Superfoods are the talk of the town at the moment and you can’t read a health and fitness mag without some mention of a superfood. Now you may be asking what is a superfood? Well a superfood is something that has high levels of concentrated nutrients compared to other foods. They are great to add into your daily diet for an extra nutritional boost and can help with a range of health issues. There are so many different superfoods out there but here are some of my favourites, including some ideas on how you can incorporate them into your diet.
1. Raw Cacao
Okay so I got pretty excited when I first got introduced to this superfood. Why? Because not only does raw cacao provide an amazing dose of nutrients to the body, it also is the perfect thing to kill any sweet tooth craving. Cacao in its purest form (so raw and unprocessed) is filled with antioxidants that help fight against stress and toxins, strengthen the immune system and improve cardiovascular health. In fact raw cacao provides more antioxidants to the body then blueberries and green tea, making it a true superfood. When you buy raw cacao you want to get a good quality organic one from the health food store or healthy food section in your supermarket. Because it’s unprocessed it’s also super rich in flavour and kills any chocolate craving. I like to add some in with frozen banana and unsweetened almond milk for a rich and tasty chocolate milkshake.
2. Chia Seeds
With more omega 3 fats than salmon, chia seeds are a great addition to anyone’s diet. In fact chia seeds have more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more potassium than bananas and are full of fibre, keeping you fuller for longer. With all that potent nutrients you can see why they are a superfood. The best thing about chia seeds is because they are tasteless you can use them in so many dishes. Sprinkle them on salads, soups or add to your smoothies. However my favourite way to use them is chia seed puddings. Simply add chia seeds with a liquid of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk), add in any fruit you want (frozen or fresh) and then sweeten with a bit of honey and sprinkle with cinnamon for a delicious sweet treat. You can also use them as an egg substitute in a lot of baking if you are a vegan.
3. Spirulina Powder
Spirulina is the perfect addition to a diet for anyone who is doing intensive exercise. That’s because it has a high concentration of protein as well as contains all 8 amino acids. It also contains chlorophyll which helps the body eliminate toxins. Not to mention it also contains vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, K, and E. It’s great to consume post workout to help the body with recovery. I like to add it into my smoothies but I’ve also seen people add it to their nuts and seed mixes.
4. Maca Powder
Maca powder is derived from the peruvian maca root and is great for increasing your energy and vitality. It also helps balance hormones, improve your sleep and deal with stress. A lot of athletes use maca because of its energy boosting qualities. It has a nice caramelly flavour so is great to add into smoothies, bliss balls, or raw healthy desserts.
Superfoods can also come in the way of your normal fruit and veges and berries are one of the most rich antioxidant dense foods you can have. High doses of antioxidants helps the body fight against free radicals, improve the immune system as well as reduce signs of ageing. The best berries to have are blueberries, however I do recommend buying organic so you don’t get any of the nasty pesticides that come with non-organic fruit. My favourite way to eat blueberries is put the fresh punnet in the freezer and then eat straight from there. It’s like having some of natures candy.
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is an ancient grain that is highly nutritious and gluten-free. It’s a good choice for vegetarians as it contains more protein than any other grain or seed, with a good balance of all 8 essential amino acids. Quinoa is also high in fibre, has a low-GI and is a source of iron, B vitamins, calcium and magnesium, and vitamin E.
The reason I love superfoods so much is that they are a great way to add in even more nutrients to the body. When we feed our body with the good stuff we are able to perform so much better and be at our best. I hope you learnt something new and have some ideas on how to incorporate these awesome foods into your daily diet.