In the quest for a healthy lifestyle, incorporating nutrient-rich foods is crucial. Superfoods have gained immense popularity recently due to their unique nutritional profiles. This blog post will explore the wonders of five remarkable superfoods: Quinoa, Goji Berries, Chia Seeds, Flaxseed, and Maca Powder. These superfoods are worthy additions to any balanced diet.
Quinoa, pronounced "keen-wah," is a highly nutritious grain-like seed that originates from the Andean region of South America. It has gained recognition as a superfood due to its exceptional nutritional profile.1
Quinoa has been cultivated for over 5,000 years and was a staple food of the ancient Incas and was revered for its high nutritional content. Since then, It has gained worldwide growing attention, not only due to its nutritional and functional properties but also because of its ability to be cultivated under adverse climate conditions, thus being dubbed the “golden-grain”.1
Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa, a complete protein, is a powerhouse of nutrients, fiber, and minerals. Our Organic Royal Quinoa is a delicious gluten-free whole grain that takes very little time to prepare and can be substituted anywhere grains are used. It’s referred to as a complete vegan protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids, making it highly suitable for vegetarians and plant-based diets, and provides 12% DV (Daily Value) of protein per serving.
Enjoying your Quinoa:
- Quinoa Salad: Cook quinoa according to the package instructions and let it cool. Then mix it with a variety of vegetables like diced bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados. Add some feta cheese, chickpeas, or grilled chicken for additional protein, and toss it all together with your favorite vinaigrette for a balanced and satisfying meal.
- Quinoa Porridge: Start your day off with a comforting bowl of quinoa porridge. Cook quinoa with almond milk or water, and add a touch of cinnamon and vanilla. Once it's done, top it off with fresh fruits, nuts, and a drizzle of honey for added flavor.
- Quinoa Stir Fry: Use quinoa as a healthy substitute for rice in a stir-fry. Cook quinoa and set it aside. Sauté a mix of your favorite vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, and snap peas in a bit of Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil. Add some chicken or shrimp for additional protein, then mix in the quinoa. Drizzle with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, stir until everything is well combined, and serve hot.
Goji Berries, also known as wolfberries, are vibrant red berries that grow on the Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense plants, native to Asia.
Goji Berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. They are revered in ancient Chinese culture and since ancient times, these berries have been highly valued and used in raw, dried, or processed forms in teas and juices.2
Benefits of Goji Berries
Our Organic Goji Berries deliver bright and tangy flavors of fruity goodness with every bite. Delicious by the handful, goji berries are low in saturated fat while providing a source of dietary fiber and iron.
A few ways to enjoy your Goji Berries:
- Snack on the go: No need to add anything! They make a great, nutritious snack straight from the bag.
- Blend into a Smoothie: Goji berries can be blended into a smoothie for a nutrient boost. They pair well with other fruits like bananas, strawberries, and blueberries, as well as with leafy greens.
- Add to Breakfast Cereal or Oatmeal: Sprinkle a handful of goji berries on your cereal or oatmeal to add a fruity twist. You can also mix them into yogurt or include them in homemade granola after baking.
Chia seeds are tiny, oval-shaped seeds derived from the Salvia hispanica plant, native to Central and South America.
Chia seeds have a long history and were an important dietary staple for the Aztecs and Mayans. They were considered sacred food and used in the preparation of folk medicines, food and canvases.3
Benefits of Chia Seeds
Nothing else added. These delicious superseeds are a great way to add a boost of vegan-friendly nutrients including both omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, plant-based protein, a good source of dietary fiber, and provide 6% DV of both calcium and iron.
Enjoy Chia Seeds in so many different ways:
- Chia Pudding: Soak chia seeds in milk (dairy or non-dairy alternatives like almond or coconut milk) along with sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight and top with fruits, nuts, or granola in the morning for a tasty breakfast.
- Smoothies: Add a spoonful of chia seeds to your favorite smoothies. They will thicken the smoothie and add fiber and 3 g of plant-based protein per tablespoon.
- Baking: Chia seeds can be used in baking bread, muffins, or cookies. They can also serve as an egg replacement for vegan baking – just mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for about 15 minutes until it becomes gel-like.
- Toppings: Sprinkle chia seeds on yogurt, oatmeal, salads, or roasted vegetables for a bit of crunch and a boost of fiber. Always be sure to drink liquids if your chia is not being added to liquids as they like to absorb water.
Flaxseed, or linseed, comes from the flax plant, native to regions in Asia and Europe.
Flaxseed has a history dating back thousands of years. It was cultivated by ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, for their fiber content and use in the manufacturing of clothing.4
Benefits of Flaxseed
Flaxseeds are a plant-based protein and good source of dietary fiber, they are low in sodium and saturated fat and provide plant-based Omega-3s and Omega-6s.
Great ways to incorporate flaxseed:
- Boost Your Breakfast Cereal: Not only amplifies the flavor but also provides a nutritional punch by adding additional fiber and omega-3 fatty acids to your breakfast.
- Elevate Your Sandwiches: When preparing your sandwich, add a teaspoon of ground flaxseed to your spread, whether it's mayonnaise or mustard. This simple addition will infuse your meal with beneficial nutrients without altering the taste significantly.
- Flax Fueled Yogurt: By mixing a tablespoon of ground flaxseed into an 8-ounce container of yogurt, you'll enhance the creaminess and nutritional value of your yogurt. This is a smart and easy way to integrate flaxseed into your regular diet.
- Baking with a Twist: Adding ground flaxseed to your baked goods such as cookies, muffins, and breads can be a creative way to incorporate the seed's nutritional benefits into your cooking. It doesn't significantly alter the taste, yet it boosts the fiber and adds plant-based protein content of your favorite baked goods.
Viva Naturals Organic Ground Flaxseed is your next smoothie mix-in, all-natural fiber, and healthy baking secret! Certified Organic and Non-GMO, Flaxseed is suitable for plant-based lifestyles and has 3 grams of protein per serving.
Maca powder is derived from the root of the maca plant, which belongs to the Brassica family. It is primarily grown in the high altitudes of the Peruvian Andes.
Maca has been cultivated and consumed for over 2,000 years in the Andes region. It held significant cultural value for the Incas and was traditionally used for sexual well-being.*5
Benefits of Maca Powder
For thousands of years, the Peruvians and Incas used maca root for its nourishing powers.* Today, maca powder is one of the world's most popular and versatile superfoods.*
Known as Peruvian Ginseng, Maca has been traditionally used to support energy, endurance, stamina and sexual well-being.*
Make it with Maca:
- In Smoothies: Maca powder has a pleasant, nutty taste that pairs well with fruits. You can add a teaspoon of maca powder to your favorite smoothie recipe. For example, a simple banana, almond milk, and maca powder smoothie is a quick and delicious way to enjoy this superfood.
- In Coffee or Tea: Maca powder can be added to hot drinks such as coffee or tea. Just vigorously stir in a teaspoonful of maca powder to your morning cup of coffee or tea.
- In Baked Goods: You can also use maca powder in baking. Try adding it to recipes for cookies, muffins, pancakes, or breads. It will give your baked goods a unique flavor profile.
Incorporating superfoods into our diets can be nutritious as well as delicious. Quinoa, Goji Berries, Chia Seeds, Flaxseed, and Maca Powder are just a few examples of the incredible superfoods available.
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- Angeli V, et al. (2020). Foods. 9(2): 216.
- Vidović B.B., et al. (2022). Antioxidants (Basel), 11(2): 248.
- Ullah R., et al. (2016). J Food Sci Technol. 53(4): 1750-8.
- Qamar H., et al. (2019). Pure Appl Biol., 8(4): 2269-76.
Gonzales G. (2012). Evid Based COmplement Alternat Med., 193496.