First came the açaí berry craze, then the fanatical obsession with quinoa, and now moringa. Few golfers can pronounce their names, yet nearly everyone is familiar with the hype surrounding the latest superfoods.

But what exactly makes a superfood “super”, and what role do they play in your golf game?

Superfoods are whole foods containing a wide spectrum of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are extremely beneficial to physical and mental health, as well as sports performance and recovery. Nutrient-dense superfoods are not processed or altered and provide energy for a long successful day on the golf course. Many superfoods on our list can be easily added to on-the-go meals or meals before, during, or after a strenuous round out on the links.

Sweet Potatoes

These fiber-rich, orange gems are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, including enough vitamin A for your daily needs in just one serving. Sweet potatoes are a solid source of instant fuel, potassium (bye-bye leg cramps), are a powerhouse of antioxidants, and are fabulous for your skin, hair and nails. Enough said!

Tip: Go for sweet potatoes over white potatoes when fueling up after your round (and no, we did not say sweet potato fries). Top it off with plain Greek yogurt, chives, bacon, or cheese to boost the protein. Or, if you really want to impress, use some roasted sweet potato slices as a hamburger bun alternative!

 

Kale

The hype surrounding the dark, leafy green is not unprecedented. Kale is a nutrient rock star, chock full of essential goodness that supports heart and bone health and helps control blood glucose in diabetic golfers. Kale also plays a co-starring role in promoting healthier skin, hair, and nails!

Tip: Kale can be enjoyed raw in salads, lightly sautéed, or blended into a smoothie to save on carbs, calories, and sugar! When crafting your pre-round lunch, use kale as a sandwich wrap alternative, filling it with lean proteins such as organic chicken breast or turkey slices.

 

Chia

These tiny, black seeds were first utilized for their superfood qualities in ancient Mayan civilizations, prized for their ability to provide long-lasting energy. Chia seeds are one of the most nutrient dense foods, calorie for calorie, rich in fiber, plant-based protein, healthy fats, calcium, and antioxidants. In fact, chia has more calcium in a single serving than many dairy products. When eaten, chia seeds absorb 10-12 times their weight, making you feel full and can even lead to weight loss.

Tip: Chia can be added to any dairy or nondairy milk to make a rich pudding or smoothie, sprinkled into oatmeal or yogurt, or even mixed into water or juice for a truly energizing drink.