Climate change is an increasingly pressing global issue. As our planet warms, we’re seeing more extreme weather conditions, from droughts and heat waves to hurricanes and floods.
While there’s no one silver bullet to combating climate change, making small changes in our diets can have a big impact. One way to do this is by eating more superfoods low in carbon emissions and packed with nutrients.
Here are 10 of the most nutritious and climate-friendly superfoods to add to your diet:
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a grain crop grown for its edible seeds. It is native to the Andean region of South America, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years.
The quinoa plant is mostly self-pollinating but can also be pollinated by wind or insects. Quinoa seeds come in various colors, including white, red, and black. The most common variety is white quinoa, which has a mild, nutty flavor.
Quinoa is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. It is also a good source of antioxidants. Quinoa can be cooked like rice or used in salads and soups.
Quinoa is sometimes referred to as a “superfood” because it is so nutritious. It is an excellent plant-based source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is also high in fiber and low in calories.
Moreover, quinoa is gluten-free and easy to digest. For these reasons, quinoa has become a popular food choice for people trying to eat more healthfully or who have celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities.
Additionally, growing quinoa can help reduce deforestation, as it does not require clear-cutting like some other crops.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious root vegetable you can enjoy in many different ways. They are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, copper, and manganese.
This superfood is also a good source of fiber and has a low glycemic index, making them a healthy choice for people with diabetes. In addition to being a healthy food, sweet potatoes are also easy to grow.
They can be planted in the spring or summer and mature in about three months.
Sweet potatoes do best in warm weather, so they are a good choice for gardeners in tropical or subtropical climates. With their high nutritional value and ease of cultivation, sweet potatoes are indeed a superfood that can turn back the clock on climate change.
Lentils are edible legumes that are part of the pulse family. They are a high source of protein and fiber and are low in calories. Lentils have many health benefits, including being good for heart health, managing blood sugar levels, and helping with weight management.
They are also a good source of iron and folate. Additionally, lentils are a sustainable food choice that can help combat climate change.
Compared to other protein types, such as beef, pork, or chicken, lentils have a much lower carbon footprint. In fact, producing one kilogram of lentils emits about one-third of the greenhouse gases as producing one kilogram of beef.
Furthermore, lentils require less water and land to grow than other crops. As the world becomes increasingly concerned about the climate crisis, it is important to consider our food choices and how they impact the environment.
Lentils are a nutritious and sustainable option that can help us do our part in combating climate change.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is often lauded for its health benefits. It is a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as folate and fiber.
Additionally, cauliflower contains antioxidants that may help to protect against certain diseases. While it is typically white, cauliflower also comes in green, purple, and yellow varieties.
When selecting cauliflower, look for heads that are compact and have fresh-looking leaves. Avoid heads that are brown or have mushy spots.
Nutritional profile per 1 cup (chopped):
- 25 calories
- 0 g fat
- 5 g carbohydrates
- 2 g protein
- 2 g fiber
- 80 mg vitamin C
- 20 mcg vitamin K
- 66 mcg folate
Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family and is related to tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. It is a superfood that is low in calories but high in nutrients.
Aubergine is a good source of fiber, vitamins C and B6, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and folate. It also contains phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Eggplant can be eaten cooked or raw. It can be grilled, roasted, steamed, sauteed, or stir-fried. You can also use it in soups, stews, casseroles, and pasta dishes. It can be found in most supermarkets year-round.
It is typically purple but can also be white, green, or lavender. When purchasing eggplant, look for firm and shiny ones with smooth skin. Avoid ones that are bruised or have brown spots.
While eggplant is traditionally grown in tropical and subtropical regions, it can also be successfully grown in cooler climates. Eggplant requires full sun and well-drained soil. The best time to plant eggplant is in the spring, after the last frost.
Blueberries are one of nature’s true superfoods. They are delicious and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, blueberries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants of any fruit or vegetable.
Antioxidants help protect the body against damage from free radicals, which can lead to inflammation and disease. Blueberries are also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and manganese. They’re low in calories and fat, making them an excellent addition to any healthy diet.
In terms of nutrition, blueberries are an excellent source of vitamins C and K and manganese. One cup of blueberries contains 14% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C and 24% of vitamin K.
They’re also an excellent source of dietary fiber, with 4 grams per cup. Blueberries contain several vital phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, flavonoids, and tannins. These compounds have been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Blueberries are relatively easy to grow, have a low carbon footprint, and can be cultivated in most climates. They prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade. They prefer acidic soil and full sun, and they can be planted in either containers or directly in the ground. With a bit of care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh blueberries every summer.
Tomatoes are often lauded as a superfood due to their high concentration of nutrients and antioxidants. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene – an antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
Not only are tomatoes nutritious, but they are also relatively easy to grow. They can be grown in various soil types and require minimal care. However, it is essential to water them regularly, as they are susceptible to drought stress.
When selecting a tomato variety to grow, consider choosing a disease-resistant variant. This helps reduce the need for chemical pesticides, which can harm the environment.
Eating tomatoes is not only good for your health, but it can also help combat climate change.
8. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have been around for centuries and were a staple food of the Aztecs and Mayans. These tiny black and white seeds are packed with nutrients and offer many health benefits.
They are high in fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Chia seeds also contain antioxidants that can help to protect the body against damage from free radicals.
In addition to their nutritional value, chia seeds have other environmental benefits. They require very little water to grow and can actually help to improve soil quality. When chia seeds are planted, they help hold moisture in the soil and prevent erosion. As a result, eating chia seeds can actually help to combat climate change.
Seaweed is a type of algae that grows in saltwater environments. For centuries, it has been an important food source in Asia, and more recently, it has gained popularity as a “superfood” due to its high nutrient content.
Seaweed is a good source of vitamins A, C, and E and minerals like iron and calcium. It is also rich in antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer compounds.
In addition to its nutritional benefits, seaweed also has environmental benefits. It is a very efficient producer of oxygen, and it can help absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Seaweed farming is a sustainable and Eco-friendly way to produce food. Seaweed farms do not require freshwater or land resources, and they can help improve water quality by reducing pollution and providing habitat for marine life.
So if you’re looking for a nutritious and environmentally-friendly food, look no further than seaweed!
Chickpeas are a type of legume that is high in fiber and protein. They are also a good source of iron, phosphorus, and potassium. Chickpeas can be eaten fresh or dried, and you can use them in various dishes.
Hummus, for instance, is made from chickpeas that have been mashed and mixed with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Falafel, another popular dish, is made from chickpeas ground into a paste and fried.
Chickpeas are not only delicious, but they are also nutritious. In fact, they have been dubbed a “superfood” due to their high nutrient content.
In addition to being packed with nutrients, chickpeas are also good for the environment. They require less water than other crops, and they help replenish the soil with nitrogen.
What’s more, growing chickpeas can help combat climate change. One study found that growing chickpeas can sequester up to 22% of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels. Thus, eating chickpeas is good for your health and good for the planet.
What is a superfood?
Most of us have heard the term “superfood,” but what does it actually mean?
A superfood is a food packed with nutrients and considered to be especially beneficial for our health. Some common examples of superfoods include blueberries, salmon, and kale. These foods are packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients that can help to boost our immune system, improve brain function, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
While there is no magic bullet to good health, incorporating superfoods into our diet is a great way to improve our overall well-being.