Top 5 ‘Everyday’ Superfoods
Is it time to end our obsession with unpronounceable exotic berries?
We all see the latest claims in sensationalised media reports and receive offers to our email inboxes trying to sell us trendy ‘miracle’ foods but are these things really necessary to optimise our health and well being? Here are our top everyday superfoods that show we can benefit just as much from eating things we would likely find in our kitchens on a weekly basis!
Broccoli: Available all year round and an inexpensive staple to many a vegetable drawer. It's low in calories and high in fibre so is good for weight management and contains a wealth of micronutrients. Rich in vitamin C and iron for energy plus bone-building vitamin K and a whole host of antioxidant phytonutrients to support our immune systems. Broccoli also contains Indole Carbinole great for liver detoxification. Whether raw, lightly steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled this green powerhouse is definitely a superfood and can be used as a side dish, and tossed into grains, egg dishes, soups, and salads.
Eggs: Versatile, packed with protein and can be eaten at any time of the day! A medium whole egg contains around 85 kcals and the protein is perfect for keeping hunger at bay. If you want to further reduce calories and fat try using a combination of whole eggs and egg whites to make omelettes or scrambled egg. The yolk is where most of the calories and all the fat is found but also this is where the vitamins A, D and E are so bear that in mind. Eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient great for brain development and memory so the old adage of going to work ‘on an egg’ certainly had some truth behind it!
Oats: Rich in slow release energy to stabilise blood sugar levels and keep you full throughout the morning. Oats are high in soluble fibres which may help to lower cholesterol levels, support heart health and aid digestive function. Recent studies have also found that Beta-Glucans in oats can help to boost immune defences. A diet rich in oats and other whole grains is even thought to potentially reduce the risks of certain types of cancer and type II diabetes. So whether it’s porridge, oatcakes or healthy homemade energy bars, oats are a great superfood grain to consume regularly.
Salmon: The abundant omega-3 in salmon can help to boost memory and brain function as well as increase ‘good’ HDL cholesterol whilst also benefitting our joints, skin and
acting as a natural anti-inflammatory. High in protein, a good source of iron, and low in saturated fat, this fishy superfood can be enjoyed, fresh, smoked or even tinned. Grill or bake it, top it with salsas or other low-fat sauces and serve it on salad greens. Top Tip: to maximise your omega 3 intake when eating a salmon fillet, ensure you leave the skin on and eat the whole thing as most of the omega 3 is found in the ‘blood line’ - the thin jellylike grey layer between the skin and the flesh.
Nuts: Feared by many a dieter for being ‘’fattening’’ but a fantastic addition to the list of everyday superfoods that can be enjoyed by all! Nuts are best eaten raw, unsalted and are without question ‘’energy dense’’ often averaging around 600kcal + per 100g.
However, they are packed with beneficial nutrients so should be considered as ‘’good calories’’ and portion control is the key! Walnuts, Almonds and Brazil Nuts are all great options and can be used in muesli or sprinkled on porridge, as a snack with fruit or in salads or stir fry. A regular small palmful (around 25g) is all you need to reap the nutritional rewards. Not only are they a great source of vegetarian protein, fibre and healthy fats but they’re also rich in vitamin E which promotes skin health and cardiovascular protection plus magnesium and zinc, vital for energy, muscle strength and the immune system.
So save yourself money and scepticism, shelling out on the latest fad & stock up your cupboards & fridge with well researched everyday superfoods with guaranteed benefits!
Written by Becki Douglas