What are Superfoods?
To be honest, I don’t think there is any simple scientific way to explain what a super food is. I genuinely think it’s used more as a marketing tool to advertise certain foods. Nevertheless, having done my own research on individual ‘superfoods’ I can indeed say that most of them are highly beneficial to health and that we should incorporate as many super foods into our lifestyle as possible.
However, it is important to have a balanced diet. Not one food type or group will be sufficient for a healthy lifestyle so please don’t restrict yourself…diversification is key!
I’ve picked five of the trendiest superfoods right now (yes I’m talking about the ones that you can’t pronounce)
1) Lucama powder (pronounced Loo cama)
This powder is a healthy low sugar alternative and safe for diabetics that is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. The Lucama fruit originates from Peru and has a unique caramel flavour. (It’s even been used in ice creams – check out Oppo’s salted caramel and Lucama flavoured ice cream).
You can add this powder to your smoothies and porridge (see my post on the ‘Chia Seed Oatmeal Pot’ for a healthy breakfast recipe).
2) Maca Powder (pronounced Maca)
Not gunna lie to you guys but the taste and smell of maca powder is extremely potent. Again originating from Peru it’s known as the ‘Peruvian ginseng’. However, it’s benefits have been long valued for years. The maca powder has been proven to help clear acne and also help with anxiety and stress. The powder is rich in Vitamin B, C and E and provides a plentiful dose of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and amino acids (good for muscle development).
3) Goji Berries (pronounced Go Gi)
This sweet tart fruit is usually sold dried and basically looks like a red raisin. Goji berries are a great alternative to fresh berries because you can carry them around in you bag without having to worry about them squashing or leaking. They are best eaten with cereal, oatmeal or yoghurt combined with a mixture of nuts.
Originating from Asia, I grew up eating Goji berries. When I was younger, my mother used to make this Goji berry tea, which was basically just Goji berries soaked in hot water for hours (so good for you)!
4) Calvo Nero (pronounced Kah voh loh Nero)
I don’t think this vegetable is that well known yet as none of my friends seem to have heard of it. Basically, this vegetable is the cousin of kale; it’s the new and improved KALE. The delicious and rich taste is great used in hearty meals including spag bol and paellas but also in lighter dishes such as salads.
The calvo is a good source of vitamin K, A, B and C, fibre, calcium, copper and iron (it’s basically really good for you). The only downside is that it’s not sold everywhere yet; I believe you can buy this plant in Waitrose and larger supermarkets.
5) Coconut oil
I literally cannot live without coconut oil. I use this for everything – hair, skin, makeup remover, tea and of course cooking (in fact I will have to do a separate post dedicated to coconut oil). If you don’t have a jar of coconut oil in your kitchen I strongly suggest going out to buy one now. Coconut oil should be used as a substitute for olive oil when frying. This is because the properties of oil change and become toxic once heated. Moral of the story: leave the extra virgin olive oil for the salad dressing!
There are numerous benefits of coconut oil such as easy digestion, it’s not readily stored as fat, processed by the liver (which means that they are immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat), anti-ageing and skin issues.
So what are you waiting for? Get your ass down to the closest Wholefoods now!