By NATALIA HAWK.
Okay, hands up – who’s not keeping up with the superfoods bandwagon?
I follow a lot of Instagrammers that like to tweet their healthy lunches, and I often like reading random healthy recipes on the Internet in the hope that I might eventually be inspired to actually make one.
So, for awhile there, I was pretty on top of superfoods for awhile. I knew exactly what quinoa was AND how to pronounce it. Coconut water was totally a thing. So were activated nuts. Uh-huh. Watch out, Pete Evans.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is brought to you by Planet Health. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
But at some point, I fell off the super-wagon. I lost track of things and what exactly they were or were not supposed to do. I could no longer speak with conviction about correct superfood pronunciations at dinner parties; I read smoothie recipes and spent many sleepless nights trying to work out whether spirulina was a fruit or a vegetable. (Hint: it is neither.)
I can imagine that there are many others out there, attempting to blindly stumble their way through the healthy world without getting on the wrong side of a cranky bunch of kale. Hence why I’ve put this superfood cheatsheet together.
For the purposes of this cheatsheet: a superfood is one that is packed with so much good stuff that it automatically becomes superior to all other food. All of the below have vitamins/minerals/acids/antioxidants/other things that make them ridiculously good for you.
So without further ado…
1. Spirulina: Spi-roo-lee-na
So spirulina is actually an algae that grows in shallow ponds of clean water. It’s nature’s richest superfood – a killer source of protein, antioxidants, iron, B vitamins and a bunch of other minerals and fatty acids. Available in tablets or powder, you can take it along with your other vitamins or add it to smoothies.
2. Goji: Go-jee
The goji berry is almost as exotic as acai; it comes from a shrub native to China. The antioxidents in goji berries have a whole lot of benefits and, as a bonus feature, are apparently quite tasty- you can buy either the berries themselves, or just the plants, so that you can grow your own.
3. Chia: Chee-ah
Chia seeds are loaded with vitamins/minerals/antioxidants (are you seeing a trend here?) and are a really good, plant-based source of Omega 3, as well as protein and fibre. You can buy them in either their true seed form or in a chia oil version; the seeds can be added to salads, muesli, smoothies, or anything else that takes your fancy.
4. Chlorella: Klo-rel-la
Chlorella is a water-grown algae that is full of chlorophyll (the molecule that gives plants their green colour). It also contains protein, Vitamin C, E and B, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium… the list goes on. It’s known for its ability to detox and cleanse the body of toxins and is available in powder (good for adding to smoothies or drinks) or tablet and capsule form.
5. Wheat grass
Wheatgrass contains not only all nine essential amino acids but also plenty of other vitamins and minerals. But you’re no longer limited to getting a shot of it at a juice bar – it now comes in powders and pills, too. And if you really feel like it, there’s also the DIY option of growing your own at home.
6. Acerola Berry
If you need Vitamin C in your life – look no further than the Acerola berry. It contains ridiculous amounts of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which are good for your blood circulation. It can also help with fatigue, liver function, loss of appetite, arthritis and diarrhoea. While it’s originally native to South America, Central America and Mexico, it’s now being grown all over the world, and is also available in a capsule form.
7. Acai: Pronounced Ah-sigh-ee
Acai is a little fruit that grows only in the rainforests of the Amazon. Luckily, it’s widely available in Australia, in a powder, capsule or puree form. Apparently, it’s one of the most nutrient-dens
e foods available and contains seriously good antioxidants to help with your cardiovascular and digestive health.
BONUS, UNCOMPLICATED OTHERS: Yogurt, broccoli, blueberries, sweet potato, salmon, kale, avocados, almonds.
Note: This article is about the Nutritional factors found in certain foods. If you are deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients, you are best to consult and a qualified medical practitioner.
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Are you a superfoods fan? How do you incorporate them into your day – smoothies, salads or capsules?