Here’s a guide to keep up with the health craze. Check out 10 superfoods that provide your body with the elements you need to feel great.
WHAT ARE SUPERFOODS?
Superfoods are foods — mostly plant-based, but, also certain fish and dairy — thought to be nutritionally dense and thus good for one’s health. Blueberries, salmon, kale and acai are just a few examples of foods that have garnered the “superfood” label. Here are a few to get you started.
1. COLLAGEN POWDER
Let’s start with the star of them all, the one that will benefit your skin, hair, nails, gut, joints, and reduce cellulite and stretch marks! Is there anything collagen can’t do? Collagen is naturally found in cuts of meat that contain skin or bone. It’s imperative to choose a collagen powder that comes from organically raised or wild animals.
2. ADAPTOGENIC MUSHROOMS
Mushrooms are not just a delicious pizza topping; throughout history and across many cultures, they have been used for their medicinal benefits. Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps and many other varieties have been shown to contain a multitude of health benefits. Mushrooms are known as ‘adaptogens’ because they can adapt their healing properties to your body’s specific needs at any given time, in order to restore you to optimal functionality.
Proteins derived from plants are gaining more recognition as increasing numbers of us strive to have a more plant-based diet. At the forefront of this trend is protein from legumes like peas. One cup of raw green peas contains 8 grams of protein. Peas contain three important muscle building ‘branched chain’ amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. Pea protein powder has become a popular additive in snack foods and bars.
There’s a new super green in town! Moringa has gained a reputation for fighting inflammation and combating the various effects of malnutrition and aging, earning the nickname of ‘the miracle plant.’ Gram for gram, it contains twice the amount of protein of yogurt, four times the amount of vitamin A as carrots, three times the amount of potassium as bananas, four times the amount of calcium as cows’ milk and seven times the amount of vitamin C as oranges.
The health benefits of turmeric make this humble spice the golden child of superfoods indeed. Turmeric originates from the root of the turmeric plant, known as Curcuma Longa. Warm, peppery and bitter to taste, it is mildly reminiscent of orange and ginger combined. In fact, turmeric is a relative of the ginger family, and in its fresh form, the turmeric root does
indeed look similar to the ginger root.
The Mediterranean trend is on a roll with our beloved Lebanese tahini becoming a superfood worldwide. We love that tahini is packed with monounsaturated fats, along with cholesterol-lowering phytosterols that help promote a healthy heart. This year, expect to be seeing it make its way from high-end restaurants to popular snacks, desserts and breakfasts.
7. PROBIOTIC DRINKS
Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria which help colonise the gut, leading to improvements in a range of bodily functions, from mood and stress levels to weight and cravings for food. Probiotic drinks, such as kombucha, kefir and ACV are hitting the shelves because people are looking for drinks that help with their wellbeing. With that in mind, expect to be sipping a drink of bacteria while you chow down on a Moringa and tahini bowl, topped with sun dried crickets and Chaga mushrooms.
Matcha is simply green tea. But what matters most here is the antioxidant content of the matcha powder. One cup of matcha tea (or a delicious green matcha latte) has as many antioxidants as about ten cups of regular tea. This antioxidant intensity comes as a result of consuming the matcha as a powder that is dissolved into your drink, rather than steeping
tea leaves which you then throw away, making matcha tea anti-carcinogenic and anti-aging.
9. BEE POLLEN
It is made when bees collect and naturally process the stamen from wild flowers, bringing it back to the hive where it is
collected and packed, sealing in the goodness. The buzz around bee pollen is warranted. Rich in vitamins (A, C, D, E and K), minerals (zinc, iron), antioxidants and protein, amongst many other important building blocks of a healthy diet. Used for centuries to rejuvenate the brain and help with concentration and memory, scientists believe that many neurological issues are due to inflammation which can benefit from bee pollen.
Chlorella, a nutrient-dense algae, can give you all you need for a healthy body. On top of that, it acts as a sponge to absorb toxins. Wow, nutrition and detox in one simple food. It supports the cleansing of your body from pesticides, alcohol, and heavy metals. It’s also around 60% protein, full of vitamins & minerals, and loaded with B12 — which is extremely rare for plant-based foods.
MOST COMMONLY REPORTED BENEFITS
• Can aid digestion and assist in reducing bloating and abdominal cramps
• Can reduce the accumulation of toxins and harmful bacteria in the gut, reducing the risk of bowel cancers
• Useful treatment of diabetes, liver diseases, arthritis, skin issues, joint and gut inflammation
• Can protect against heart disease and reduce cholesterol
• Can be used as an antibiotic on open wounds
• Can regulate menstrual disorders and purify breast milk
• Can also promote a calm mind
HOW TO BENEFIT FROM SUPERFOODS?
Add turmeric to everything! Soups, vegetable, stews, rice, smoothies, juices, the list goes on…
If you’re not impressed by the distinct taste, turmeric capsules are also available.
All of these superfoods can be found in a good health store, so start experimenting, your body will thank you for it.