Ten superfoods to spice up your life this spring
You may have heard about the amazing health benefits of blueberries, green tea and quinoa, but there are plenty of other healthy foods out there to add a little variety to your diet.
The ten superfoods below – some of which you may not have heard of or tried before – will broaden your horizons and could just lead to a healthier you!
- Moringa (most commonly bought in leaf powder form) is full of iron, calcium, vitamin C and protein. It is an excellent source of antioxidants and will help to boost your immune system. Some experts even say that it can promote milk production in new mothers, though lactating mums should always speak to a health professional before adding any new supplements to their diet.
- Sauerkraut (fermented, thinly cut cabbage) is rich in probiotics (friendly bacteria), which means that it supports good gastrointestinal and immune health as well as boosting your metabolism. Packed full of vitamin C and vitamin K, it has antibacterial properties, bolsters bone health and may reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Pistachios make for a great snack, and are among the nuts with the highest protein and fibre content, combined with unsaturated fat. Pistachios are rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin B. According to the experts, they can help to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and may aid weight loss if consumed in sensible quantities.
- Seaweed is not only an excellent source of vitamins A and C, zinc, calcium and magnesium; it also contains high levels of iodine, which regulates energy levels and promotes healthy thyroid function. It can be eaten fresh in Japanese salad or dried in soups and stews.
- Kefir (a cultured, fermented milk drink) is rich in calcium and probiotic bacteria. As a result, it can help to ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as pain, bloating and irregular bowel movements. Some people who are lactose intolerant are able to digest kefir, but it’s best check with a GP before introducing it to for those with an intolerance.
- Hemp seeds contain an excellent ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to build strong bones and muscles as well as fighting inflammation and providing a good source of plant-based protein. Hemp seeds can be added to porridge, stir-fry, salad and a range of other meals.
- Turmeric is known as a ‘wonder spice’ by nutritional experts for its anti-inflammatory benefits, which can really help to fight gastrointestinal issues, support immunity, reduce pain levels and boost heart health. It contains antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
- Bone broth is rich in magnesium, calcium, collagen and phosphorous. It can help to improve digestion and soothe gut inflammation, as well as improving the quality of skin and keeping joints healthy, reducing the chances of developing arthritis. Bone broth can be bought or made at home, and can be drunk straight or added to meals as a nutrient-rich stock.
- Avocado and nut oils are thought to be healthier than coconut oil, as they contain a lower level of saturated fats. These oils are packed full of antioxidants and heart-healthy fats, helping to lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and fight free radicals.
- Cassava flour is gluten-free, and the fibre it contains feeds healthy gut bacteria, reduces inflammation and boosts digestive health. As it helps to control blood sugar levels and can make consumers feel full after eating it, cassava flour may help to promote weight loss. However, as it is delicious in pancakes, muffins and cakes, it’ll need to be eaten in moderation if this is the key aim in using it!