Like everything, foods come in and out of fashion. If you go into any new trendy café or restaurant these days there’s a high chance that you’ll find them boasting about some kind of ‘super food’ on the menu as though it’s the newest best thing going around. Whilst ‘super foods’ appears to be the latest buzzword at the moment, the in vogue food group have been around forever. But what actually are super foods?
…There is currently no specific set guidelines or definition to the word ‘super foods’, however the super food group are essentially foods that are high in nutritional value. Thus, super foods are very subjective and can include hundreds of foods. Their nutritional contribution to ones diet also varies depending on consumption levels, frequency, food seasons etc. The debate will go on as to which foods are the most ‘super’, but I thought we’d highlight a few of the favorites amongst dieticians and nutritionists.
Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E, copper, zinc and selenium. Whilst these vitamins are fantastic in aiding the body’s immune system, the antioxidant property helps neutralize chemicals in the body called free radicals that have been linked to heart liver and neural disease.
Kale: Kale is a vegetable that is in the same family as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and sprouts. Kale is rich in vitamin C, K, calcium and beta-carotene. Kale therefore has a positive impact on cardiovascular, immune and bone health. Kale is very popular at the moment as it freezes well, and can be used in a variety of dishes. But to hold it’s best nutritional value try not to over cook it.
Pistachio Nuts: Pistachio nuts are high in protein and fiber. Not only are they great for digestive health, but also pistachio nuts are also rich in phytosterols, which have been known to lower LDL (bad) cholesterols.
Oats: Oats are a fantastic versatile grain that can be used so many ways. Oats are high in soluble fiber, thus helping combat cholesterol levels. Add berries to your porridge in the morning and you’re doubling your super foods.
Coconuts: Whilst coconuts do contain saturated fats, there are plenty of benefits to this tasty food. Its meat contains a high source of fats and oils thought to contain anti-inflammatory and anti pathogenic properties. The coconut milk contains high levels of electrolytes aiding in hydration and energy restoration.
Thirsty?…Try this one.
Banana, kale, blueberry and almond milk smoothie.
In a blender blend 1 ripe banana, 1 cup of chopped kale, small handful of frozen blueberries, teaspoon of honey and 1 cup of almond milk. Pour into a glass, drink, and feel ‘super’!
Image sourced from: http://www.doitdelicious.com/static/uploads/recipes/86/kale_chips-01.jpg