Good Things Can Come in Small Packages: Tiny Superfoods
Superfoods deliver more than a delicious bite – they benefit the body in various ways. While they may be small, the following tiny foods are considered superfoods because they pack a mighty nutrient-dense punch. They contain antioxidants, protein, fiber and other essential nutrients with proven health benefits, like reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Use our guide to learn more about tiny superfoods that make a big impact.
Originating in Mexico and Guatemala, chia seeds were anciently used as medicinal aids, ground into flour for bread and pressed for oil. Today, they’ve become more popular because these tiny seeds have a high concentration of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, phytochemicals and fiber. Incorporate these powerful seeds into smoothies, salads, parfaits or toasts, or mix with your favorite seasonings to add a crunchy coating for chicken or fish.
With a mild, nutty flavor and delicate crunch, flaxseeds are small, golden-brown seeds with loads of nutrients. One tablespoon of flaxseeds offers more than double the amount of the daily recommended ALA omega-3 fatty acids and delivers fiber, protein, vitamin A, magnesium and manganese. These tiny seeds have significant benefits, like helping to reduce cholesterol and improving digestive health. Find flaxseeds whole, ground or as an oil, and mix them into yogurt, baked goods or sandwich spreads.
Mankai is a cultivated strain of the aquatic plant commonly known as duckweed. Making waves in the superfood world, this tiny green vegetable is a plant-based food that provides essential nutrients with potential health benefits. It’s a complete protein that’s packed with high doses of iron, vitamin B, fiber and omega-3s. With a neutral taste, you can add mankai to practically any dish. Toss it into smoothies, curries, salad dressings, soups and omelets.
Hemp seeds are a rich source of nutrients. A three-tablespoon serving of hemp seeds contains more than half of your daily omega-3 needs, plus they also provide an excellent source of plant protein, fiber, iron and magnesium. Their versatility is as vast as their nutritional profile! Enjoy their nutty taste raw, roasted or cooked. They can also be shelled as hemp hearts, cold-pressed to produce hemp seed oil, or used for non-dairy hemp milk or hemp cheese. Incorporate these health-boosting seeds into granola, smoothies, oatmeal or salads.