You may have heard the term ‘superfoods’ lately, and wondered what they could be… but the only possible explanation you could muster up is the image of a banana or something donning a cape and lycra outfit, saving the world.
If this is the case for you, I’m not judging at all, in fact I think you’re awesome and am incredibly jealous of your imagination!
But for those of you who are still a bit confused about the whole ‘superfoods’ buzz permeating into the health foodie scene, no fear, I’m here to create superfood expert monsters (ahem, that would be you guys…).
So that next party you go to, you can impress everyone by telling them the five top health benefits of goji berries.
And then when someone offers you a vodka raspberry, you can be all smug and turn it down, claiming: “oh it’s okay, I’ve got my BYO warm apple cider vinegar.” 😉
Superfoods are foods that have astounding health benefits, and are packed with the nutritional good stuff: vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and a whole heap more – the list is endless! Many scientists, dieticians and nutritionists praise such foods because they’ve been proven to fight against cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol, improve your digestive health, as well as shielding your organs from harmful toxins in the body. Heck, they even go as far as to say that munching on these superfoods will help you live longer!
Where do I sign up?! I hear you question with unmatchable excitement. Patience, young grasshopper, and I will momentarily introduce you to the top superfoods, as well as suggest a few great ways to use them.
What are some fabulous superfoods I can easily incorporate into my day, and how?!
Ah yes, we’re all familiar with this one: the humble, creamy, generally damn delicious avocado.
These bad boys are absolutely overflowing with nutrients: they’re one of the best sources of healthy monounsaturated fats, and glutathione, which is an amazingly strong antioxidant that has the power to keep 30 carcinogens at bay!
Not only that, but avos are high in fibre, and contain potassium, vitamin E and magnesium.
And they’re so, so easy to add to your diet! Simply spread onto your sandwich instead of butter, chop up and toss into your salad, whip up some guacamole or there are even fantastic, creative recipes out there that allow you to make your yummy avo into a chocolate mousse! Not even kidding.. get on that.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I could easily eat my own weight in oats, and could potentially live on them. I have such a love affair with oats, because they’re so versatile, healthy and tasty. The possibilities are endless, there are so many ways to whip up an awesome oats dish, so there’s no excuse not to eat them. 😛
Oats are a great source of low-GI carbohydrates, fibre, and even better, they’re gluten free so they’re a healthy choice for those with coeliac.
They contain beta-glucans that improve immune system defences, they may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, they lower cholesterol, and help control blood pressure. Oh, did I mention they are also may help reduce insulin sensitivity?! delicious, nutritious powerhouses!
My favourite ways to use oats are generally in breakfast dishes: cook up a bowl of oats with almond or skim milk, and stir in some cinnamon, cocoa powder, a heaping tablespoon of nut better and some chopped banana. You’ve got yourself the yummiest and healthiest brekkie right there!
Also great in protein pancakes, in smoothies, even in healthy baked treats!
Salmon is, hands down, the best type of seafood in my eyes. I can never get enough of it, and would happily eat it everyday… but you actually only need two servings a week of this brilliant superfood to reap the health benefits! Easy. Done and done.
Salmon is incredibly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, and helps to fight the growth of cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease. Omega-3 is also very important for pregnant women, as it is an essential nutrient involved in the healthy development of the baby.
The vitamin D in salmon is vital for strong bones (in a diet also rich in calcium), and incredibly enough, also assists in alleviating depression symptoms and improves mental health.
You’ll also find phosphorus, lots of healthy protein, antioxidants, selenium, vitamin B, vitamin A and iron.
Again, salmon is such a versatile food that is simply incorporated into meals. Why not throw pieces of it into salads? Have it smoked on some toast with cheese and spinach? Great for dinner or lunch teamed with a sweet potato and lots of veggies.
While you’re at it, whip up some salmon patties at the beginning of the week to use in so many ways!
This one is the new kid on the block, and like me, it may have taken you a good couple of months of mispronunciation before you realised it was called keen-wah. I was ashamed I was walking around talking about how much of an in-the-know health foodie I was, and how much I loved quin-o-ah! Oh dear. Fail and a half.
It seems like it’s a kind of rice, but don’t be fooled – it’s actually secretly a seed! Sly bugger.
It’s a powerhouse of protein, and is a complete source. It’s got more protein per cup than any other similar grain, such as barley or wheat. Great for growth and repair of muscle tissues after that Pump class, I’m tellin’ ya!
Quinoa is surprisingly a brilliant source of plant-based calcium, so vegans and those with lactose intolerance, don’t despair. This is the food for you!
Not only that, but it’s a complex, low-GI carbohydrate, so it provides a powerful punch of energy.
It has a beautiful nutty taste that compliments so many dishes, and an unexpected, but awesome, chewy texture.
Chuck quinoa into a salad or roasted veggies for a quick protein and carb fix, or you can even bake a whole range of breads, muffins and loaves with the stuff. Great for tabbouleh, pilaf, stirfries, to use as a healthy substitute for rice, as porridge in the morning … you can definitely get creative with this beauty.
I hope this has sparked some creative foodie instinct on you and all you want to do is hit the kitchen and whip up something spectacular!
If you’re feeling lazy and generally the most you “cook” is toast and eggs, well then, I hope you at least got a good drool out of this, if nothing else. 🙂
I recently bought some new-to-me superfoods that I hear amazing things about: coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and tahini, so I’ll be sure to report back on my experimentation adventures with these!
What’s your favourite uses for the superfoods here?
Or what’s your favourite alternative superfoods? I’d love to know about some more!
Enjoy what’s rest of your weekend my lovelies.