or eat a half of one as a snack on the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide/"><b>keto diet</b></a>.</p> </div> </div> <div class="row mb-4"> <div class="col-12 col-md-5 push-md-7 align-self-center"> <img class="img-fluid" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/olive-oil-with-olive-in-wooden-spoon.jpg" alt="Olive oil with olive in wooden spoon"> </div> <div class="col-12 col-md-7 pull-md-5"> <h5>7. The Benefits of Olive Oil</h5> <p>You love it, you cook with it, but did you know it’s a superfood?</p> <p>Olive oil contains high levels of monounsaturated fats―known as “good fat” for its health benefits―and may also reduce inflammation<sup>11/sup> in the body.</p> <p>Olive oil is the smart, healthy choice compared to other less healthy options like vegetable oil when cooking up dishes on the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide/"><b>keto diet</b></a>.</p> </div> </div> <br><h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Keto & Superfoods: Wrap-Up</p></h4> Superfoods can be game-changers for your nutrition. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (good for anti-aging and cancer-fighting) and can give you more energy. Keto or not, you should do your best to eat them liberally. When it comes to superfoods, however, it’s important to remember that “superfood” is a marketing term. It’s best to use superfoods as a guideline for your nutritional choices, but to only move forward based on how you feel and if you’re reaching your goals or not. Those adopting the keto diet would do well to incorporate keto superfoods into their daily eating habits. Options are plentiful, but the seven listed above are a good place to start. <h5>Check out more <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/"><b>diet-related articles</b></a> and recipes on the blog.</h5> <h5><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Resources</p></h5> 1. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-5673595/Sales-superfood-mushrooms-rise-supermarkets-health-benefits.html">Forget Kale! Why shoppers are buying more mushrooms than EVER</a> 2. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/superfoods/">Superfoods or Superhype?</a> 3. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/listing_of_vitamins">Listing of Vitamins</a> 4. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/leafy-green-vegetables">The 13 Healthiest Leafy Green Vegetables</a> 5. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27485230">Carotenoids as a Source of Antioxidants in the Diet.</a> 6. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26501271">Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Types of Berries.</a> 7. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29087531">Review of the health effects of berries</a> 8. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.wildblueberries.com/health-research/nutrition/glycemic-index/">A Low Glycemic Food</a> 9. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-eggs-should-you-eat">Eggs and Cholesterol</a> 10. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24860193">Dietary omega-3 fatty acids aid in the modulation of inflammation and metabolic health</a> 11. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29141575">The Protective Effects of Extra Virgin Olive Oil</a>

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