The word superfood is considered a little controversial, as it implies some kind of positive health inducing activity. Yet all foods are not created equal. Here are some that offer better bang for your buck nutrient-wise. We have scoured our favourite food sites for some easy superfood recipes to easily pack your diet with these ingredients.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and Kale for example) – These are packed full of folic acid, vitamin C and carotenoids (plant pigments which can be converted into vitamin A). Broccoli has lots of antioxidants which may protect your cells from being damaged by free radicals. Broccoli also contains beta carotene, energy producing vitamins B3 and B5, potassium and chromium, the last of which helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Low Fat Greek Yoghurt – high in calcium and vitamin D for bones. Why Greek yoghurt? Being strained it has a higher weight for weight concentration of protein.
Salmon and oily fish – high in omega-3 fatty acids which are anti inflammatory (good for inflammatory conditions like arthritis). Omega 3 fatty acids are heart healthy, protecting against the build up of cholesterol on artery walls. Oily fish are also rich in protein, zinc, selenium, vitamins A and D, and some B vitamins.
Egg – While egg yolk is rich in cholesterol, egg white is protein rich, as well as offering lutein (good for vision) and choline (a B Complex vitamin which helps preserve memory).
Blueberries– Concentrated in vitamin C, and the anthrocyanin pigments in blueberries have potent antioxidant activity. Other colourful berries such as goji and raspberries have similar benefits to protect against cell damage.
Beans – (kidney, chickpeas, dried peas , soybeansand lentils) – these are low in fat and rich in antioxidants. The fiber and protein content make them great for vegetarian diets, but also as a great, healthy and filling ingredient. Some of the micronutrients they have plenty of include folate, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese and zinc.
Walnuts – Most nuts are good for you in moderation, as they are rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats. This helps to absorb fat sol vitamins (vitamins A,D,E and K). Walnuts have a particularly high antioxidant content as well as being rich in omega 3 fatty acids with their anti-inflammatory activity.
Quinoa- this may often be used as a grain but in fact it is an an edible seed. It is considered a complete protein because it contains all eight of the essential amino acids we need for tissue development and almost twice as much fibre as most other grains. It is high in B vitamin and potassium content, and is a good source of calcium, zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, and folate.
Avocado –High in fibre, vitamin E and monounsaturated fat (good for your skin and anti-ageing), avocados are also a good source of glutathione – which has powerful antioxidant activity, protecting against the damaging effects of carcinogens and free radicals.
Oats – Oatmeal is high in fiber, with a cholesterol lowering effect. The complex carbohydrates provide sustained energy release making you feel fuller for longer.
Dark Chocolate – yes chocolate can be good for you. Heart healthy effects include a cholesterol lowering and blood pressure stabilising activity. Chocolate is also rich in antioxidants, to protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Stick to dark chocolate though – the sugar and fat content of milkier varieties will outweigh its benefits.
We’ll quit the science now and share some fabulous feel-good superfood recipes we have found and bookmarked to make!
- Greens and Beans Breakfast Tostada (Food to Glow)
- Mixed Berry and Orange Smoothie (Greedy Gourmet)
- Avocado Mushroom Toasts (Smarter Fitter)
- Fruity Granola (A Mummy Too)
- Poached Eggs with Mushrooms and Boursin (Cooksister)
- Souffle omelette (Franglais Kitchen)
- When it comes to smoothies, Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes has a great number on her sight. This Apple and Kale Smoothie is a great introduction to green smoothies for the kale-o-phobics.
- and how about making your own yoghurt – Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary shows how.
- Hot Smoked Mackerel Omelette (Ren Behan Food)
- Raw Green Soup with Cavolo Nero (Maison Cupcake)
- Broccoli and Tomato tart (Feeding Boys and a Firefighter)
- Lemony Chickpea and walnut salad (Amuse your Bouche)
- Pumpkin and Kale Soup (How to Cook Good Food)
- Sweet potato and leek tortilla (Greedy Gourmet)
- Wasabi Salmon en Croute (Franglais Kitchen)
- Za’atar spiced yoghurt dip – perfect with barbecues and crudites (Franglais Kitchen)
- Haricot Bean ratatouille casserole (Fuss Free Flavours)
- Salmon en papillote (Croque Maman)
- Salmon and Cream cheese pasta (Ren Behan)
- Lentil and quinoa burgers (Food to glow)
- Puy Lentil Dhal with Halloumi (Gujerati Girlie)
- Kale Salad (Fuss Free Flavours)
- Vegetable Dhal Recipe (Fabfood4all)
- Fig and Blackberry crumble with oats and quinoa (Franglais Kitchen)
- Raw Chocolate Brownies (Smarter Fitter)
- Blueberry and Lemon Muffins (Botanical Baker)
- Blueberry and Vanilla Ice Cream Terrine (Franglais Kitchen)
- Beet Nut Butter Cups (Veggie Desserts)
- If you want to eat chocolate straight as it is look to Judith at Mostly About Chocolate for some excellent recommendations.