You’ve heard it before; superfoods are the most superior of all the foods and we should be including them in our regular diet. But what is a superfood and how do we include them in our usual diet regime? Read below as we discuss the benefits of superfoods.
Let’s start by breaking down what superfoods actually are.
Superfoods are foods with naturally high nutrient density. They are linked to the prevention of disease and offer fantastic health benefits beyond just their nutritional value. And while there is no regulated definition for a superfood, the foods that have been deemed worthy of that title hold plenty of nutrients and a low calorie count. But are the benefits of superfoods too good to be true?
The simple answer: No! With that being said, it is incredibly important that we know what we are looking for in these foods without relying on misleading advertising or supermarket signage.
There are a range of foods that fit the definition of a superfood. We’ve listed just a few of the most common ones below along with the benefits of these superfoods, that we know can easily be included into your daily meals.
Dark, leafy green vegetables
Dark leafy vegetables like kale and spinach are packed full of folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fibre. These superfoods are very versatile and pretty easy to add to most diets without a whole lot of effort. Try adding some spinach to your breakfast smoothie or omelette and use some shredded kale in your stir-fry dinner. They say that regular servings of these have anti-inflammatory benefits and may reduce risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. How super!
Berries pack a punch of nutrients per serve, offering up potassium, magnesium, Vitamins C and K, fibre, prebiotic and carbohydrates. They help promote a healthy gut, may reduce risks of heart disease, cancer and other inflammatory conditions and may also be beneficial for those with digestive and immune-related disorders.
Our favourite berries include raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and cranberries. Try using fresh berries as a snack throughout your day, sprinkle through your salad for lunch, or serve with some coconut yoghurt for a sweet treat.
Nuts and Seeds
It’s no secret that there’s no shortage of variety when it comes to nuts and seeds, so before dive into the benefits, let us share some of our favourites. Loved for their nutritional value, good source of proteins and snack-able nature, we recommend nuts and seeds such as almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds. We suggest opting for the raw, unsalted and organic varieties of these nuts and seeds.
A serving of nuts and seeds (approximately ¼ cup) provides fibre, protein and healthy fats, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may be effective in preventing heart disease. And while some nuts and seeds can be quite high in calories, there are links to them aiding in weight-loss.
Try mixing a combination of nuts and seeds over some smashed avocado on corn thins for a snack or sprinkle some goji berries over a refreshing salad to add some zest to your lunch.
Salmon is packed with healthy fats, protein, vitamin B, potassium, selenium and is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Including salmon regularly in your diet may reduce inflammation, lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes and support weight management.
Salmon has become very common in supermarkets and on most restaurant and café menus these days. At most grocery stores you’ll see fresh salmon in the seafood section or the tinned variety in on the long-life shelves. Either option is a good choice! It all comes down to your taste, budget and preparation preferences.
You can enjoy your tinned salmon in salads or mashed with sweet potato to make grilled salmon patties for dinner. Fresh salmon only takes a few minutes to cook and is tasty when drizzled with lemon and served with a side salad of greens, sprinkled with some nuts and seeds!
Avocado is a versatile fruit, full of fibre, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats and is one of the most well-known superfoods. It is linked to reduction in inflammation and may reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
While we mostly see avocado treated like a vegetable and included in savoury salads and other meals, it’s actually a fruit with a subtle flavour and creamy texture that can lend itself perfectly to smoothies or healthy desserts. Our tip? Blend up some avocado with some maple syrup and cacao to make a healthy chocolate mousse!
Our experienced Naturopaths have a depth of knowledge of superfoods and general health to help you feel happier and healthier! If you have a goal to improve your health or want to know more about the benefits of superfoods, you may benefit from a free 15 minute phone consultation! You can book by clicking here or by calling our friendly team on 02 4961 4075.