We all know what foods are good for us -- fruit, veg, fish and lean meats. We are also aware of the foods that are not great for us sweets, crisps, ready meals, fast and processed foods. However, many of us don’t know just how healthy some foods actually are. Some foods are known as superfoods because of their high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Now we have now been told we should eat a minimum of 7 fruits and vegetables everyday - here are seven of the best superfoods that you should include in your diet, and why they are so good for us.
Blueberries get the best press, but all berries are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibre. They are also very low in calories, so you can eat them without worrying about putting on weight. They are a great alternative to sweets and chocolate because, although they are so sweet, this comes from natural, non-refined sugars, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar levels.
Broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables in the UK and there are many good reasons why this should be. It is full of many vitamins -- vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and beta-carotene -- and is also packed with fibre, which helps your digestive system.
This fatty fish is full of Omega-3 fatty acids (that aid cardiovascular health), protein and iron, and is extremely low in calories. It is so versatile that you can make it in a huge range of different meals and still benefit from this superfood. Try to buy wild salmon rather than the farmed variety though.
Eggs are full of vitamins and minerals, healthy fats and protein. They can be cooked in a variety of different ways: boiled, poached, fried and scrambled. Hard-boiled eggs make a great snack as they are so portable and can be added to most meals as a healthy supplement. This is one product where I would suggest you buy organic.
Green teaGreen tea has been proven to lower cholesterol. It contains the antioxidant ECGC which may prevent cancer cells from forming and suppress the spread of tumours.
Sweet potatoes are delicious and nutritious. They are packed full of vitamin C, calcium and potassium and can also stop sugar cravings as they are very sweet when cooked. Bake them, as you would a white potato, and fill them up with a yummy butter bean stew for all your nutrition needs.
A handful of nuts a day will provide you with healthy fats, fibre and antioxidants, which can go a long way in protecting from heart disease and reducing blood clots. Make sure you choose nuts that are natural and haven't been salted, roasted or flavoured in any way. Also remember to control your portion size, as nuts can become extremely fattening if you eat too many - an eggcup full is the perfect amount.
Your guide to living whole and well. Emma Olliff is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, wellness expert, food lover, and advocate for healthy living!