Wondering what superfoods you should really be eating? We’ve rounded up the best of the bunch, from memory boosting blueberries to detox-friendly kale.
Wondering what superfoods you should really be including in your daily diet and why? We’ve rounded up the best foods to target all areas, from memory boosting blueberries to detox-friendly kale.
So-called superfoods are more popular than ever because of their high nutritional content and many health benefits. There’s no one-size-fits-all definition for a superfood, but nutrition experts generally agree that they should be low-calorie and contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, polyphenols (the specific ingredient that helps to protect cells from free radicals), and antioxidants.
The best superfoods are known to fight dangerous free radicals, a type of oxygen molecule that is thought to be a factor in causing a number of diseases including diabetes and cancer, as well as contributing to the ageing process. Foods like blueberries are known to be high in antioxidants, which protect against these free radicals.
Including superfoods in your diet can help aid weight loss, increase energy levels, improve skin and hair appearance and reduce the risk of digestive problems and chronic illnesses. What’s the catch, you ask? It’s important to read ingredient labels, try to stick to natural foods and know what you’re buying – a survey by the British Dietetic Association showed that 61 per cent of people questioned had bought a specific food or drink just because it was labelled as a superfood.
So whether you’re wondering why everyone is adding chia seeds to th
eir breakfast recipes, want to know the best foods to help fight wrinkles or are looking for a new nutritious smoothie ingredient, here are the superfoods you should be eating and the reasons behind their status as a superfood.
Feeling motivated? Why not try some of these fat-burning breakfasts to help boost your weight loss.
Quinoa is a low-calorie, gluten free, low GI complex carbohydrate. It contains eight amino acids and is high in fibre. And best of all, it’s gluten-free so it’s a great alternative to wheat or grains.
Also known as wolfberries, these contain all 18 amino acids as well as mega doses of vitamin A, B1, B2, B6 and vitamin E, and, gram for gram they are packed with more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than oranges.
A brilliant salad accessory or sandwich ingredient, watercress is full of vitamins A and C, and works like a natural antibiotic, helping zap unwanted blemishes and heal the skin.
Oats are high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, protein and more. As well as helping improve your skin, they are brilliant for those suffering from stress and tiredness. No wonder we’re always being told to eat porridge for breakfast.
It’s great for detoxing as it’s full of sulphur and fibre, which are both key factors in keeping your liver healthy. Just 50g provides your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Chocolate is actually good for us, but only the dark kind. Tests have shown that dark chocolate contains more antioxidants and polyphenols – which are thought to protect the body from cancer and heart conditions – than fruit. Hurrah.
Blueberries are said to help with memory problems so if you’re concerend about Alzheimer’s, for example, this is the superfood for you. The flavonoids help eradicate dangerous free radicals which can cause damage to cell walls and DNA.
As well as being full of omega 3 and antioxidants, just one tablespoon of chia seeds have more calcium than a cup of milk. They’re a great addition to any breakfast pudding or smoothie recipe.
All types of legumes, or beans, such as kidney, chickpeas, soybeans, dried peas and lentils, are low in fat and have anti-ageing properties. They’re a good source of carbohydrates and vegetable protein fibre, meaning they’re great for blood pressure, cholesterol and your joints. They can really improve your digestive health too.
Packed with antioxidants, not to mention potassium, vitamins and good fats, avocados are your best foodie weapon in the fight against wrinkles.
This freshwater algae is often called the original superfood. It’s packed with protein and all the essential amino acids, plus it’s a great detoxifier. Spirulina is most commonly added to smoothies and juices in powder form, or taken as a food supplement.