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4 Superfood Veggies (and a Fruit)

Kale

 Superpowers: High in Vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium. It has naturally occurring folate, which means even those with MTHFR SNPs can benefit from it. Kale is very fiber dense, which means that it helps feed healthy gut bugs and improves your microbiome. And it even has protein! 1 cup of chopped kale has 2.9 grams of protein.

Pro-tip: Eat it raw, but don’t juice it. Cooking degrades the nutrients in kale making it less of a powerhouse. Juicing removes the fiber, which means it isn’t feeding your microbiome. Juicing also concentrates the components of kale that can interfere with thyroid function. (Your thyroid is responsible for both your mood and your metabolism, so let’s not do anything to make it less effective!)

Blueberries

Superpowers: High in Vitamin C and antioxidant compounds including resveratrol. Resveratrol has been touted for years forhelping prevent aging, including age-related memory loss. New evidence is showing promise for use in attention and focus, even for ADHD.

Pro-tip: Eat organic. The skin is where you get all the great benefits from blueberries. This means that the part you eat won’t be peeled away. The thing is, blueberry skin is very porous, which means it absorbs the chemicals from pesticides and herbicides easily. Avoid consuming these by making sure you always eat organic.

Pumpkin

Superpowers: High in iron, magnesium, and all of the B vitamins. It also contains tons of carotenoids, which are responsible for its orange color. Carotenoids are well known for improving eyesight (you never saw a rabbit with glasses, right?). But did you know they help with brain function too? Carotenoids help improve cognition and memory. Most people think of carrots for carotenoids, but they have a higher sugar content than most veggies. Pumpkin is lower in sugar, making it a better choice for getting your carotenoids.

Pro-tip: Buy fresh or frozen pumpkin to avoid BPA. Cans are lined with a chemical called BPA that is a toxin to the endocrine and nervous system. Some of the chemical leaches into your food while it is being stored. Pumpkin can be great added to smoothies, soups, or baked goods – you will just need to cook it first or buy precooked and frozen versions from you local grocer.

Cauliflower

Superpowers: High in iron, magnesium, and all of the B vitamins. It also contains tons of carotenoids, which are responsible for its orange color. Carotenoids are well known for improving eyesight (you never saw a rabbit with glasses, right?). But did you know they help with brain function too? Carotenoids help improve cognition and memory. Most people think of carrots for carotenoids, but they have a higher sugar content than most veggies. Pumpkin is lower in sugar, making it a better choice for getting your carotenoids.

Pro-tip: Buy fresh or frozen pumpkin to avoid BPA. Cans are lined with a chemical called BPA that is a toxin to the endocrine and nervous system. Some of the chemical leaches into your food while it is being stored. Pumpkin can be great added to smoothies, soups, or baked goods – you will just need to cook it first or buy precooked and frozen versions from you local grocer.

Beets

Superpowers: Beets are incredibly good for the liver and digestion as well as the cardiovascular system. This means that eating beets can help you get more nutrients from your food, help you clear toxins, and get better blood flow to your body including your brain! And best of all, beets are sweet, so when they are done right, even kids will gobble them up.

Pro-tip: Don’t forget you ate beets! Beets can turn urine and stool a pink or even red color, so don’t be alarmed if you see colors you aren’t used to in the toilet. Ask yourself – did I eat beets recently? If the answer is yes, and the color is a pink-ish or purple-ish tone, you are most likely fine. If it is bright red however, it probably isn’t the beets, even if you have had them recently, so you should call your doctor.

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Two Bonus veggie filled breakfast options

Easy Veggie Scramble (serves 1) – vegetarian

Time to prep: 5 minutes

Time to cook: 7-10 minutes

2 eggs

1 cup mixed veggies (my favorite is zucchini, onion, kale, and red bell peppe)

¼ cup rinsed black beans (canned or pre-cooked)

1 Tbsp olive oil

 

Whisk together 2 eggs and set aside

Heat olive oil in pan over low medium heat

Add veggies to saute for about 5 minute, stirring often

Add eggs

For scramble stir often until fully cooked, for frittata-like texture heat until set on bottom and flip to cook fully through

 

Goes great with a serving of salsa for an extra kick!

 

Powerhouse Breakfast Smoothie – vegan

Time to prep: less than 5 minutes

Time to cook: None – just blend!

1 cup baby kale (it has better texture than standard kale)

½ cup frozen blueberries

¼ avocado

1 serving of your favorite vegan protein powder

Water, unsweetened nut milk, or a blend of the two – add to your preferred texture

 

Blend, pour and enjoy!