An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so we’ve always been told. But are apples really that good for you? We’ve researched the top 10 nutritional superstars to present a list of foods that will help you to keep your health and weight in check – and hopefully give your energy levels a boost, too.
What is it exactly that makes super foods so super? The secret lies in their essential make-up: super foods are not only packed full of nutrients, but they also boast other positive properties that directly support your health and wellness.
The reason they’re called “super foods” is that they pack a phenomenal nutrient punch. Some are great for your heart, while others are chock full of cancer fighting antioxidants, and others still are designed to lower your cholesterol levels.
We’re so used to eating less nutrient-dense foods, such as convenient processed foods, that we often forget the value of fresh food. If you can introduce even one of these foods to your everyday diet, you’ll be all the better for it.
Here’s our top 5 superfoods to boost your health and energy:
High in nutrients and low in calories, spinach is a bit of a superstar in the veggie world. It has lutein (for healthy eyes), folate (to combat depression) and a whole host of other goodies, including antioxidants, iron and vitamins B, C, and E. Try slipping it into meals such as stir-fries, pastas, homemade pizza, salads and scrambled eggs.
Whole grain bread
Did you know whole grain bread is good for your gums? It’s true! Solid, dense, grainy bread is full of fibre, niacin and folate, so it promotes digestion, regularity and healthier gums. Research has shown that whole grains can even help prevent Type 2 diabetes and stabilise blood sugar levels – and because it is low GI, you’ll feel fuller for longer.
These tiny parcels of berry goodness have “elite” nutritional values, which could be why they’re so expensive! Blueberries have anthocynanins, which help to protect against cancer and heart disease, and slow down the ageing process. They also give blueberries their distinctive blue-red hue. Blueberries are also a great source of vitamin C, fibre, folate, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. All of this in one little berry. It’s easy to see why they’ve made it onto our list!
You should aim to eat oily fish, such as salmon, twice a week, so you take advantage of their omega 3 fats, which are critical for improving heart health. These unique fatty acids can steady the heartbeat and lower blood pressure, and they’re also great for the brain, eyes and nerve function and development. Eat it with grilled veggies for dinner, or add a tin of salmon to your salad at lunch time.
If Oprah’s own Dr Mehmet Oz recommends it, you know you’re onto something! Dr Oz is always going on about tomatoes, as they’re bursting with loads of cancer-fighting antioxidants and lycopene. This is an easy superfood to incorporate in your diet, too. Ladies, keep in mind that just one cup of tomato pasta sauce contains your full day’s intake of lycopene, and some studies have shown that women who eat large amounts of lycopene-rich foods, have a 50% less chance of developing breast cancer. Stats like that are too hard to ignore, and besides, tomatoes are delicious; pair with spinach leaves and fetta and serve with a slice of grilled salmon, and you’ve got yourself a tasty, healthy meal that is super packed with superfoods!