What are the superfoods you should be eating?
While there’s no official medical definition of ‘superfoods’, it’s commonly accepted that they pack large doses of vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to give us a health boost and help to prevent chronic disease.
This grain-like seed is a staple in Bolivia and Peru where it originated. It has a delicate nutty flavour, and provides all nine essential amino acids (which our bodies can’t produce themselves) making it a complete protein source – great for vegetarians and vegans!
Eat it as a delicious breakfast porridge, add it to lunch salads for a more satisfying meal, or as a substitute for grains, like rice, at dinner. Try Woolworths Red & White Quinoa Blend, R55,99 for 250g
It’s all good and no guilt! Studies have found that cocoa’s flavonoids lower blood pressure and improve blood vessel function, and so could help maintain our heart health as we age.
Plus it only has about 60kJ per tablespoon, so for all of us with a sweet tooth, it’s a win-win.
Guilt-free cocoa indulgence: Add to a banana smoothie for a decadent chocolate milk-shake style drink. But make sure to buy raw or non-alkalized cocoa, as apposed to Dutch-processed cocoa, which will have been stripped of up to 90% of its good phytochemicals. Try Wellness Organic Raw Cacao Powder, R139,95 for 200g
Native to South America, this small purple berry has long been touted by indigenous Amazon peoples as a long-life elixir. The fruit contains very high levels of anthocyanin antioxidants, which studies have associated with reduced risks of heart disease, cognitive decline and cancer.
Because the berry is delicate making it difficult to export fresh, you’ll mostly find it in capsule form or as a powder that can be added to juices and smoothies. Try Nature’s Choice Acai Berry Powder, R128 for 100g
A fermented milk drink, originally from Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, it’s a great source of probiotics and has become very popular as a gut health and immune-system booster. It’s also a good source of calcium, containing 20% of the recommended daily amount in just one 175ml serving.
It’s a bit tart, but mixed with honey, nuts and dried berries it makes a delicious breakfast or mid-afternoon snack. Or add it to fruity smoothies – you won’t even notice it’s there! Make it easily at home with the Complete DIY Milk Kefir Kit, R400
Maca, grown in the Andes Mountains, is a root vegetable that’s been ground into a powder for medicinal purposes for centuries. It’s part of a unique class of healing plants called ‘adaptogens’, which decrease the body’s sensitivity to stressors and help balance levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Cortisol, if too high, can make you feel anxious and tired, and lead to weight gain, bone density loss, diabetes and heart disease.
With a mildly sweet and pleasant butterscotch flavour, maca powder can be incorporated into baked goods, added to smoothies, or sprinkled over cereal and fruit. Try Wellness Raw Maca Powder, R125 for 200g
Not to be confused with baking yeast, nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast and has no leavening power. It’s a great source of protein and also among the only vegan-friendly sources of vitamin B12 (mostly found in meat and dairy products), which is essential for normal brain and nervous-system function.
With a cheesy flavour, it’s often used as a substitute for cheese in vegan dishes, can be added into sauces and soups to thicken them, and makes a tasty condiment to sprinkle over pastas, stir-fries and popcorn. Try Health Connection Wholefoods Nutritional Yeast Flakes, R27,95 for 50g
This humble veg is a health hero. Just one cup will supply you with your daily dose of vitamin C, vital to the development and repair of all body tissues.
Broccoli may also be cancer preventing – it contains two potent antioxidants, lutein and sulforaphane, which disarm unstable free radical molecules stopping them from damaging healthy cells and potentially causing cancer.
Make a simple and delicious broccoli salad: steam a broccoli head until just tender, leave to cool and divide into florets; then in a bowl whisk together 3 garlic cloves (mashed), 2tbsp lemon juice, 2tbsp rice-wine vinegar, 1tsp Dijon mustard, a pinch red pepper flakes, 1/3 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss broccoli in the dressing and serve.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.