2015 was unquestionably the year of the superfood. Putting it simply – there was a health inspired revolution, and the world went kale crazy. Overnight we started making cheese out of cashews (our mind still struggles), avoiding anything with a speck of sugar, and eating only raw foods.
And why not? Finally a ‘craze’ worth following, healthy eating became cool with the help of some very effective superfood marketing - if it wasn’t kale, it was chia seeds, goji berries, acai. But did you know you’ve actually been eating superfoods for years, and you didn’t even realise?
Let's get down to the technical... So, a superfood is a food that’s nutritionally dense, and a pretty great addition to any diet. So far, we've been told about all the hard-to-source foods that are superfoods - but what about the original superfoods? Did you know that most of our ‘boring’ everyday fruit and veg contain the same nutritional benefits as these new sassy ones?
In fact, big bombshell… most actually contain more - and are so much better for you. Here are some of the best original superfoods that you can easily include in your diet this year.
The original Kale – this bad boy is full of nutrients, and so versatile to cook with. Gram for gram it’s bursting with vitamins and anti-oxidants, and they are known for their detoxifying benefits. Even better, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice - but at half the calories. It's the daddy of the superfood warriors.
Little tip: try something different and add a few florets of broccoli into your morning smoothie. Make sure to fully blend, and you’ll have a nutritional breakfast in no time.
When did enjoying a good old piece of fruit go out of fashion? Now it’s all about fruits we can’t even pronounce the names of! Keep it simple: berries are full of anti-oxidants and an excellent way to give your body much needed vitamins. They are high in fibre and low in sugar – our favourite combo. Who’d have known all those summers spent picking fruits with your nan, you were actually surrounded by some of the best super fruits to date!
Little tip: Add a handful to your breakfast with crushed nuts. Porridge or a Chia pot are our go to.
Three words: Sweet Potato Chips. Do I need to say more? Probably not, but just in case: how about the fact that these are the best staple food to incorporate into your diet, a gem of a superfood? For one thing, they are cheap - plus they’re delicious and carry a host of nutrients. Eating Sweet Potato is a great way to boost your Vit B, C and D, and they are a great source of energy because they slowly release their natural sugars to ensure a balanced boost.
Little tip: a sweet potato has 28% more potassium than a banana, so it’s well worth keeping a few handy in the cupboard to roast up after exercise as the ideal post-exercise meal.
There's a chance someone will ask me, on a night out, if I’ve eaten garlic bread (this has actually happened…more than once) - but I don't care. I am obsessed with Garlic. If I had my way I would sneak it into pretty much everything - and thank god I do, because it’s an anti-infection powerhouse. Garlic is well known for its healthy properties and overall ability to boost to our immune systems, but did you know it can also be used to treat skin infections? Rub raw garlic on the affected area (and please, later shower) and it can help clear bacterial skin infections. In fact, it is one of the most powerful and beneficial foods to eat, as it helps aid digestion and even fatigue. The list is endless.
Little tip: toothache? Apply a crushed garlic clove to the area - it may burn, but the pain will start to ease.
A staple in any house - but when do you ever associate tomatoes with better health (unless it’s a Bloody Mary)? However, tomatoes are the definition of secret superfood warriors. They have an outstanding anti-oxidant content, and their phytonutrient content is off the chart - and don’t even get me started on the high levels of vitamin A. Get ready for stronger hair and shinier skin.
Little tip: tomatoes make a great snack! Cut into thick slices and top with cottage cheese or a spread of tahini, and voila.
We all love eating anything that’s good for us, but there’s a difference between the superfoods we see in the papers, and the real, old fashioned superfoods. So don’t waste time and money in 2016 when you don’t need to – it’s all about the real contenders this year.
Image credit: Flickr