What’s your superfood?
There has been a lot of hype in recent years about ‘superfoods’, from goji berries, acai, quinoa to kale juices…but what actually is a superfood? There is no actual legal or medical definition but I like to think of them as foods that make you feel great; foods with high levels of essential nutrients and minerals, foods that really nutritionally benefit us like no other. So here are a few of my favourite foods that make me feel super.
Often people trying to eat healthily or those on diets are misguided about healthy fats and thus avoid the humble avocado. They hear the word ‘fat’ and run a mile. However the monounsaturated fats in avocados are truly amazing for heart health and brain function as they promote healthy blood flow. They can even help protect your body from cancer and degenerative diseases. So chomping down on some ripe avocados will make you feel great internally but the benefits don’t stop there, externally you’ll be looking great too; them healthy fats, omega 3s and the multitude of vitamins packed into that little green fruit will keep your skin supple and hydrated and hair shiny.
Smooth creamy and nutty, they almost taste indulgent. I like to throw mine into my morning smoothie for an extra creamy texture or slather it on rye bread and sprinkle it with a good pinch of salt and pepper…delicious! Avocados really do make a delicious and nutritious snack.
Another of my favourite superfoods are berries, jewels of the summer, they really are nature’s sweets. My personal favourites are blueberries and raspberries. Almost all berries are abundant in anthocyanins, a group of compounds, which essentially give the tiny fruits their beautiful deep red, purple and blue hues. Anthocyanins are also significantly antioxidant. Antioxidants are important disease fighting compounds that aid in the process of cell damage by free radicals and essentially slow down the oxidative damage in our bodies. Incredibly little berries can have a big impact on healing our bodies. So I love topping my porridge with a dollop of natural yoghurt, cinnamon and a handful or two of fresh or frozen berries, a perfect breakfast as the cold starts creeping in!
Cacao (the pure raw form of chocolate)
Last but certainly not least, and perhaps an unexpected one, is chocolate! …Well chocolate in its pure raw state, cacao, not quite your everyday chocolate bar. Organic cacao powder is great for your health and believe it or not, has the potential to be one of nature’s best weight loss and high- energy foods. It is jam packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, zinc, iron and magnesium, just to name a few! Chocolate is able to satiate our need for pleasure like no other food and it isn’t just in our minds, cacao can quite literally promote a positive outlook and significantly elevate our mood. By raising the levels of serotonin in our brain and stimulating the secretion of endorphins, cacao essentially acts as an anti-depressant and an all round great-spirit lifter. So next time your craving chocolate, make yours a guilt free fix and grab the raw stuff. I love using it to make delicious raw chocolate desserts, when I’m craving a chocolatey fix. (My raw cacao brownies are a winner for even the biggest milk chocolate addicts). Add some pure organic cacao into your diet and start feeling its amazing effects.
So there’s the low down; those nutrient dense ingredients that are super beneficial for your health, happiness and wellbeing are what I like to think of as superfoods. Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more they are foods easy to add to your daily diet and you don’t have to go on an epic exploration into wholefood stores to find them. Simply chow down on a rainbow and you’ll be sure to be getting your superfood fix and be feeling great for it.
Written by Sophie