When I was twelve, whole foods meant the pack of 2 S’mores Pop Tarts I would pop in the toaster and enjoy as an after-school snack. Oh, the joys of being an 80’s child! Ignorance is bliss, right?
Yes, and no. Now that I am in my 30’s, I understand that what feels good in the moment won’t feel good for my body long term. I also understand that eating as close to nature as possible is the way to make me feel as healthy and happy as I possibly can every day.
So, I traded my Pop Tarts for roasted kale with garlic salt, and I celebrate by spending an extra hour or two at the Florida beach every summer – there’s always a trade-off!
If you’re looking for some foods to add to your summer beach shopping list, here are 8 expert recommendations for whole foods that will make you feel whole again:
1. Pumpkin Seeds
Maggie, The Pumpkin RDN
From gourmet flavors, to simply putting them on a salad, pumpkin seeds are not only a source of protein and fiber, but also boast many minerals that people often don’t get enough of. Bonus, the actual action of chewing pumpkin seeds causes you to slow down and chew your food completely, a huge benefit to your digestive system as well as your mind telling you that you are getting fuller.
2. Bone Broth
Donna Brown, MS, MBA, Nutrition Kitchen
Bone broth remains my go to food for packing a powerful punch for both its nutritious profile and for its healing properties. I recommend it for clients who have a compromised gut, low immune system strength, are recovering from surgery or injury, and for overall skin, hair, and bone health. I call it “liquid gold” for its therapeutic properties plus it should be part of everyone’s “beauty” regimen.
3. Medicinal Mushrooms
Jillian of RosehiveSuperfoods
Medicinal mushrooms have been scientifically shown to hold anti-cancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and liver protective activities. Chaga, reishi, cordyceps…these fungi’s are having all the fun in 2017! Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Coffee blends and Purely Elizabeth’s new medicinal mushroom granola bars (which will be popping up on shelves this summer) are just a few of the products getting on the medicinal mushroom train.
4. Ancient Grains
Dr. Jenna Bell, RD with a Doctorate in Health & Human Performance
Ancient grains are more than retro, they have a long history of cultivation and consumption. Amaranth, farro, kamut, quinoa, teff are all part of this ancient grain category. Along with the energy they provide from their carbohydrate content, they contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. For those who cannot eat gluten – amaranth, quinoa and teff are gluten free grains.
5. Chia Seeds
Dr. Tamika Bush, Holistic Integrative Pediatrician
I incorporate chia seeds into everything I eat including smoothies, yogurt and oatmeal. Chia seeds are a natural source of energy, protein and pack antioxidants to keep your immune system healthy.
Rene Ficek, RD and Lead Nutrition Expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating
Turmeric is a brilliant yellow spice common in Indian cuisine that you can find in any grocery store. The chemical responsible for turmeric’s golden color, called curcumin, is considered a strong anti-inflammatory. And because inflammation can cause a plethora of diseases and chronic conditions, turmeric has been cited for its variety of health benefits.
Carl Jorgensen, Director of Global Thought Leadership-Wellness at Daymon
Spirulina is a dark blue-green, spiral-shaped algae that contains magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, potassium and a slew of other healthful minerals.
Annessa Chumbley, RD from AnessaRD.com
For years now I have been saying, “If you don’t know what to eat…just eat salmon.” Seriously, it is one amazing food! Most health care providers agree that the benefits of healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids cannot be overstated, at least until they because a part of the daily intake.
My favorite quality of salmon is the fact that it is rich in astaxanthin, an antioxidant that is the main reason the salmon is bright-pinkish orange. As the salmon swims, it eats up little phytoplankton that have been soaking up the sun. Those nutrient-rich phytoplankton then do amazing things to protect your body. To me, the brighter the salmon, the better it is for you. A good start, and an easy way to think about it, is to eat seafood 2 times per week. That’s a noble goal for 2017!
The beauty of all these wonderful whole foods is that they make you feel beautiful too! They restore you from the inside out, just like The Vampire Facelift or HCG Diet Plan, using your own body’s biology to work for you – not against you. If you eat just two or three of the whole foods on this list regularly, you will be on the road to better health and a better life this summer!