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Superfoods Made Super Easy

12 Aug. 2022

Superfoods, we’ve all probably heard of them, but what actually are they?
Superfoods are more than just health foods, they are foods which are rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fibre, or fatty acids) and offer greater health benefits than other foods.
Some common examples of superfoods include berries, some types of fish, leafy greens, various nuts, olive oil, whole grains and yoghurt.
But knowing what they are doesn’t make it much easier to include them in your regular diet.
Here are some simple ways to include beneficial superfoods in your normal diet:

#1 Avocado

Avocados are very nutrient-rich, and contain a wide array of vitamins and minerals, fibre and healthy fats. Avocados contain lots of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) - good fats - which can lower your risk of heart disease.

Avocados also contain Vitamin E, which helps maintain healthy skin and eyesight and support your immune system. They are also rich in Vitamin K (which helps look after your blood and bones) and Vitamin B3 (which can reduce blood pressure and help with diabetes).

How to include them:

- Make your own guacamole

- Add sliced avocado to a salad

- Use them to make your smoothie creamier

- Serve them with eggs

#2 Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are root vegetables with many nutrients such as potassium, fibre and vitamins.

As sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate, they take longer for your body to digest, leaving you feeling full for longer. They also don’t produce as much of a blood sugar spike compared to simple carbohydrates like sugar-based products and dairy.

These humble vegetables contain Vitamin A which protects your eyes, supports your immune system and bone health, improves skin health and promotes healthy growth.

How to include them:

- Swap out your normal potato for a sweet potato

- Chop them up and put them in fajitas

- Roast them with other root vegetables for a vegetable lasagne or roast dinner

- Add them to a curry

#3 Mushrooms

Mushrooms are not only a superfood, they are also incredibly sustainable. Agricultural waste products are used to grow mushrooms, meaning that they are contributing to a more sustainable farming industry where resources are not wasted.

There are many varieties of mushroom with lots of different nutrition benefits. Chestnut mushrooms are particularly great due to their high levels of vitamin D - a key nutrient in the maintenance of mental health.

All mushrooms contain Vitamin A, potassium, fibre and antioxidants not found in many other foods.

Potassium helps maintain and regulate our heartbeat, helps with the function of our nerves and our muscles and breaks down carbohydrates.

Mushrooms also contain natural antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation and have been linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cancers.

How to include them:

- Sliced in a colourful stir fry

- Roasted in the oven and served with other vegetables

- Grilled on a barbeque and drizzled with your favourite sauce

- Enjoy them for breakfast with eggs and sourdough toast

#4 Nuts

Walnuts (the best sources of omega 3 for pescetarians), almonds, hazelnuts and pecans are great sources of plant protein. They also contain the same monounsaturated fats as an avocado that can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Hazelnuts also contain some omega 3 which helps with blood pressure, and can help regulate your skin’s natural oil production. Alongside this they can help your heart stay healthy and reduce cholesterol and inflammation.

Pecans contain calcium (bone health), magnesium (may combat depression and support blood sugar levels), and potassium. To add to their superfood credentials, they have those monounsaturated fats, which can help manage cholesterol levels.

Almonds contain magnesium, vitamin E which helps the skin, magnesium and also fibre. However almonds have been shown to have a negative impact on the environment as almond plants are very water intensive.

The best way to enjoy the huge health benefits that nuts have to offer is to eat a wide variety of them.

How to include them:

- Sprinkle onto porridge or yoghurt

- Blend them in a smoothie

- Mix them with oats and honey to make healthy flapjacks

- Toast them in a pan to add a crunch to your salad

#5 Blueberries

The blueberry may be just a small berry, but they are packed with antioxidants and are high in potassium and Vitamin C. Just one cup provides a person with 24% of their suggested daily allowance of Vitamin C.

Blueberries also have been linked with lowering your risk of heart disease, along with being anti-inflammatory. They can also strengthen your bones, improve your skin health and blood pressure.

How to include them:

- Sprinkle on your porridge

- Serve them with pancakes

- Add them into a smoothie

- Take them to work as a mid-morning snack

Aiming to eat a balanced diet is key to our general health and wellbeing. See how many superfoods you can fit into your weekly diet.

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