5 Of The Best (And Easiest) Superfoods To Add To Your Diet!
Superfoods are absolutely everywhere in the media – boasting their ‘super’ ability to make us all healthy, with their ‘super’ concentration of valuable nutrients. Let’s check this out and see what some of the best have to offer!
Before we get to the real reason you’re here, let’s first clarify exactly what superfoods are. The original definition referred to superfoods as those containing phytonutrients, which naturally occur in fruits, vegetables and plants. These phytonutrients protect the plant from UV radiation, germs, bacteria and other harmful things. The main role of phytonutrients is to aid in cell communication which subsequently avoids cell mutation – AKA: the beginning of diseases & illnesses such as cancer.
However, as this concept has gained traction, other food sources such as fish and dairy products have been labelled as ‘super’, when in reality, they’re better classified as nutrient-dense (not that they’re any ‘less healthy,’ they simply just have different nutrients to offer).
Hands up if you love blueberries as much as we do! Knowing that these babies have so much to offer makes them taste even better! Packed FULL of phytonutrients and antioxidants, blueberries have been shown to help fight chronic disease, improve memory and slow down cognitive aging, all while maintaining a low glycaemic index meaning your energy is sustained rather than spiking and falling. Did someone say the perfect snack?!
TWO: Chia seeds
These guys are so easy to incorporate because you can literally put them in ANYTHING! Sweet or savoury: add them to your smoothies, or in your yoghurt, sprinkle them on your smashed avo or add them to your water. However you desire to consume chia seeds, it’s possible. Chia seeds are a wonderful concentrated source of Omega 3’s, which is useful for those who don’t take to oily sources of fish. They also contain B vitamins which help with energy levels and are a great source of fibre. Couple that with their gelatinous nature when absorbing liquids and you’ve got a food source which is EXCELLENT for digestion and aiding in elimination.
Cacao is the unprocessed form of the cacao bean and holds its full antioxidant content – which is 20 times higher than blueberries may I add! It also is one of best sources of plant-based calcium, with some sources saying it contains more calcium than cow’s milk; as well as this, it contains precursors to help make the chemicals in our brains which boost our mood! PLUS it’s basically chocolate – winning!
Kale definitely has had a fair amount of time in the limelight lately, but for good reason! Replace the tired old iceberg lettuce with kale, and you’ve got yourself a nice little hit of all things good! Like all the other superfoods mentioned, kale is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients as well, but also holds important anti-inflammatory and powerful anti-cancer properties, which is important for everyone! Kale is helpful in lowering cholesterol within the body, and holds high concentrations of Omega 3’s, Vitamin A and Vitamin K.
FIVE: Goji Berries
Like chia seeds, goji berries are such an easy one to incorporate into your diet: make your own trail mix or muesli and add some goji berries; throw them in your smoothie or simply take them to work as the perfect easy snack. Goji berries are one of the only plant sources which contain all essential amino acids (building blocks of protein and necessary for almost every physiological process). They help to boost the immune system whilst also containing powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. Couple that with being a good source of fibre and Vitamin C, and you’ve got yourself a winner!
The amount of information we receive from the media about what we should and should not be eating can be overwhelming at times; one day, a certain food is considered a superfood, and the next day it is considered poison. What you have to remember is that it is your diet as whole that matters most, and not whether you have chia seeds sprinkled on your smoothie bowl or you don’t. It’s not enough to focus on an individual food, nor does incorporating one superfood fix a bad diet.