You may have heard the term superfood a lot recently, but what is a superfood? They're foods that contain large amounts per gram of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Because of this, when included in a balanced diet, these foods may help increase energy, scavenge free radicals and improve your general health and wellbeing.
There are so many superfoods these days, that it can be hard to choose which ones to include in your diet. Here are our top 5 picks:
Honey is packed with minerals and antioxidants, as well as enzymes and probiotics that aid with digestion. It's anti-inflammatory, so can be used as part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Active Honey such as Manuka honey is thought to have antibacterial qualities. Honey can be substituted for sugar, although, like sugar, it should be used moderately. It's a sweet way to improve your diet.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has become popular recently, becoming a staple in many people’s healthy kitchens. . Although coconut oil is mainly made up of saturated fat, it’s thought that its special fatty acids metabolise quickly and can help provide your body with an energy boost. You can use coconut oil in place of cooking oils and butter when preparing food. It has a high smoke temperature making it ideal for cooking at high temperatures (e.g. when frying). Like any fat, it’s high in calories, so make sure you eat it in moderation.
3. Raw Cacao
You’ve probably never thought of chocolate as being healthy. But cacao, or raw chocolate, is a very beneficial superfood. It contains magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which can help to improve your energy and bone strength. It can even have a positive effect on your mood! Raw cacao is not roasted like cocoa powder, meaning more of the beneficial antioxidants and minerals are present. You can buy raw cacao as a powder or as nibs. Keep an eye out for organic versions.
Spirulina is a type of algae, and is made up of 65% protein. Along with B, C and E vitamins, it contains calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Highly nutritious, it can be used as an addition to a balanced diet as an antioxidant to improve energy levels and boost vitality. Spirulina comes in a powder than can be sprinkled into smoothies and other foods. Be aware it will turn your food green!
5. Goji berries
Goji berries are red berries that have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for 1000s of years. Their popularity stems from the fact that they are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including an impressive level of vitamin C that (gram for gram) can rival that in oranges. Goji berries can be eaten alone, sprinkled on salads, or soaked and put in your favourite smoothie. You may also enjoy Goji Juice (made from the berries).