Top 10 superfoods
Improve your wellbeing from the inside out with these top 10 superfoods
Move over acai berries and quinoa, there’s a host of new superfoods hitting the big time. Ellie Moss introduces the next generation of nutritional superstars
Think you know your superfoods like your ABC? Think again. There’s a new wave of hero foods coming to the table.
With powers that range from fighting free radicals to stoking up your immune system, superfoods are an easy way to show your body some love. ‘Making sure you regularly consume a variety of superfoods may help to improve your health and wellbeing now and in the future,’ says nutritional therapist Stephanie Ridley (www.nourishtoflourish.co.uk).
But there’s no need to stick to the same tried and tested ingredients. We’ve rounded up the new kids on the superfood block here to help you boost your brain power, aid your weight loss, increase your nutrient intake and much more! Dig in…
It’s said that the Aztec warriors used chia seeds as source of energy, and with a whole range of nutrients and a high fibre content packed into this tiny grain, it’s the ideal food to see you through long days. Chia seeds contain complete proteins, which help to keep your energy levels high, while the fibre keeps you fuller for longer. An added bonus? Chia contains more brain-boosting and cholesterol-regulating omega-3 than salmon!
How to use it: Sprinkle chia seeds on porridge, salads and yoghurt or use to thicken soups.
Where to find it: Chia Bia, £12.99, chiabia.com
This sweet and significantly less smelly version of regular garlic boasts twice the antioxidants of the white stuff. It’s produced by fermenting a standard garlic bulb over several weeks, which makes the sugars and amino acids react to produce the trademark black colour. It also has a softer texture, sweeter taste and doesn’t leave you with bad breath. Winning!
How to use it: Exactly as you would normal garlic.
Where to find it: £3.99, www.goodnessdirect.co.uk
Kukicha twig tea
This refreshing tea, made with the twigs (rather than leaves) of the camellia plant, has all the antioxidant goodness of green tea. However, it has significantly less caffeine than your usual green brew, and about 90 per cent less caffeine than coffee, so it’s ideal if you’re trying to quit the caffeine habit. It also has a smokier flavour, which many people find more pleasant than bitter green tea.
How to use it: Drink as you would herbal tea.
Where to find it: £4.49, www.goodnessdirect.co.uk
This melon-like fruit is actually a relative of the cocoa family. Its thick skin safeguards its high vitamin and flavonoid content, which can help to bolster the immune system. Cupuacu (pronounced koo-pwa-sue) also has an energy boosting effect, but contains no caffeine.
How to use it: The pulp of the fruit is usually made into ice cream, juice or jam.
Where to find it: £1.65, www.sublimefood.co.uk
The baobab fruit, from the African tree of the same name, contains six times as much vitamin C as an orange, twice as much calcium as milk and it’s packed with antioxidants. Woah! It has an exotic flavour but it’s the tangy powder produced by the fruit naturally dehydrating in its shell that you’re most likely to find in health stores.
How to use it: Add the powder to smoothies, yoghurts and juice or add a little to cake and bread mixes.
Where to find it: Minvita Baobab Superfruit Powder, £14.69, www.minvita.co.uk
This fleshy, brown fruit is about the size of a large tomato and is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fibre. It’s native to South America and particularly high in the antioxidant polyphenol tannin, which has potential anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. It also boasts a delicious caramel-like flavour.
How to use it: Wash, peel and deseed the fruit, then blend into smoothies or frozen yoghurt.
Where to find it: £2.95 for 500g, www.spicesofindia.co.uk
Rich in vitamins and an enzyme called nattokinase, this Japanese breakfast staple is thought to help prevent heart disease and strokes. The fermented soya beans are high in protein and a great source of tummy-friendly probiotics. Rich in both types of vitamin K as well as omega-3 fatty acids, natto could help to protect against bone loss and boost skin health.
How to use it: Natto has a strong cheesy flavour and a stringy consistency. It’s often served with soya sauce and mustard – eat it straight or with rice, spaghetti or omelettes.
Where to find it: £1.99, www.japancentre.com
Watch out, acai, this is one super-powered berry! Found in Patagonia, the maqui (pronounced ‘mah-kee’) berry has been used by the Mapuche people for its many and varied health benefits for years. Its high levels of anthocyanins and polyphenols are said to fight signs of ageing, aid weight loss and boost your immune system. Maqui berries also have one of the highest scores on the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scale, which measures the antioxidant capacities of food – and they taste sweet to boot!
How to use it: It’s most widely available in supplement form as capsules or as a powder.
Where to find it: Maqui Berry Powder, from £12.48, www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk
Also known as wolf berries, the Asian goji berry has an array of health benefits. Packed with antioxidant phytonutrients, they are loaded with high doses of vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, vitamin C and vitamin E. Packing a punch in the mineral department too, goji berries contain more iron than spinach and a whopping 21 other trace minerals.
How to use it: Add Raw Living Goji Berries to breakfast cereals for a superfood-packed start to the day.
Where to find it: Raw Living Goji Berries, £4.88, www.planetorganic.com
Dark chocolate ticks all the boxes for its high antioxidant content, but if you really want to take your diet up a notch, swap your 70 percent chocolate for raw cacao. Packed with health-boosting flavonoids, this guilty pleasure has a delicious chocolate-like aroma which satisfies sweet cravings.
How to use it: Raw cacao can be bought in powder form which can be used to make hot chocolate or dessert recipes. Cacao butter, which is derived from the oil released when cocoa nibs are pressed makes a good snack on toast and if you’re on the go then a raw chocolate bar is the perfect snack.
Where to find it: For tons of cacao-inspired treats, visit www.therawchocolateshop.com