The term ‘Superfoods’ refers to foods that are nutritionally rich in content, have plenty of health benefits to offer, and are usually low in caloric density. Here’s a list of our top five favourite Superfoods and we strongly suggest you add them into your shopping trolley the next time you’re out at the supermarket.
Avocados are packed with a whole load of Vitamins and fiber. One average avocado contains up to 26% of the recommended daily Vitamin K intake. Furthermore, this fruit (it is scientifically known as a fruit. More specifically, it is a single-seeded berry) is high in fat – healthy fats, that is. This is useful if you’re on a weight loss regime as the fats help keep you full and distracted from snacking. There’s also plenty of fibre inside to help ease your toilet visits.
Quick Tip: Avocados usually take a number of days, sometimes a week to ripen up. To accelerate the process, place them in an enclosed plastic bag with a couple of bananas. Choose the soft avocados at the supermarket if you know you’re going to eat them within the next two days, those are the ripe ones.
Salmon is a great source of Omega-3 fat. An average salmon fillet contains up to 8000 mg of this fatty acid goodness which offers a wide range of benefits. Research has shown that Omega-3 can help improve your cardiovascular health, reduce risk of heart disease, fight depression, lessen joint pains and stiffness, improve cognitive abilities, and reduce the blood pressure of hypertension patients. On top of that, it also promotes muscle growth, reduces muscle soreness, strengthen bones, and improves overall strength and physical performance. This is why salmon is commonly found in an athlete’s diet. Once again, weight watchers can also benefit from the fat content which helps keep you full for longer periods of time.
Quick Tip: When picking for a fresh salmon, be sure to avoid those with signs of browning. Give the flesh a light press to check its firmness. If it’s fresh, it should bounce back to its original shape right away.
The term “Superfood” could be an understatement for kale. A single cup of Kale contains almost seven times the recommended daily amount of Vitamin K and more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C, amongst other Vitamins. Thus, it really is the best vegetable source for Vitamin K and Vitamin C. Kale is also rich in other powerful nutrients as well as antioxidants. A study has shown that consuming kale can help increase your good cholesterol levels by as much as 27%, and reduce the bad ones by 10%. It also contains carotenoid antioxidants that help improve eyesight and reduce the risk of eye disorders.
Quick Tip: Swap out your potato chips for kale chips. Simply drizzle some olive oil onto the kale leaves, add some salt and other seasoning of your liking, and bake them in a pre-heated oven of 175oC for 10 to 15 minutes. They’re just as tasty and addictive as your regular chips, only much healthier and nutritious!
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds played a huge role in the diet of Aztec warriors. The Mayan messengers regularly ate them too as fuel for long runs. The word “chia” actually translates into “strength” in ancient Mayan language as it’s a great source of energy and helps to improve endurance. A study has shown that consuming chia seeds provides just as much performance enhancement as sugar-loaded Gatorade drinks do for workouts longer than 30 minutes. On top of that, these seeds are also rich in other nutrients like protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. Its exceptionally high content of fibre is known for improving digestion. Furthermore, chia seeds are packed with antioxidants that offer many skin benefits. It’s also great for your heart and it helps stabilise blood sugar levels.
Quick Tip: The next time you’re making a smoothie or juice blend, throw in some chia seeds into the mix. It’s an easy way to thicken up your drink without altering the taste.
The blueberry is probably the most familiar “Superfood” to many and it’s not without reason. This delicious berry is bursting with a whole load of good nutrients, namely Vitamin K, Vitamin C, dietary fibre, and manganese. Research has shown that blueberries have the highest cellular antioxidant activity amongst other common fruits. These powerful antioxidants can help reduce inflammation, inhibit tumor growth, and reduce risk of cancer. Blueberries are also great for maintaining healthy bones thanks to its Vitamin K and manganese content. It doesn’t end there. Blueberries have a long list of other health benefits for your heart, brain, skin, digestion, blood pressure, and sugar levels.
Quick Tip: Instead of consuming fresh blueberries, try opting for frozen blueberries. Not only are they usually cheaper, they are also fresher. Its icy texture is more enjoyable to eat and it’s also better for making smoothies.