The ‘superfoods' market has exploded these last few years. Often hidden in quirky health food shops, many of these products are now household names and available in supermarkets!
Why? Because the good ones are little nutrient powerhouses, with multiple health benefits (just have a look at GreenMedInfo and type in one of them to see what comes up).
And we're just catching up. While they might be new names for many of us, some have been used in other cultures for centuries as medicine and tonics.
Here are some of my favourites and what they can do for your health (and hormones).
You can watch the video below or listen to the podcast.
My favourite 16 superfoods
- Medicinal mushrooms – have long been used in other cultures but only recently have become popular in the West due to their potentially vast array of health benefits (especially immune health). Popular mixes include Reishi, Chaga, Lions Mane, Shiitake, Cordyceps and Turkey Tail. Have you tried it in your coffee yet??
- Turmeric – a root, which has been for centuries in Chinese medicine is anti-inflammatory and has shown to help support heart, immune and joint health. You can buy Curcumin the active ingredient as a supplement.
- 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 (from it's deep purple colour).
- 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.
- Raw 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 found in every supermarket these days. Rich in fibre, omega 3, antioxidants and minerals, these tiny seeds pack a powerful punch.
- MCT oil – made famous in Bullet Proof Coffee, MCT oil is extracted from coconut oil and is often used as a healthy fat in ketogenic diets as it helps to boost your metabolism.
- Flax seeds – another super seed for hormones, flaxseeds contain lignans, which are classed as phytoestrogens helping to regulate oestrogen levels and reduce risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
- Hemp seeds – hemp is a complete protein source, very useful for vegetarians. Hemp seeds 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- Moringa – known as Africa's Miracle Tree, the moringa leaf is packed with vital hormone-balancing nutrients and is a great source of plant protein. It's also rich in fibre, which helps with detoxification of excess oestrogen. And the high levels of magnesium help to improve mood, energy and stress.
Most of these superfoods come in powder form, so are easy to add to smoothies, oats, soups, hot drinks and desserts.
Always look for reputable brands, avoid fillers, additives, and added sugars or sweeteners that might hide the taste.
So why don’t you try something you haven’t had before – I’d love to know what you think!
Do contact us if you need any help with your diet, your hormones, or any other health issues.