I couldn’t help but do a second part to this blog post. If you haven’t read the first part you can find it here. ‘Superfood’ has become a popular marketing tool for people to sell expensive supplements and foods, some of which are good for you but others it’s all just about sales. Some normal everyday foods really are ‘super’, being nutrient dense, you get a lot of bang for your buck. So, without too much waffle, here are five more foods I consider to deserve the title of ‘super’ and why.
These sweet root vegetables are higher in fibre, vitamins and minerals than their non-sweet counterpart. Whilst normal potatoes are not considered as 1 of your 5 a day, sweet potatoes are. They are high in vitamin A which is important in maintaining hair and skin as well as bone formation. Swapping out potato for sweet potatoes can bring a lot more nutrients and antioxidants into your diet but if you’re not a fan of the sweeter taste consider cooking half of each!
Garlic is low in calorie and high in nutrients containing a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. It also contains sulphur compounds (mainly in its raw state) which may have medicinal effects helping to combat various health issues and boost the immune system. Studies have had varied results on these matters but, regardless, it’s a great addition into the diet, bringing lots of flavour to food.
I know I generalised berries in the last post but people often don’t know the kiwifruit is in fact a large berry so it’s getting its own section here. The kiwifruit is high in dietary fibre as well as vitamin C and other antioxidants. Kiwifruit helps maintain the lining of our gut, improving the health of our microbiome and aids with glucose and lipid metabolism . Furthermore, a 2003 study found kiwifruit not only reduces DNA damage, it can actually increase DNA repair. That’s a whole other level of ‘super’. You can read more about the health benefits of kiwifruit here.
This root is incredible, it’s full of antioxidants and compounds that prevent DNA stress and damage, it can help with digestion and relieve nausea. It lowers blood sugar levels helping you to use insulin better and a meta-analysis of studies has shown that ginger can help reduce menstrual cramps. Ginger root powder (the kind you get in the supermarket in the spice aisle) can be used in hot water as a tea for pain relief. I use ¼ tsp (it can be quite spicy, but I like the kick) and have that 2-3 times a day to help with period cramping.
Soy is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids, one of the few plant-based sources. It is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol free making it a good meat alternative. It is also a high in antioxidants and phytoestrogens. For those going through who are experiencing perimenopause or who are postmenopause, phytoestrogens can be so helpful in relieving the symptoms associated with menopause (such as hot flushes) when the body produces less oestrogen on its own.
I could go on with this theme for quite some time really. Food in general is ‘super’: it sustains us, it helps us maintain our bodies, fuel our movement, keep our brain alert and productive. Food is incredible. These are just some of my favourites which provide lots of benefits to our bodies and our health. I hope you enjoyed this and learnt something new, even if it’s just that a kiwifruit is actually a berry!