The term ‘superfood’ has come to denote foods which are especially beneficial and nutritious. They are loaded with nutrients, flavonoids and antioxidant-rich phytochemicals. As well as aiding health, they boost our natural ability to fight diseases and can also prevent weight gain. With greater awareness of the dangers of processed foods, more people are taking care with their diets to ensure fitness, physical well being, improved mental functions and youthfulness.
If you’re trying to stay healthy, why not change your morning routine a little to incorporate some tasty superfoods?
This fermented superfood has proved its worth over the centuries, and is credited with endowing longevity and vigour. The ancients called honey and yoghurt “The Food of the Gods”. Yoghurt contains cultures of friendly bacteria which keep the digestive system healthy, as well as calcium, protein and vitamins. For those in too much of a hurry to prepare breakfast, yoghurt is a great way to start the day, and is the perfect vehicle for other superfoods.
Berry fruits, seeds and nuts
All fresh fruit has an abundance of vitamins and minerals, and should be eaten daily. Blueberries and strawberries are top favourites, credited with reducing the chance of heart attacks and diabetes. Walnuts, selenium-rich brazil nuts, linseed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals, beneficial fatty and alpha-linolenic acids, which help with weight loss and stress management. Prunes have also made it onto the superfood list for their ability to stabilise blood sugar levels, as well as containing antioxidants and Vitamin K content.
Oatmeal and wheat germ
Oatmeal has always been popular at breakfast time, either in muesli or cooked as porridge. Not only does it lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, it is also low on the glycaemic index. This makes it the perfect food for athletes and dieters, as the slow release complex carbohydrates, which take a long time to digest, keep hunger pangs at bay and keep blood-glucose levels from dipping. Adding wheat germ to muesli, oatmeal or yoghurt will boost the fibre content as well as providing essential fatty acids, vitamins and range of nutrients.
If you want to make your cereal or yoghurt even healthier there are several other superfoods you can add. Bee pollen, called the perfect food by many, contains a wealth of amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds have recently made headlines and have also acquired the superfood label. Containing an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and antioxidants, they are easily added to any dish. Coconut oil, which is high in caprylic and lauric acid, can be added too. Boasting antibacterial and antifungal properties, coconut oil is rich in choline and many claim it can boost metabolism and aid fat synthesis.
These smoked herrings have recently enjoyed a rise in popularity, thanks to their high omega 3 oil, protein, calcium and vitamin D content. As well as being tasty, they are extremely filling and will keep energy levels high for a long time. Try them with buttered brown bread or shredded into a kedgeree.
White and Green tea
A lighter alternative to traditional teas, these are full of antioxidants, which help to fight cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease, lower cholesterol levels and strengthen the immune system.
While some may argue that the superfood label is merely a marketing ploy used to promote new products, these foods have been part of staple diets throughout the world for centuries and their beneficial properties are tried and tested. Maintaining a healthy diet to feed your body with what it needs is a vital part of staying well and including superfoods with your meals is a great way of achieving this goal.
This article is brought to you on behalf of CS Healthcare, specialist providers of affordable health insurance for the public sector.
This article is intended as general information only. If you or a family member have any medical concerns, please contact your GP or medic.
Civil Service Healthcare Society Limited is a registered friendly society, authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, reg. no. 205346. The maximum joining age is 74 years and 11 months unless you are switching from a previous insurer in which case the maximum joining age is 69 years and 11 months.
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Mike Damon is a freelance writer who covers a range health related topics, from insurance to improving well-being through diet and exercise.