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5 Super Foods for A Healthy Mind and Body

08 February 2022

The Power of Diet 

When it comes to keeping healthy and well, we know what we eat can help protect us from stress and illness. As we navigate through busy lives, trying to juggle work and home, we want all the help we can get in staying on top of our game. Knowing our diet can be a powerful defence can be a really empowering tool for us in some instances, and also feel overwhelming in others - with so many new superfoods heralded every other week, it’s hard to know what to listen to and where to start!

The truth is the foods that can protect our body from illness, free radicals, and viruses and keep us feeling energised and happy - are likely already in your fridge or kitchen cupboard. Let us explore the tried and trusted superfoods that can keep you thriving - without costing a small fortune!

Eat Your Greens!

Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, and cavelo nero, are often overlooked powerhouses of nutrients. Packed full of folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fibre, there’s not much they can’t do. Studies have found that regular consumption of these foodstuffs can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses including heart disease and type 2 diabetes - two of the biggest threats to our overall health. They also contain high levels of carotenoids which help to reduce inflammation in the body which, if left unchecked, can lead to the development of certain cancers.

Perhaps one of the reasons that these wonders get overlooked is that they’re not often regarded as that palatable. However, if you have the right tricks up your sleeve, you can grow to love them! Blending into smoothies, curries or stews can be a great option, or perhaps roasting lightly with some other veggies for a hearty, healthy meal.

Get To Know Kefir

Kefir has begun gracing more and more supermarket shelves lately, but you may not know quite what’s packed into this little wonder. Kefir is a fermented milk beverage, similar to yoghurt, but often with a slightly salty taste and thinner consistency. Packed with probiotic strains that keep the gut healthy, alongside protein, B vitamins, potassium, and calcium, it can be a great addition to your diet.

Kefir and other fermented foods like yoghurt that are super rich in probiotics have been found to have a wealth of wellness benefits, including lowered blood pressure, improved digestion, reduced cholesterol, and lower inflammation within the body found in individuals with regular consumption of these products.

Spice Things Up With Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice rack mainstay, with a bright yellow colour, often used alongside ginger and black pepper in curries and stews. It’s also been well known for centuries as an incredible medicinal food with a huge range of health benefits.

While known as both Turmeric and Curcumin, Curcumin is actually the active compound of the turmeric spice. When used with black pepper, it has incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and is often mixed with lime, ginger, and coconut milk for a healing drink to fight off illness. It may help fight off viruses and promote healing within the body, as well as prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Make Room For Mushrooms

Whether chestnut, shiitake, oyster, portobello - or any other wonderful species of mushroom - these veggies can provide some powerful wellness support. Packed with vitamin A, vitamin D, potassium, plenty of fibre, and a range of antioxidants, mushrooms may not look like much, but they have a lot to offer.

Their specific antioxidant combination can help reduce inflammation in the body, helping to mitigate the development of cancers and other illnesses. Alongside this, the powerful combination of B vitamins and the antioxidants selenium help generally support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues, allowing the body to focus on maintenance and repair, not fighting infection.

Try adding some of your favourite mushrooms into a hearty winter stew, or cook slowly with chicken and leek for a tasty pie mix with some added health benefits.

Put The Kettle On

With 3.7 billion cups of tea drunk worldwide every day, it’s great news to hear that one of our most loved caffeinated beverages is actually doing us some good! Whether green, black, or herbal, they all offer some fortifying health benefits.

As the least processed of all teas, green teas tend to have the highest amount of polyphenols and have been seen to protect immune cells and keep your immune system running at its best thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Chamomile tea can soothe conditions like irritable bowel syndrome as well as mild anxiety and sleep disorders thanks to its antispasmodic and calming effect on the mind and body, whilst ginger tea has been long trusted as an aid for nausea.

Black tea can also help manage stress and anxiety in small amounts. Although the caffeine in tea makes the mind and body more awake, which can trigger anxiety in some, black tea also naturally contains L-theanine which can help calm the mind by increasing the frequency of alpha brain waves. Keeping your intake of black tea low to moderate may help you feel the benefits of its calming capabilities, without unwanted anxiety or sleep trouble.

Shake Up Your Fridge!

Now you know the ingredients to keep seeking out, it’s the perfect time to stock up your fridge and get those recipe ideas rolling. Eating broadly can help keep you enthusiastic about healthy eating, and you’ll be reaping the benefits with better health and sharper focus before you know it.