I don’t make a habit of singing the praises of superfoods too much. Not because foods are not super, but because the meaning has become a little lost and not everything is a superfood. I recently heard alcohol referred to as a superfood and that was the end of it for me.
There is no official meaning for the word superfood, but when it was initially used, it was used to denote foods exceptionally high in antioxidants.
Recently, I was asked name my top foods to maximise health and aid weight loss, so I thought I would share what I advise my clients to keep in the pantry and fridge. Note: These foods are not in any particular order. I have cheated a little by using groups of foods, because I couldn’t pick only 10.
- Extra virgin olive oil
We all need to have some fat in our diet as it’s actually a structural component of the human body. Olive oil is high in phenolic antioxidants and studies have shown consumption of olive oil reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
- Rolled 0ats
This low glycemic index wholegrain is a breakfast must! It is high in a special fibre called beta-glucan, specifically proven to help lower cholesterol. Oats are excellent for cardiovascular health and full of vitamins and minerals.
Nuts are a good source of dietary fibre wither nutrients Vitamin B, vitamin E, calcium and zinc to name a few. Different nuts contain different nutrients, so a variety is best. A small handful of raw or roasted nuts is excellent as a snack between meals.
Sardines are higher in Omega 3 fats than most other fish. They are one of the best sources of Vitamin B12 and a rich source of Vitamin D, but any fish or seafood, three times a week, is beneficial.
A member of the legume family, I always recommend these canned or dried. They are excellent in soups and stews, can be added to salads and I also put the in my Bolognese to make it go further. Low in kilojoules, high in fibre and a good source of protein, their low GI value also makes them beneficial for optimizing blood glucose levels.
I love milk and believe it is one of our easiest sources of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and protein. Not everyone likes seafood with the bones or kilojoule wise can eat enough nuts to get the same amount of calcium readily available in milk.
- Chia seeds
A low calorie food full of fibre, protein, ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid) Omega 3, calcium, magnesium and manganese. Great for adding to cereal or yoghurt to fill you up a little more.
All fruits offer wonderful health benefits and great amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre. Aim to consume a variety, fruits of the same colour tend to contain the same nutrients, so variety ensures maximum benefit.
Go for variety. All veggies offer fantastic nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants which aid cell prepare and keep the body functioning optimally.
- Insert your favourite food here
Food is also about enjoyment and pleasure and it is ok to have a treat every now and then.