A decade or so ago a regular healthy diet was considered super nutrition. That is until the hyped up superfoods hit the market. But is kale really all it’s cracked up to be? We wouldn’t blame you for not wanting to chow down on the green stuff for every meal. Here’s a list of superfoods that are actually super, and a few imposters that aren’t all they’re hyped up to be.
Celebrated as the best green on the planet, but is it true? Sorry to destroy that superfood salad you’ve been eating but kale is just one in a family of healthy greens. You can mix up your diet with spinach, romaine, parsley or chard and still reap the good green vitamins.
Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, they’re definitely worth the hype. But if a packet of goji is going to set back your weekly budget then opt for grapefruit, oranges, kiwi or strawberries instead. They may not get as many likes on Instagram but your body won’t know the difference.
They’re a top choice for building strong bones and an easy, healthy thickener for dishes like porridge, pudding or bulking out muffins and biscuits. The good news with chia seeds is a little goes a long way - soak a teaspoon of them in coconut milk if you don’t believe us.
Fiberful fruits and veggies
Dietitian Casuarina Forsyth says that the ultimate superfoods are all the ones that don’t fall in the hyped up category and give your body some much needed fibre.
“The real superfoods are fruits, vegetables and legumes. They are packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals; which are vital for maintaining a healthy body, and help to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Fibre is important in a healthy diet as it lowers cholesterol levels, removes waste from our bodies and provides a fuel source for our friendly gut bacteria which help to keep our digestive system healthy. Having good gut health strengthens our immune system, increases our levels of serotonin (which makes us feel good), and is important to overall well-being. Adding some berries to your breakfast, some salad to your sandwich at lunch, and some lentils to your bolognese are great ways to add extra fibre into your day."
Check out Facebook and Instagram for more.
The jury’s still out on whether this oil is as good for you as everyone thinks. Coconut oil fans will tell you to use it daily for everything from cooking to removing makeup. But there are other healthy oils that used sparingly in your cooking can keep dishes just as healthy. Tread lightly until we find out for sure how it compares to already proven good oils like extra virgin olive oil.
It hasn’t been the drink of choice for quite some time but it’s possible we’re missing out on the health benefits of real sarsaparilla. Rob Mikecz, founder of Remedy Tonics, explains it’s unique history and what makes it super.
“Back in the early 1900's, Sarsaparilla was a popular tonic used for aiding skin ailments, reducing inflammation and joint pain and supporting the adrenal glands. These days, most Sarsaparilla drinks are nothing more than a cocktail of artificial flavours and sweeteners.
Natural Remedy Tonics have brought back a healthy natural version of this old favourite with all the goodness but with none of the nasties. After much research we discovered that the combined health giving properties in Sarsaparilla are particularly relevant to today’s times.
Adrenal fatigue, exhaustion and caffeine addiction is on the rise in our current busy lives, unfortunately, many people far too often reach for a caffeine based or sugar laden fix throughout the day which sets their bodies up for a rollercoaster day of highs and lows in energy and alertness, only to bottom out at the point of exhaustion at the end of the day. For some this leads to eventual chronic adrenal exhaustion.
This is where Sarsaparilla root comes in as it offers a more natural and healthy way to boost stamina, energy levels and overall well-being.”
Check out Facebook for more.
The humble almond is as super as they come, even if you don’t bother to ‘activate’ them. They’re high calorie and high fat but in the healthy way where a handful of almonds is a great way to keep your diet on track.
Hailed as the holy grail of fatty acids for vegetarians, flaxseed is as buzz-fueled as they come. You may be surprised to know that olive oil, walnuts and chia have the same levels of fatty acids. So really flaxseed shouldn’t be so confident about its place at the top of the health chart.
Support your immune system
We’ll take a guess that you’re keen on superfoods because they’re going to keep you healthy all year long. But diet is not the only way to build up your immune system and avoid getting sick. Here’s three other focuses for a strong immune system:
Keeping fit means your body will be strong and ready to fight off any infection that settles in. Make sure to have regular rest days and allow yourself the occasional light session at the gym to prevent working your body too hard and lowering your immune system instead!
We all strive for the recommended 7-8 hours per night but sometimes it’s just not a priority. Focusing on quality sleep is essential to a strong immune system. Try rearranging weekend plans to fit in an extra hour or two in your king bed, or schedule yourself an afternoon nap courtesy of your roomy sofa. No matter where you find the time it’s important to put sleep high up on your to-do list.
LOWER YOUR STRESS
The stress hormone, cortisol, blocks important antibodies and white blood cells from doing their thing in your body. Finding ways to manage your stress will allow your immune system to function at its best all the time.
If you’re using superfoods as a quick fix for a week of unhealthy eating then you’ve missed the point of their ‘super’ title. They’re not a magic bullet of health. In fact many of them can be substituted quite easily. A diet full of good fats, vitamins and colourful fruits and veggies is just as super as a hyped up trending dish at every meal.