Superfoods. Now there’s a term that’s been bandied around newspaper articles, web blogs, TV programs, and more increasingly, supermarkets. Tomatoes, blueberries, mackerel, pomegranate and even turkey are all classed as super foods. But what exactly constitutes a food to be ‘super’? Perhaps it’s super strength crime fighting capabilities of the turkey. Or the sharp-shooting abilities the banana grants its wielder. I think not!
Firstly, there’s no definitive super foods list. Many are being added willy nilly by marketers backed by hype and marketing budgets – at the behest of healthcare professionals and nutritionists alike. The term appeared in the late 1990′s and is generally meant to signify foods that are, for one reason or the other, incredibly good for you. More often than not, when thinking of the term superfood we conjure images of insipid greens and obscure fruits. But it’s not all boring – there have been some surprising, awesome additions to the super food category including wine!
First off is the humble tomato. What’s it good for? Well, firstly if you need a vitamin C boost, ditch that orange – you can get half of your daily requirement in just one medium sized tomato. Next, there’s beta-carotene. Tomatoes are jam packed full of the stuff – essential for a healthy immune systems and skin.
Ever heard of Free Radicals? No it’s not a band. Free radicals are nasty little toxics that, if allowed to linger, can cause cancer. Right. What’s this have to do with tomatoes? Well, juicy red fruit is packed full of lycopene -the most powerful free radical buster known to humanity. So eating tomatoes regularly can help stave off horrible diseases.
Check out this fantastic, tasty, healthy tomato soup recipe from BBC Good Food. What makes this doubly good is the addition of a second superfood, garlic. Not only is garlic best mates with tomatoes taste wise, but garlic is one of the most powerful antibiotics around.
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All oily fish such as, tuna, sardines, salmon and mackerel are all ‘superfoods’ and fantastic sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3, especially DHA and EPA – both prevalent in oily fish, is essential for heart health and can help reduce cholesterol. Eating oily fish can also help you maintain healthy joints. Another property of oily fish is brain health. Some studies have suggested Omega 3 helps hold off Alzheimer’s, whilst other insist Omega 3 improves concentration and mood.
My absolute favourite oily fish has to be mackerel – it’s tasty, versatile and just looks so hot on a plate! For quick, delicious approach to Mackeral, again check out BBC Good Food. This recipe also has an added bonus of a second superfood, this time, spinach.
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Next on the list is kale, somewhat of a ‘new kid on the superfood block’. Besides having a weird name, kale is powerful source of the antioxidant vitamins A, C, K, all of which help remove free radicals. Studies have suggested Vitamin K rich diets can reduce the risk of cancer. As well as that, kale contains high amounts of fibre which can help reduce cholesterol. Check out the Kale salad recipe at Refinery29.
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Oats may seem somewhat boring, to a dietitian, however, they are gold dust. For starters there’s all that cholesterol reducing fibre. Next there’s zinc, another cancer preventing antioxidant. Plus zinc is also know for slow down the aging process and increasing fertility. Then there’s a high concentration of B vitamins, needed to keep your body energized, your nervous system prepped and your skin healthy. So the next time you pick up a flapjack you don’t need to feel so guilty.
One way to get a good quantity of oats is porridge. Nice. Another is muesli. yummy. Even better than those are the fantastic recipes at completlyyou.com.
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Tea is just brilliant. Both black and green teas contain high concentrations of flavonoids, another powerful antioxidant, which are particularly great for heart health. And them there’s the caffeine which helps keep you from smacking your head on the desk due to falling asleep. Enough said.
Now you have the facts and the recipes, you have the tools to adding superfoods to your diet and becoming more healthy. Almost, there’s one thing missing – super discounts! For fantatsic and savings on fruit, vegetables and other superfoods, check out our Food and Drink voucher codes tab.
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