What is a "superfood," and is there really such a thing? Though it's misleading to think that one food can give you all the nutrition you need, superfoods are typically described as offering multiple nutrients and potential health benefits. A recent article
in Food Technology
cites an increasing desire among consumers for natural, minimally-processed food, and lists nine super seeds and super fruits that meet this demand. Here are a few with dancer-friendly benefits to consider snacking on:
Chia seeds: These have grown in popularity in recent years, and can be found in many popular nutrition bars and snacks. Plus, they're easy to mix into yogurt or trail mix. Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and may contain mood-boosting nutrients, and they're also full of fiber and calcium.
Tart cherries: Due to their high levels of anthocyanins, these are thought to help with muscle damage and inflammation after exercise. Tart cherries may also improve sleep quality. The juice form has been found to reduce muscle pain and weakness after intensive strength training or long-distance running.
Sunflower seeds: Though they're nothing new, these seeds are a great source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that can strengthen the immune system and help with recovery after a day of dancing. They're also high in protein and fiber. Snack on them plain, or try sprinkling them on a salad.
For the rest of the list, click here.