Many foods have recently had an increase in popularity, as they were categorised as “superfoods” and being constantly discussed in the media. Though there is no official definition for the term “superfood”, it includes natural foods that contain a high concentration of nutrients, such as extra-large doses of vitamins, minerals, fibre, fatty acids and antioxidants. Due to these high concentrations of nutrients, these foods can support your health and help your body ward off diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Sounds good, right? However, you need to it’s best to keep this important point in mind; a handful of berries or a piece of avocado with your breakfast may provide you with rich antioxidants, but it won’t offer everything you need for optimal health.
Combining different foods is the best way to positively affect your health. Consuming a range of whole foods (eaten as close as possible to its natural state) every day, and varying between different foods instead of going for “the food of the moment” will optimise your health. After all, moderation is key.
Here are some superfoods and whole foods that will help you to feel better and improve your health if you include them in your meals on a regular basis.
Oats are the perfect way to start your day, as they have a low GI (glycaemic index) and contain large amounts of the soluble fibre beta-glucan. They are also good for your heart and can lower high levels of cholesterol in your blood.
In comparison to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein. If you’re looking for a delicious variation of your smoothie, adding a tablespoon Greek Yogurt is always a good idea.
Whether you prefer blueberries, strawberries or blackberries, berries are a healthy go-to snack. They all contain a range of antioxidants and are packed with vitamins to support your immune system. And they’re absolutely delicious!
Avocados are high in healthy fats and can lower your LDL “bad” cholesterol while raising your HDL “good” levels. This helps your body to absorb heart-healthy vitamins like beta-carotene and lycopene. Plus, there are so many ways to enjoy avocado!
Protect your vision as well as your immune system by eating sweet potatoes. After all, half of a large baked sweet potato delivers more than 450% of your daily dose of vitamin A. That’s a serious A grade!
You receive more than five times your daily dose of vitamin K in just half a cup of spinach, which helps your body to strengthen your bones and prevent blood clot. So go for this green health helper!
Grains and seeds
Grains and seeds, like flaxseeds, are loaded with plant omega 3 and fibre that can protect you against diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and other diseases. It’s so easy to involve grains and seeds in your meals: just switch to whole grain pasta and bread or add some flaxseeds to your oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothie.
How can people not be fans of this vegetable wonder? Broccoli has a bounty of health-promoting properties, which are attributed in part to the plant compounds isothiocyanates. However, these benefits are destroyed when you cook it. So enjoy your broccoli all raw and include three serves a week to reap all its benefits.
Salmon offers all the heart-smart omega-3 fats you need per day, as well as protein and vitamin D. It reduces the risk of a heart disease, improves your mood, and reduces inflammation in the body.
Soy milk is a very good source of vegetable protein. Consuming 25g of soy protein each day supports lowering blood cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of blood clots and heart attack. Soy also helps your bone health, as it can prevent osteoporosis.
Another great source of meat-free protein is lentils. Half a cup of lentils gives you nearly half of your daily folate, a vitamin B that is especially beneficial for pregnant women, as it protects a woman’s unborn baby from neural tube defects.
Containing a wide range of cancer-fighting plant chemicals, beans can reduce the risk of cancer and provide your body with soluble fibre, which plays an important role in controlling blood cholesterol levels.
This veggie is full of good-for-you benefits like vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, calcium, protein, and fibre. You get 50% of your daily bone-building vitamin K from eating a half-cup asparagus. It’s absolutely jam-packed with all the best vitamins and minerals!
Olive oil belongs to the group of “good fats”, and is well known for its heart-health and longevity benefits. Studies show that it may also be linked to brain health and cancer prevention. So olive oil is as delicious as it is healthy!
Chocolate?! Yes, absolutely a Good Food! Sweet and rich dark chocolate is good for more than a broken heart. Cacao beans are packed with disease-killing healthy chemicals like flavonoids and theobromine. BUT snack smart and stick to healthy chocolate with at least 70% cacao. Though it’s important to treat yourself, you should only consume with small amounts of this delicacy. Limit yourself to four dark chocolate bars a week.