Heavy in nutrition, light on your wallet. Superfoods.
We have all heard the term ‘superfoods’ thrown around in conversation when people are talking about health benefits and fad diets. However, this is a slightly dangerous term that essentially simply exploits the fact that a healthy balanced diet can reduce your chance of developing cancer, heart disease or having a stroke.
The reality is that those lucky few foods that have made it onto the ‘superfood’ list have made it there because they are high in antioxidants and all the right kind of vitamins that are good for you. They will not act as a miracle cure for any ailments, nor will they defy the ageing process or increase your physical prowess, but they do have nutritional benefits and are a welcome addition to any well-balanced diet.
So before you go out and spend your entire wage on avocados, acai berries, quinoa, kefir and pine nuts to fuel your health kick, take a look at some of the foods that have stand-out health benefits that can be easily included in your everyday diet without costing the earth.
These wonderful superfoods are inexpensive, versatile and packed with high quality protein, selenium and vitamins D, B6, B12. They are classed as a ‘complete’ source of protein because they contain all nine amino acids essential for our diet. Eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can eat them scrambled, poached, fried, boiled, as an omelette or tortilla – the variations are endless. Eggs are king.
Besides being delicious, researchers have found that eating cherries can help reduce high blood pressure which can help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also contain vitamin C, fibre and anthcyanins – a rich antioxidant that contains strong anti-inflammatory properties that may help ease joint inflammation in those who have arthritis. Eat them naturally or as a cherry juice concentrate to get all the goodness.
- Whole Grains
We hate to say it but you need to ditch the deliciousness that is white bread. Nutrition is all about brown bread, rice and pasta I’m afraid. The term ‘whole grain’ literally means it is left whole with all of its natural goodness, unlike white bread, rice and pasta which uses a refined grain. Whole grains are also linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other health problems.
Low in calories, high in vitamins and iron. We know all green veg is really good for us and we should always eat more but we have singled spinach out as a top contender for your diet. It can be cooked down and eaten as a side with seasoning, garlic and spices or added to almost any meal you cook, from curries to smoothies. Buy frozen bags to store in your freezer and add as you please.
Bursting with omega-3 fatty acids vital for a healthy diet, mackerel also contains plenty of protein, vitamin B12, selenium, niacin and many other important micronutrients. It has been shown to aid in lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, fighting against depression and helping with weight loss as it is low in calories. It’s more affordable than similar oily fishes like salmon too.
Article originally appeared in Jun/Jul issue of PosAbility)
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