By Cameron Jenkins
What’s up with all this talk about superfoods? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a superfood is “a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered to be beneficial to a person’s health.” This source states that “superfoods are foods—mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy—thought to be nutritionally dense and thus good for one’s health.”
In plain words, foods that are deemed “super” are really just super packed with awesome good-for-you nutrients. Yeah, good stuff.
But how, you may ask, can I get some of these nutrient dense foods in my body? You may say that you are a college student with the unfavorable demise of cafeteria food on a daily basis. I am here to say in this blog post that a cafeteria does not have to limit you from consuming superfoods! Some of your favorite foods may be on the list AND available in the cafeteria.
All hail the leafy greens! Spinach is filled with antioxidants, a substance that helps prevent or stop cell damage caused by oxidants, such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Don’t forget about iron, a major nutrient in healthy nails and hair. Vitamin K is also a contributor that is important in bone and heart health.
So, where can you find this green powerhouse? Look for these leaves in the salad bar, casseroles, and hidden in soups.
Oats are known for soluble fiber, a key component in promoting smooth movement through your digestive system. In addition, oats help lower cholesterol and keep your heart happy while also keeping blood sugar under control. Oats pack a punch for their small size and simple instructions.
I have seen the oats bin/package at every MSU cafeteria. Just use the hot water near the coffee station, mix together, add toppings such as berries or chopped nuts, and be on your way! Oats can also be found in many of the cereals, but watch out for lots of added sugar in some of the processed goods.
What don’t eggs have? Hidden antioxidants fight degeneration of eyes. Eggs raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and help fight LDL (the bad) cholesterol. Not to mention lots of vitamins, but eggs basically contain small amounts of almost every mineral and vitamin required by the human body. These include calcium, potassium, and iron. Lastly, protein is a big contributor to its superfood standing.
Hello, omelet bar! Go ahead and ask for three eggs in your masterpiece because you deserve it. Eggs are also a staple at most salad bars. In many dishes, eggs may be an ingredient. You may be consuming this superfood and not even know it!
Potassium rich, vitamin heavy, and fiber-full, bananas not only taste good but are also good for you. Need I say more?
I spy a basket of bananas in every cafeteria. Bananas are also very versatile, meaning they can be used many ways. From eating this portable snack on the go to chopping up to add on oatmeal or cereal, bananas are seemingly a perfect fruit.
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This is just a small sampling of the superfoods that you can find in a cafeteria. If you simply search “superfoods” in your favorite search engine, hundreds of lists of the nutritious foods will pop up. A lot of the lists have the same, awesome superfoods foods on them with details about why they are deemed the best of the best.
Happy eating, friends.