Chosen Superfood Guide
Healthy living and healthy eating go hand in hand, so we've tracked down all the best superfoods to stock your fridge with. We know you’re already aware of the health benefits of avocados and kale so this list delves a little deeper. If you don’t know what umeboshi is keep on reading because you’re about to add a whole host of superfoods to your kitchen repertoire! A is for AcaiThese deep-purple South American berries are the center of all the hype: google acai bowl and you'll get no shortage of recipes. Best known for its high antioxidant count, it also touts great nutritional values as far as fatty acids, fiber and vitamins C, B and E go. B is for beetrootFitness junkies, this vibrant vegetable is for you. Dripping with fiber, iron, folic acid and antioxidants, studies have shown that it gives your stamina and exercise regimen an extra boost. It's also well known for helping lower blood pressure - pop this in a salad and you're good to go. C is for chia seedsThe ancient Aztecs were onto something when they made chia seeds part of their staple diet. These seeds, which take on a gelatinous consistency when soaked, are packed with fiber, protein, antioxidants and omega-3. They're versatile and can be added to anything from juice to oatmeal, raw or soaked. D is for datesSkip out on refined sugar and sate your sweet tooth with a date instead. Full of vitamins, potassium and calcium, they're great for a quick hit of energy and help with digestion due to their high fiber content. Be careful not to eat too many as their sugar content is still very high. E is for eggsA favorite with fitness lovers, eggs are a valuable source of protein and are easy to add to many recipes. Other reasons to eat them include a hefty helping of lutein, which helps improve eyesight, and a generous helping of omega 3 fatty acids. We have them in the morning as protein helps to keep you feeling full throughout the day. F is for flaxseedFlaxseed was lauded as a superfood before the term even existed, charting back to Babylonian times. Full of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and lignans (which helps with estrogen and antioxidants), promising studies show that it may lessen your chances of heart and lung disease. Read more about it here. G is for garlicWhile it’s not the most socially-acceptable superfood, garlic's proven to be a fantastic addition to meals and to your health regimen. Used across cooking of all cultures, it's been proven to help with reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. It is high in Allicin which provides most of the health benefits. H is for honeyGet your sugar fix with nature's sweetener: honey! It's been long lauded for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, but opt for a cold-pressed and organic option so that you keep its nutritional value up. Be careful to use it in moderation as it is high in fructose and can cause sugar spikes. I is for Inca berriesSouth American Inca berries, golden berries with a strong citrus taste, are mini protein packs with a healthy dose of antioxidants. With a higher ORAC rating than goji berries and raisins, you'll be good to go in no time. J is for jalapenoIf you can handle the heat, the benefits of chowing down jalapenos are that they help fight inflammation and are full of valuable minerals like iron. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes your mouth burn, is also theorized to alleviate migraines and arthritis. K is for kombuchaThis sweet, fermented tea is growing in popularity and is full of probiotics and healthy acids to help with everything from digestion to energy boosts. While studies are still somewhat lacking at the moment, it's been a favorite health drink for hundreds of years in Russia and Japan. L is for lemonThis sour fruit is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. One cup of warm water with lemon in the morning helps you digest your food throughout the day and boosts mineral absorption. As an incredible source of vitamin C, it champions the production of collagen and is full of antioxidants. M is for macaThis Peruvian root is South America's answer to Chinese ginseng and boosts energy levels. With B vitamins, fatty and amino acids and more, it's a great shout for women as it helps balance hormones - helping with PMS, menstruation and menopause. (Note: pregnant women should steer away though.) N is for nutsEasy enough to throw into your bag as a snack, nuts are an incredible source of protein and are packed with calories. Every nut's got its own perks: cashews are big on iron, almonds are rich in fiber and calcium while walnuts have great omega 3 fatty acids. O is for oily fishOily fish is so good for you that the British government even put out an advisory stating you should eat it twice a week. Rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, protein and selenium, it lowers blood pressure by targeting the fat in your arteries. P is for pomegranateHailing from the Middle East, this vibrant fruit has crimson pulpy seeds that pack a nutrient-rich punch. Pomegranates contain punicalagins, antioxidants that put even red wine and green tea to shame, and are shown to reduce blood pressure to keep your heart chugging along healthily. Q is for quinoaSwap out your carb-loaded grains for quinoa, a crop so good that the UN even made 2013 International Quinoa Year. Filled with double the protein of rice, there's amino acids and vitamins to spare. It's also gluten-free, so it's a great option for vegans. R is for raw cacao powderPut away the Cadbury's and opt for raw cacao powder, which has been cold-pressed to retain healthy goodness that gets damaged at high temperatures. Great for combating heart problems, high blood pressure and full of minerals, sneak a spoonful or two into chia pudding for a treat. S is for spirulinaThis emerald green algae is so good for you, NASA's even started adding it as a dietary supplement to astronauts' diet. It usually comes as a pill or in powdered form and gives your immune system a lift, ticking amino acids, antioxidants, B vitamins, proteins and iron off the list. T is for turmericTurmeric's a popular spice in Indian curry, but it's also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in Asian medicine. Great for reducing cholesterol, it contains manganese, iron and a compound called curcumin which is a super effective antioxidant and helps safeguard against blood clots. U is for umeboshiYou'll find these pickled Japanese plums served as sides or slipped into rice balls and they're absolutely delicious. Renowned for their alkalizing benefits, they've been used for hundreds of year to help with everything from digestion to even curing hangovers. V is for veggiesIf it's leafy and green, it's probably good for you. Veggies and vitamins go hand in hand, so you can never really go wrong scooping up as many vegetables into your basket as possible. Always a reliable source of nutrients, mind the pesticides and choose organic goods instead. W is for watercressLittle known fact: watercress is one of the world's healthiest superfoods. There's a world of vitamins in every leaf, but it's brimming with vitamin K and A which help keep your bones strong and your eyesight on point. It topped the list in a study of nutrient dense vegetables. X is for xigua (aka watermelon)Xigua is the Chinese name for watermelon…there aren’t many superfoods that begin with the letter X! Watermelons have essential minerals and vitamins and are packed with vitamins A & C as well as iron and calcium. Y is for yogurtSuperfoods don't need bells and whistles - sometimes a pot of yoghurt will do. It's full of healthy bacteria that help with digestion and your immune system. It also beats out milk when it comes to the calcium count; opt for a probiotic yoghurt and avoid the pudding pots. Z is for zucchiniThis green squash is not only delicious, it's got a low calorie count to go along with the concoction of potassium, folate and vitamins to boot. We love to spiralize ours and serve it with some homemade pesto for an easy weeknight dinner. A great way to incorporate these ingredients into your diet is to try a new one every day for about a month. It’s quite a fun challenge! If you would like to delve even deeper into the world of superfoods check out some of these informative articles below.