healthy_eatingWritten by Elisha Danine ~ Nutritionist
For a ‘superfood‘ to be classed as a ‘superfood’ it must be nutrient dense, disease fighting and preventing, and full of antioxidants and fibre.
Most of you should already know about superfoods such as avocados, blueberries, salmon and oats, so today we going to talk about the latest and greatest superfoods sitting on the shelves of you nearest health food store (or online store!).
Cacao – Don’t confuse it with its poorer nutrient packed cousin ‘cocoa’. Cacao is the raw unaltered version of chocolate. It’s high in magnesium, protein and fibre and it helps the brain to produce more of a neurotransmitter called anandamide which could account for the euphoric sensation some feel when indulging in chocolate.
We now know that raw cacao is very high in antioxidant flavonoids and essential fatty acids which may help the body to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. But remember to consume it in moderation.
Acai Berry -My ultimate favorite energy producing berry! It’s actually more of a seed and therefore can’t be eaten as a whole food, but it can be bought as a powder to be added to your Healthy Mummy Smoothie or fave yoghurt. Acai is packed with ‘anthocyanins’ which rate highly on the list for Antioxidants. They also contains nutrients such as omega 3,6&9, protein, fibre, vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C, D and E, potassium, magnesium, copper, calcium and zinc. Because both calcium and vitamin D are present, these berries are a self contained calcium resource.
Kale – this veggie is king of all leafy greens containing 45 different flavonoids such as kaempferol and quercetin. Its flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and if you consume it cooked or steamed, it also has cholesterol lowering properties. Kale contains too many nutrients to mention, but it is extremely high in Vitamin K – and is an exceptional food for lowering our risk of chronic inflammation and cancer.
Mangosteen – The Mangosteen (garcinia mangostana) is a tropical fruit growing in south-east asia. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Queen of Fruits’. Mangosteen juice is a potent source of antioxidants – substances which protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals and oxidative damage.  It also contains ‘Xanthones’ – one of the most powerful antioxidants ever discovered. The rind, or ‘pericarp’ of the Mangosteen is one of the richest sources of xanthones found in nature. Mangosteen Juice can be found on the shelf of most health food stores.
Kefir – Kefir is a fermented drink made from a kefir grain of symbiotic microorganisms wrapped up in a matrix of proteins, lipids and sugars. Kefir grains are white clumps that contain a wide variety of bacteria and yeast and is one of the best drinks for improving digestion and natural immunity. Non-dairy kefir alternatives include Coconut water kefir which can enhance hydration and recolonize your gut and mucous membranes with healthy strains of microflora. Coconut milk can also be fermented although it needs a little bit of coconut water to provide natural sugars for the kefir microorganisms to feed off it.
Chia seeds (black & white)Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) are the highest known plant source of Omega-3, with 8 times more than salmon! Chia seeds also very stable at room temperature, so they don’t need to be refrigerated like other sources of Essential Fatty Acids. Chia seeds provide an easy way to add healthy nutrition to your daily diet, with Vitamins A, B12 and C, complete proteins (18 Amino Acids), minerals including potassium, phosphorous, folate, zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium as well as soluble and insoluble fibre. They can be simply sprinkled on your morning oats or into stews, Healthy Mummy Smoothies or be eaten by the spoonful! You can buy The Healthy Mummy Australian Produced Chia Seeds here
Shirataki noodles – These close to zero calorie noodles are thin, low carb, chewy and wheat free. They are mostly composed of a dietary fiber called glucomannan and contain very few calories and carbohydrates. They do not have much flavor by themselves, but absorb flavors well from other ingredients such as soy, garlic, ginger or spaghetti sauce. Shirataki noodles are made from Konjac flour, which comes from the roots of the yam-like Konjac plant grown in Japan and China. Due to their high fibre content, they may reduce your risk of colon cancer. You might find them in your local supermarket branded by the name of ‘slim pasta’. They can also be found relatively cheap at Asian grocers.
Superfoods can add so many nutrients to your diet and can help reduce diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease due to the high levels of antioxidants in them. Antioxidants work by reducing the amount of free radicals in the body. Try to consume one of these superfoods everyday for a longer, healthier, happier life.
Written by Elisha Danine ~ Nutritionist
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