Once upon a time, eating anything green was seen as being healthy enough. But further research into nutrition has revealed that not all fruit and veg are created equal. In fact, a new range of ‘superfoods’ has been heralded as being THE greatest stuff you could put into you body. But which are best, and what are they good for?
Don’t fret: we’ve done the research for you, and we’ve found a collection of 20 superfoods you should be eating right now to feel at your best.
Whether you take these superfoods as a daily supplement, or add their powdered form into your breakfast smoothies or porridge, these magical foods will be all you’ll need to give your health an overhaul. And with shipping available worldwide, we predict worldwide domination. And of course, lots of super healthy people.
All hail the Acai berry! Amazon natives have been using these berries for their various health benefits for many years, but they really exploded on the health scene when none other than Oprah Winfrey named these yummies as a superfood on her show. And of course, if they’re good enough for our girl, Oprah, we’re taking note.
Similar in size, shape and appearance to blueberries, unfortunately Acai aren’t as easily available. Acai palm trees are known to grow as high as 60 feet in the Brazilian rain forest, and due to these extreme heights, it’s extremely dangerous for the locals to collect the berries, and once the berries are harvested, the shipping process has to be extremely quick as they spoil easily.
Fortunately, Acai berries are now available in dried or fresh form in most health food stores. The berries can be eaten raw, juiced, or concentrated into a juice or powder, which will be sold in packets of in supplement tablets. The taste of raw Acai berry is compared to the taste of blackberries, but with a bitter edge, similar to dark chocolate.
Now, lets get down to why exactly you should be adding this superfood to your diet. First and foremost, most berries contain antioxidants, but Acai are thought to have more than your average strawberry, raspberry, and even blueberry. By protecting your body from oxidation, acai berries have the potential to work to prevent heart disease, diabetes and various conditions related to ageing.
Fatty acids are an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and Acai berries contain them in two forms: Omegas 3 and 6. Both of these are recommended by experts to be an essential part of good health, and getting a balance of each is a good preventative against conditions such as high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
The cutely named baobab fruit has been used in Africa for centuries as a medicinal preventative, to treat against fevers, malaria, and gastrointestinal problems which can be caused due to a lack of vitamic C deficiency. However, in many countries round the world, this fruit, which has a tangy, citrus like flavour, has been relatively unknown until now.
The most potential health benefit that you can expect to experience when adding baobab to your diet has been linked to the unusually high levels of vitamin C that this superfruit contains. Just a 100 gram serving on baobab fruit pulp has been reported to contain almost 10 times the amount you’d receive by eating the same amount in oranges, the usual fruit that people turn to to boost their vitamin C intake. Baobab fruit is so rich in vitamin C that it has been named one of the very best food sources for getting vitamin C in the world. And why is vitamin C so good for us? Foods that are rich in vitamin C are a brilliant aid in helping your body to form both collagen and elastin, two of the most structural proteins you can feed your skin both support and elasticity, which is especially good news for those trying to find ways of eradicating their wrinkles.
But it’s not just the vitamin C content that makes this fruit super: it also has positive effects on weight loss. Adding vitamin C rich foods, such as baobab fruit powder, will work to enhance your body’s fat burning capabilities during a workout. Not only will it aid in helping to burn fat, but its an excellent energy boost, and is the perfect ingredient to add to a pre-workout smoothie.
If that’s not all impressive enough, then this may sway you. Whether you’re fortunate to get your hands on fresh baobab pulp, or if you’re using concentrated baobab fruit powder, adding this superfruit to your food is going to feed your body with a combination of beneficial minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. If you’re not sure why minerals are good for us, just know that they act both individually and together to perform hundreds of tasks that make the body’s functions better, such as boosting immunity, skin repair and energy levels.
Now, how best to take baobab? Aduna has a range of baobab products that are going to make it super easy to get baobab into your diet. Just sprinkle some of their powders into your morning juices and smoothies, or add to yogurt or porridge. There are also yummy baobab raw energy bars, which not only contain baobab fruit powder, but also various other beneficial and healthy ingredients that aid a healthy diet and really leave you feeling amazing all day. Get yours here.
The idea of grass as food definitely conjures up images of eating our back gardens. But barley grass actually refers to the soft green shoots that grow on the barley plant. Consumption of these shoots can be traced back in history to way before 5000 BC as being the earliest grown sweet grass in the world, and it’s even been referred to as ‘nature’s best fast food’ due to the rich nutrients.
Indeed, there are loads of reasons your diet should include barley grass. Firstly, it’s a multi-nutrient rich super food that is absolutely loaded with a list of vitamins, such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E and K. It contains an abundance of electrolytes, such as magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium, along with essential minerals like zinc, iron and calcium. Barley grass is also rich in antioxidants and essential amino acids, and supplies valuable fibre to the body that keeps cholesterol at healthy levels.
These shoots are also a wonderful natural detoxifier, immunity booster and infection fighter: due to its vital components such as chlorophyll, vitamin B, iron and phycocyanin, barley grass helps encourage bone marrow to grow, and supports the creation of both white and red blood cells. This renewing effect of barley grass can also help prevent the signs of aging, and its glumatic acid in inhibits cravings, making us less likely to indulge in those addictive substances we’re trying to steer clear of, be they cigarettes, chocolate or worse.
The best way to pack barley grass into your diet? In powdered form. Simply add it to your morning smoothie, and you’ll barely be able to detect the ‘green’ taste against the fruit and you’ll just be left with a very green drink that’s bursting with so, so much goodness.
Millions of Russians, Poles and Ukrainians can’t be wrong: they’ve long known that beetroot is good for u. It’s especially efficient at keeping our blood clean, and helping both our liver and kidneys, two of our natural filtering systems. The phytochemical in beetroot is betaine, and betaine is an important nutrient for the prevention of chronic disease, and it has been proven to help with the protection of our internal organs. The blood that goes through our liver delivers nutrients to our entire body, so think about it like this: if we’re supporting those vital organs with beetroot, our bodies will be packed full of nutritious blood. And with so many tasty ways to enjoy beetroot, there is a versatile way to include it in your diet, even if you’re not a great fan of its sweet, earthy taste.
A popular way that people are enjoying beetroot at the moment is by juicing it. Juicing is a fantastic way of getting key nutrients from our fruits and veggies straight into liquid form, flushing our bodies with so much goodness, it really does leave our skin glowing. And not only will beetroot give you a deliciously beautiful pink juice, by adding ingredients like ginger and carrots, its easy to balance out the taste of beetroot, and not feel like you’re drinking your garden. But if you’re not a fan of juicing, go the old fashioned route and chop up a beetroot into your salad, or roast it and blend it up into a delicious soup. You can even get beetroot dips which is perfect for dipping crackers into for a light daytime snack, or even as a party dish.
Beetroot is also available in a powdered form, so if you want a quick and easy fix, add a teaspoon of the powder into your daily juices or breakfast smoothie and porridge bowls.
Usually chocolate isn’t a word you’d associate with health. But the time has come to ditch those sugary, artificial chocolates, and turn your attention to cacao content. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate that you can eat, making it raw, and therefore less processed than both cocoa and the bars you’d usually associate with being ‘chocolate’. It may take some getting used to flavour wise, as we’ve sadly been force fed this illusion that chocolate should taste like those commercial bars that come wrapped in glossy packets. Without all that added milk, sugar and fat, cacao can seem a little bitter on the palette, but with its seriously high antioxidant and magnesium content, its health properties are huge: for example, the high antioxidant, and essential vitamins and mineral level content found in cacao can help support a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure, improving the body’s blood flow, lowering cholesterol and in turn reducing plaque buildup on the artery walls.