What Are Superfoods?
'Superfoods' is a term that we hear so much in the world of Nutrition in recent times. More often then not they are unusual looking, brightly coloured fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds coming from exotic far off lands with hard to pronounce names.
Well here's the low down – every fruit, vegetable, nut and seed is a superfood in their own right as they have the ability to nourish our bodies and provide us with energy and a huge variety of nutrients. However there are a few superfoods which have been studied for their added benefits; nutrient density, high antioxidant load and phytonutrients that have hughly positive effects on the functioning of our bodies and therefore our overall health and wellbeing.
Let's Take A Look At A Few:
Goji Berries (Lycium Barbarum)
Goji Berries are claimed to be the most nutritionally dense fruit on Earth. Although they have only been introduced in Western countries in recent years, gojis have been used for thousands of years in Tibet and China, both as a culinary ingredient and medicinally.
This superfood is unique among fruits for many reasons, for example they contain the highest concentration of protein of any other fruit. They are loaded with vitamin C, have twenty-one trace minerals and are high in fibre.
This small and humble berry is unassuming yet boasts 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse.
However for me I fell in love with the goji berry because of it's sweet taste & chewy texture. It is packed full of taste and flavour adding a sweet yet sugar free taste to porridge, smoothies, yoghurt and snacks.
Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica)
Chia seeds have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Today, they draw the interest of many people for their health benefits. As it turns out chia seeds are a rich source of nutrients, Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Chia seeds are composed of over 60% Omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids -- specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid which is noted for its anti-inflammatory properties.
As we know fibre is so important to help regulate normal digestive function. It’s what helps eliminate waste from our bodies and keeps our gut healthy. Chia Seeds are an excellent source of fibre, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. As fibre is processed slowly by the body, foods high in fibre produce feelings of more fullness and so can help manage weight loss more effectively. This makes it a fab way to help include more fibre to your diet and keep you feeling full and healthy.
Antioxidants help prevent free-radical damage in your body. Free radicals can lead to problematic conditions such as premature aging of the skin and inflammation of various tissues. These small but mighty seeds are an antioxidant powerhouse which can help prevent free radical damage.
Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.