The all encompassing term superfoods has been in our language actively since the mid-nineties and is said to represent and denote a group of foods which are so packed with nutrients they have a fantastic effect on our health and immune systems. The range of superfoods out there stems from the exotic goji berry and alfa alfa to your more common beetroot and borlotti beans. Taking a closer look at some of these superfoods is the best way of truly determining if they’re all they’re cracked up to be because if they are, they should seriously be considered central to any healthy diet.
Now this doesn’t sound like the most appealing of foods but in its raw form, cacao is absolutely packed out with antioxidants, essential minerals, vitamin C and omega-6 fatty acids, all of which your body needs. However, many of these beneficial nutrients are simply cancelled out in the roasting process and so that bar of chocolate you were so craving is nowhere near as likely to benefit you positively as natural, raw cacao.
Another of the more exotic superfoods on the market, goji berries have been hailed for their anti-ageing qualities and this can be true as they help to stimulate the body’s production of HGH completely naturally. What’s more, they are a fantastic source of protein so a great option for those living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
Another funny sounding exotic fruit, this superfood is packed full of essential omega-6 fatty acids which you body needs. They’ve even been shown to be able to regenerate and produce the body’s stem cells and an excellent source of dietary fibre. Even more interesting, research has shown AÒ«ai can help your body fight cancerous cells.
Imagining yourself eating bee pollen may seem like a pretty great feat but this particular superfood has been eaten for centuries and is amongst the most complete superfoods found in the natural world. Made 25% of pure protein and packed out with 18 different vitamins, bee pollen should be incorporated into any healthy eating diet. The full effects and nutrients of bee pollen are still not known as research continues but it is said to have both antibiotic and cholesterol lowering abilities. As far back as Ancient Greece, bee pollen has been used as an anti-ageing food, given by the legendary Pythagoras to his young students.
This is a bit more like it, a food that you may already have a taste for and enjoy on a regular basis. The water, oil and flesh of the coconut all have their own unique benefits. Coconut oil is one of the best natural oils you can find, yes it is saturated fat but it’s much safer and more beneficial for your body than other types of fat. Coconut water is also known for its close likeness to blood plasma and has a history of being used as a replacement for blood during wartime and it’s also a great alternative to your favourite sports drink, packed out with electrolytes but none of the sugar and e numbers you’ll find in processed products. There is nothing bad about the coconut, every element of its structure has its benefits and you can enjoy it, guilt free.
Hemp is something you may have seen used in textiles production but hemp seed is also a great source of nutrition and can be incorporated into any diet with ease. Hemp seeds are considered more beneficial than meat, eggs and even soy as a source of protein because of its extremely rich amino acid levels. What’s more hemp seed meets the whole protein requirement for vegans. It can be eaten raw, turned into milk or added to the tops of salad or cereal. However you eat it, it’ll have a profoundly positive effect on your diet.
Bulgur wheat has been hailed as a superfood for many years now and a closer look at its qualities clearly show why. With a low glycemic level in comparison to other forms of wheat and the best nutritional profile of all wheats on the market, it really is your best option for homemade breads and even pasta. Bulgur is a super source of many essential B vitamins, minerals including iron and zinc and also high in fibre.
Everyone has heard of the great qualities found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel and they really are as good as they sound. As well as containing high protein levels, some B vitamins, zinc, selenium and both vitamins A and D, it’s their rich quantities of omega-3 fatty acids which catapults oily fish to superfood status. From 1970s research to modern day, the benefits of these fatty acids cannot be denied as there is a reduction in conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and even heart disease in those who regular eat oily fish. This is just the beginning, on a regular basis further research is completed to show what other health benefits can be found in omega-3 fatty acids and the message is clear, eat your oily fish and you’ll reap many benefits.
It seems from a little in depth discussion, superfoods are super for a reason and it’s plain to be seen. Working towards a healthier, happier body is a great goal to have and when you consider the huge range of super foods you can combine or introduce to your diet to improve it, there is a lot of scope. Whether you try a new superfood for the first time or feel satisfied you’re diet is packed full of the right foods, a little bit of research is enough to demonstrate how superfoods can seriously benefit you and your body.
by Kath Webb
by Jessica Ward
by Laura Briggs
by Jessica Ward
by Jessica Ward