It’s a term that’s been around for a while now. Most people have a rough idea of what they are, but many are still unsure as to what classifies as a superfood. Quite simply a superfood is one that is especially nutritious or beneficial to ones health and well-being.
Superfood is also used extensively as a marketing technique, leaving many people to distrust the notion of superfoods. Often this distrust is well placed. There is little evidence linking superfoods to health benefits above that of just maintaining a healthy diet. Many superfoods are not very high in essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids).
There are however foods which stand out as being especially high is certain nutrients that are proven to have a benefit on ones health. Here’s a small list of superfoods and the benefits they offer:
Full of good-for-your-heart monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, folic acid and potassium, this fruit delivers a lot more than other fruits do. Avocados are also the only fruit to contain beta-sitosterol, which reduces blood levels of cholesterol.
One of the most talked about superfood, this little berry tops the list for antioxidants, which protect against heart disease and some neurological diseases.
Another source of antioxidants, but this time in chocolate. Just remember that chocolate tends to have a high fat content so try to limit yourself to small portions.
Wards off vampires. These little cloves are full of cancer fighting agents. They also help to boost your immune system by stimulating white blood cell production.
Another source of monounsaturated fat, olive oil has been proven to reduce the risk of heart attacks.
One of the best oily fish as a source of omega 3 which helps reduce the risk of cancer and can relieve autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and asthma.
Black and green teas are both good sources of antioxidants and have been shown to increase bone density, which will ward off the onset of osteoporosis.
Both red and white are good for your heart and have been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Just remember that alcohol is a toxin, so should be taken in moderation.
Here’s a quick recipe that’s chock-full of superfoods:
- 125g (5oz) couscous
- 25g (1oz) roasted flaked almonds
- 125g (5oz) broccoli florets
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Large pinch ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Put the couscous in a large bowl and pour over 200ml (7 floz) boiling water. Cover and leave for 10 minutes.
- Trim the broccoli, cut into small florets and cut the stems of the florets into 1/2; cm slices. Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the broccoli and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until tender.
- Stir the olive oil, cinnamon and coriander into the couscous and fluff up with a fork. Add the broccoli, almonds and seasoning. Mix well and serve warm.