What superfoods should you really be eating?
Superfoods. We sort-of know we should be taking them, but we also know that we’re fed up of being preached to by health bores extolling the virtues of Macedonia single origin rainforest leaf water. I mean, seriously. Not only is this stuff expensive and hard to locate, it’s also often a massive health con.
Nutritionist without the BS, Lisa Strong agrees. “It’s really confusing and expensive to buy every superfood you’re told to – there’s always hype about something. The key to using superfoods to your advantage is knowing the best ones, and understanding how they work with the body.”
We don’t have to eat them all the time, every day – either. “The trick is to get in tune with what your body wants. This can change month by month and season by season,” she continues. “So keep a check on how you are feeling and what potentially your body could be asking for and vary what superfoods you take accordingly.” With that in mind, here’s Strong’s guide to the superfoods minus the snooze-inducing rhetoric around them.
Cacao – It might sound like a posh version of your hot chocolate – but it let the confusion end here, it isn’t. “Cacao is raw, unprocessed chocolate – minus the sugar and milk. It’s brilliant for cravings because you get that chocolate hit, and it’s brilliant for smoothies with veggies because the chocolaty tastes hides the taste of the vegetables. It’s high in magnesium, which is the anti stress mineral so it’s great to take if you’re feeling stressed out, or need help sleeping. Additionally, it can help to lower and balance your blood pressure and it contains anandamide which is a mood enhancer.” Win.
TRY: Bioglan Superfoods Cacao Powder, £6.99
Spirulina – It tastes a little like pond but is in fact cyanobacterium (or blue-green algae.) “Spirulina is a great source of iron so therefore great for women who suffer with anemia – or low energy. It’s incredibly high in calcium and contains 26x the amount that milk has milk. Finally, it’s a good source of protein and a recommended source especially for vegans. Pop a little in your green smoothie and ditch the processed protein powder or take a supplement.”
TRY: Holland & Barrett Spirulina Powder, £6.99
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Maca – Is not a former Beatle or 90’s football player, in fact it’s a Peruvian root, which the Incas’ prized as an ancient superfood. And, it actually tastes quite nice! “Maca is incredible. It’s linked to an increased sex drive and research has shown that it can decrease menopausal symptoms including a reduction in hot flushes. It’s also said to be a natural fertility enhancer, so is one sexy superfood.” Easy, tiger.
Chlorella – This is another green algae similar to spirulina. They are different though; “Chlorella is known for detoxing the body as it’s good for stripping unwanted metals that we unknowingly consume through our food. It’s also great for glowing skin as it promotes cellular regeneration, and it’s a natural constipation reliever. Enough said!”
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Baobab – It’s a prized African fruit with some mega benefits: “Baobab is a very high source of Vitamin C, which is important around this time of year to keep colds and flu away. It’s a good source of fibre too, which helps keeps you fuller for longer and maintain energy levels. Who doesn’t want that?”
For more information on Lisa Strong, including Skype consultations, nutritional coaching, workshops and retreats, go to www.strong4lifenutrition.co.uk or Facebook page strong4lifenutrition.