Have you ever read a list of ‘superfoods’? It’s a concept which has been around for a long time now among nutritional circles – that there are certain ingredients and products which are so beneficial that they should be incorporated into everyone’s diet where possible.
As we’ve developed our collective knowledge and extended our dietary research over time, these lists have changed, with plenty of new additions and even some foods once considered ‘super’ now demoted to the ranks of ‘ordinary’.
Yet for those who aren’t heavily involved in health and nutrition, it can be a little baffling to keep up with – especially if some of the ingredients are impossible to say, let alone source!
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you look past some of the trends and fads which see the rarest or most-expensive ingredients promoted as the new must-have addition to your meals, then you’ll see that a lot of these so-called superfoods genuinely do have a wealth of nutritional benefits, are readily available…and you may even already be eating them occasionally!
So for those of us who don’t want to spend all their free time travelling from artisan markets to niche health food shops in search of a pricey product which might not even be considered ‘super’ this time next year, we’ve put together a list of five of the easiest superfoods to incorporate into your diet. No fuss, all flavour!
It’s a bit of a myth that all superfoods are these new-fangled ingredients which most of the general population aren’t even aware of – berries are one of the original superfoods and retain their place on the list of brilliant additions to a meal (or even snacks in their own right).
That’s because – whether we’re talking blueberries, raspberries, or any other variety of the berry family – they’re packed full of vitamins, minerals, fibres and antioxidants, with the latter being associated with reducing the risk of everything from cancer to heart disease.
Quinoa (pronounced like keen-wah rather than anything like the way it looks) is sometimes looked upon as being a little bit pretentious – even being joked about in the lyrics of a 2021 indie song by AJR – but it’s actually a fantastic alternative to rice, pasta or potatoes which can be picked up on the shelves of pretty much any supermarket these days.
It contains all nine amino acids and has an astonishing amount of protein per serving, plus it has a delicious and versatile taste making it an ideal accompaniment to lots of dishes and a great swap-out if you’re looking to cut down on the carbs you’re consuming.
Popeye really was on to something: spinach might look almost the same as a handful of its nearest relatives on the supermarket shelves, but it’s bursting to the seams with Vitamin K making it perfect to regulate blood clotting and strengthen your bones.
It’s also excellent when it comes to supporting your heart health and improved memory into old-age, and it’s of course readily available and so versatile it can be used in so many easy-to-prepare dishes. What’s not to love?
Oats are such a standard ingredient in many people’s kitchen cupboards that it can be easy to forget just how fantastic they are when it comes to delivering your daily needs of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. All those people who joined in the trend for ‘overnight oats’ (where a breakfast containing oats is prepared the night before and left in the fridge until the morning) were really being kind to their body by ditching sugary, fatty or carb-heavy morning meal options in favour of the goodness of oats – especially if they were incorporating some berries into their recipes too!
Incorporating more fish into your diet is definitely a bonus if you’d like to make some positive changes – but of course, not all fish is going to provide the same benefits. Salmon, as well as being among the more popular choices available in all shops and being relatively inexpensive due to that popularity, is a fantastic choice when it comes to serving up a fish-based dish.
Among its benefits are improving cardiovascular health, repairing damaged tissue in the body, helping maintain thyroid function, and even helping your skin look healthier! A win all round.
(As a reminder, it’s always advisable to consult a medical professional if you’re looking for specific advice about your health, or looking to significantly alter your diet)
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