Are so-called ‘superfoods’ really super foods? Or just an expensive fad?
Well, I like to think of them as little nutrient powerhouses. There is growing evidence that many superfoods have a number of health benefits (just have a look at GreenMedInfo and type in one of them to see what comes up).
While you’re not going to be freaky like me and have them all in your cupboard, they can be very useful for keeping our hormones happy and healthy and all sorts of other health issues too!
My favourite superfoods
- Acai berry – pronounced (ah-sigh-ee) is a traditional part of the Amazonian diet. Rich in fibre, essential fats and one of the highest scoring superfoods for antioxidants.
- Baobab – native to Africa, this fruit is packed with Vitamin C, 6 times more than an orange! But it also has 6 times more potassium than a banana, and twice as much calcium as milk.
- Cacao – chocolate in its raw form is not only the most delicious food on earth (in my humble opinion!) but is one of the most healthy too (there is a chocolate God). High levels of antioxidants and magnesium are its main strengths, but the ability to make everything taste good in a smoothie has to be up there too.
- Chia seeds – an ancient Aztec superfood, chia seeds are the trendy newcomer in town. Rich in fibre, omega 3, antioxidants and minerals, these tiny seeds pack a powerful punch.
- Coconuts – the humble coconut is not on many superfood lists, but its a true food hero for me. Like chocolate, everything tastes good with a bit of coconut in there! Whether it’s the milk, water, oil or butter, it’s acts as a metabolism booster – giving you extra energy and encouraging your cells to burn fat. There’s no downside in my view.
- Flax seeds – another super seed for hormones, flaxseeds contain lignans, which have been shown to help regulate oestrogen levels and reduce risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
- Hemp seeds – hemp is a complete protein source, very useful for vegetarians. They also have the most well balanced ratio of essential fats found in nature.
- Hibiscus – not strictly a superfood, more of a super tea! I recently learned that the hibiscus flower has over 3 times more antioxidant strength than green tea! So I now brew up a large jug of hibiscus tea (you can get lots of different flavours), let it cool, add some stevia, and keep it in the fridge to sip on during the day. It’s a bit like fruit squash!
- Goji berries – also called wolf berries – long been used in Chinese medicine for all kinds of health issues, including anti-ageing. Apart from tasting good (think chewy little red raisins but not so sweet), they are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and protein.
- Lucuma – from the lucuma fruit in South America, rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, it is really useful to use as a natural sweetener due to its caramel flavour.
- Maca – a Peruvian root, maca has been used for centuries for energy, stamina and hormone balance. It’s known as ‘nature’s Viagra’ in Peru! Check out how maca gives you more mojo.
- Matcha – a concentrated powdered green tea, matcha has 3 times the antioxidants of standard green tea. Great to add to creamy porridge, smoothies or as an alternative to your usual coffee latte.
- Chlorella and spirulina – both blue-green algaes, they have a super high nutrient content, and are natural detoxifiers. Not the best tasting foods I’m afraid, so best taken in capsule form or added to a green smoothie.
- Wheatgrass – rich in chlorophyll, the green pigment from plants that helps with detoxification and is a known DNA protector. Another one that is a acquired taste (read disgusting), but disguise it in a smoothie or neck it down in a shot like tequila!.
Most of these superfoods come in powder form, so are easy to add to smoothies, oats, soups, hot drinks and desserts.
Some can be rather expensive, so it's worth shopping around and just choosing one or two to try at a time.
Some of my favourite websites to shop at are listed here;
So why don’t you try something you haven’t had before – I’d love to know what you think!
If you'd like help to balance your hormones, download this FREE Hormone Balancing Guide.