Although it’s used a bit too frequently for my liking these days (and slapped on products so that people can charge more for them), the term “superfoods” is used to refer to a foodstuffs that are jam-packed with substances that your body needs to stay healthy, and be perfectly primed to fight diseases and look good. Which is a good thing, obviously! So we’re talking about foods that are great sources of things like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fatty acids – simple huh?
What’s more, it needn’t be all goji berries, acai powder and “silver needle and calendula tea”, whatever the **** that is!
Btw, if you want a laugh, read this food diary. I’m sure Amanda Chantal Bacon is as lovely as her awesome name but she doesn’t half spout some BS when it comes to talking food. (She happens to be the founder of an LA health juice chain, hence probably why she tried to cram so many whackily-named foodstuffs into her article.) Check this out for starters:
“At 8am, I had a warm, morning chi drink … [it] has the super endocrine, brain, immunity, and libido- boosting powers of Brain Dust, cordyceps, reishi, maca, and Shilajit resin. I throw ho shou wu and pearl in as part of my beauty regime. I chase it with three quinton shots for mineralization and two lipospheric vitamin B-complex packets for energy.”
Think I’ll stick to my bagel and cup of joe tbh, Amanda.
Anyways, I digress. Here are 6 “superfoods” that aren’t off the wall and that could form a cornerstone of a nutritionally-sound eating plan, whether you want to lose a few pounds, buff up or just stay healthy. Number 6 might surprise you.
Eggs are my favorite food. Moreover, they’re like the Superman of superfoods: they are packed with protein and contain a range of 18 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and folate, and vitamin B12.
2. Dark Chocolate
Hell yes! Dark chocolate (so the one with more than 70% cocoa solids and, therefore, less milk and sugar) and natural cocoa powder can contain a heap of flavenols and polyphenols. In fact, research has found that it could help reduce oxygen cost and enhance performance during moderate exercise such as cycling. So eating dark chocolate could improve your times on the track or your play on the pitch – great!
If eggs were the Superman of the superfood world, then coconut would be the Mister Fantastic: it comes in many forms. You can drink the water that comes inside the coconut, eat the flesh, cook with the oil and grind the flesh into ‘milk’ too. Plus, it’s delicious.
It is high in fibre and a great source of manganese, as well as iron, zinc and phosphorous.
However, WARNING! Coconuts can be dangerous too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_by_coconut.
Avocados have been cited as helping to protect the body from heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye and brain diseases. Pretty bold claims! How do these stack up?
Well, avos are definitely moderate to rich in several B vitamins and vitamin K, and have a good content of vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium. They also contain phytosterols and carotenoids.
Moreover, unlike coconuts (which are very high – 80-90% – in saturated fats), avocados contain a mix of saturated and monounsaturated and poyunsaturated fats. It is their monounsaturated fats, in conjunction with the dietary fiber they contain, that have been linked with a reduction in ‘bad’ cholesterol and hence potential to fight against heart disease.
The wild stuff, rather than the farmed stuff, is what you’re looking for.
Like avocados, wild salmon is full of unsaturated fats, specifically omega-3, a polyunsaturated fat that can help lower cholesterol and reduct the risk of developing heart disease.
Salmon is also a good source of riboflavin and phosphorus, and a very good source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and selenium.
Your morning muesli or porridge? It’s already a pretty super food before you garnish it with berries (or even acai powder and a quinton shot chaser!)
Oats are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber (about 40% of your daily recommended intake!), several B vitamins and numerous dietary minerals, especially manganese.
Their ability to help lower cholesterol is now widely accepted. The humble oat is truly one of the great superfoods!