Superfoods don’t just have to be for the rich and famous It seems every day there is some new exotic food that some hot-list celebrity eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner due to its super amazing health properties. What I have listed here are your ordinary garden-variety ingredients that have amazing qualities. Make sure your pantry includes some or all of these superfoods. Include them in your everyday eating plan and you will be well on the road to health and vitality. Who knows maybe you will manage to erase a few of those wrinkles.
These versatile fruits of the gods are rich in monounsaturated fats and potassium which can both help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. The monounsaturated fats or MUFAs can also improve pain and stiffness for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Avocados also provide many other essential health-boosting nutrients, including fibre, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid.
Use in Salads, guacamole, in a sauce for your zoodles or noodles or my favourite mashed on toast with olive oil, salt and pepper and a few drops of lemon juice.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Ditto as for Avocado. This is a monounsaturated fat and contains a variety of antioxidants. Virgin doesn’t mean this sexy fruit hasn’t been around the block. It indicates the oil is extracted mechanically not through heating or chemically. Extra means this oil is from the first squeeze when all the goodness this goddess has to offer is extracted. Although better for you than Saturated fats it still contains similar calories.
Use in dressings, sauces, dips. I usually drizzle over the top of cooked vegetables and often add a smidge of vinegar as well. Voila dressing.
These little health powerhouses are one of the most concentrated plant sources of omega-3 fats. High in soluble and insoluble fibre but low in carbs they are a great ingredient in crackers, muffins bread and muesli. Throw a little in your daily smoothie. They are also packed with antioxidants that support anti-ageing, hormone balance and cellular health. For those of us fighting the ravages of time what is not to love?
Use in muesli or low carb muffins, bread, or crackers.
I recently started including a few of these in my daily diet. These high fibre nuts contain Selenium which can improve thyroid function and boost metabolism. Selenium stimulates the glutathione, a powerful antioxidant compound that can remove free radicals that cause wrinkles and even skin cancer from skin cells. These giants of the nut world also contain zinc which can protect against acne. Awesome, I know I could quite happily kiss goodbye to as many wrinkles as these suckers can erase.
Use in homemade nut butter, muesli or just eat on their own. There is nearly a meal in every nut.
Rich in omega-3 fats and more antioxidants than most other foods. They may improve brain health while also helping to prevent heart disease and cancer. They also contain powerful antioxidants not found in many foods. Walnuts are like the Superman of the nut world, fighting cancer, diabetes and liver damage and improving brain and male reproductive health. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Maybe not but I’d rather a walnut than Superman any day.
Use in muesli, salads and anywhere else where you need a nice crunch element.
Fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, yoghurt and even more commonly olives and vinegar. These foods will contribute good microbes to your gut helping to keep that all-important balance. This balance will help prevent such conditions as irritable bowel syndrome, type-1 diabetes and metabolic diseases and upsets.
Use sauerkraut and pickled veg in salads, on tacos, on top of chilli bowls.
Berries contain concentrated amounts of the disease-fighting phytochemicals. These are found to boost immunity, prevent cancer, protect your heart, and prevent seasonal allergies. Berries are lower in sugar than most fruits, so they are less likely to destabilize your insulin levels. They are also little antioxidant bullets going about their job of killing free radicals which may play a role in diseases such as cancer.
Use in smoothies, on muesli, in muffins and desserts. How about using raspberries in a chia jam?
Saturated in an alphabet of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, leafy greens are the superstars of the veggie section at the supermarket. The darker the leaf the better.
Use in salads, stews and stir-fries. Why not try some Kale chips for your next snack?
Salmon and Sardines
Salmon and sardines provide omega-3 fats which can benefit your cardiovascular system, your mental and behavioural health, and your digestive health. They also contain a wealth of other nutrients, such as vitamin B12 and selenium. Boost your brain power, fight inflammation even improve your skin condition. The list of benefits here is long.
Use salmon fried until the skin is crisp and is medium rare with mashed cauliflower and fresh seasonal greens. I particularly love sardines on toast with lots of olive oil and salt and pepper.
This bright mustard coloured spice often used in Indian cuisine. Turmeric contains curcumin, the polyphenol identified as its primary active component and whose therapeutic benefits include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. It is unfortunately only 3% curcumin and our bodies don’t absorb it well. Consider a supplement or make sure to include a little black pepper when using it as this will help with absorption.
Use in smoothies, stews, curries and chilli. Be careful when you add it to a smoothie, too much is far too peppery and will ruin the smoothie. I speak from experience.
My last but not least superfood was chosen from a list that included dark chocolate, garlic, mushrooms, and gelatine. To go up against chocolate and win in my world you must be special. The humble cauliflower is far from your eye watering expensive ingredients like bee pollen or curcumin supplements. With more vitamin c than oranges per 100gms and cancer-fighting compounds such as glucosinolates and sulforaphane, this simple white vegetable is the star of the world of cruciferous veg.
Cauli could well be my all-time favourite superfood.
Use instead of rice or couscous by pulsing in the blender. Cook and blend with olive oil, salt, pepper and almond milk for a mashed potato-like consistency. Break into florets and use instead of pasta with your favourite sauce.
What superfoods do you enjoy?