Prevention is better than cure, which is probably why the health-conscious are going gaga over the benefits of “superfoods”. There are a variety of foods that have gained popularity in health-food circles for their nutritional benefits, and we’re taking note. Dubbed “superfoods”, they pack a nutritional punch and are a valuable addition to any diet.
These nutrient powerhouses are packed with vitamins and antioxidants to boost your immune system and help you live a healthy lifestyle. With the change of season and our fast-paced lifestyles, a good boost is no doubt needed. Here are few to try out.
“I’ve been drinking, watermelon…”. Beyonce had us singing along and soon announced that she invested in WTRMLN WTR, a brand of cold-pressed watermelon juice. “I invested in WTRMLN WTR because it’s the future of clean, natural hydration. It’s also your new sexy workout partner”, said the talented beauty.
Luckily you can basically make your own and enjoy the same benefits, thanks to all the nutrients packed in the refreshing fruit. Watermelon contains electrolytes, vitamin C, potassium, and an amino acid that has been known to reduce muscle soreness. Bonus? While high in natural sugars, it’s also high in fibre and boosts performance.
With the water shortage and our penchant for trying new artisanal waters, this makes us even more keen to try it. Much like coconut water, watermelon leaves you feeling hydrated – but it’s even higher in antioxidants. Also, it turns out we should be eating the seeds as well. When roasted they’re a great source of protein, vitamin B and magnesium. Snack on that!
Not to be confused with cocoa, cacao – even though that’s really hard because they look and sound pretty similar – is the rawest and purest unprocessed form of chocolate.
Cacao is not to be confused with commercial cocoa powder. The raw chocolate hasn’t been cooked, processed or mixed with sugar. Cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, a process which preserves the living enzymes in the beans – which accounts for cacao’s superior health benefits. Cacao is a powerhouse of magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, calcium, fibre and antioxidants, and it also contains the mood enhancer anandamide.
Cacao is believed to help balance hormones, boost cardiovascular health and prevent premature ageing. All that and they had us at raw chocolate!
Tip: Sprinkle cacao over your morning bowl of oats to give it a rich, chocolatey flavour, or make drinking chocolate by adding hot water, a dash of milk and a little xylitol to one teaspoon of cacao powder.
Hemp seeds and powder
Hemp is another plant food that is considered a complete protein. Predicted to be the superfood of 2017, hemp is way up on the list of mega sources of nutrients. While hemp is a species of cannabis, it contains very little THC (the stuff that gets you high), but the seeds are still high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body craves. It gives the body a boost of energy, helps with brain function and lowers cholesterol. Add to your smoothies or salads – or get beauty products that contain hemp. They’re just as good for your skin and serve as a great antioxidant.
Flaxseed may not be new to the health conscious, but they’re very important when trying to add all the good stuff to your diet. Loaded with nutrients that improve digestion, it also helps clear your skin, promotes weight loss, helps with hair and nail growth, and lowers cholesterol.
A great source of omega-3s, protein, fibre and magnesium, flaxseed is uber great for you and easy to incorporate into your diet. Soak before consuming and sprinkle over yoghurt or your morning oats. To spruce up your favourite food, simply grind them and add to any dish, or cook with flaxseed oil.
The nutty seeds also contain lignans which have been scientifically studied for their cancer-fighting properties. They help reduce the risk of breast cancer and help lower levels of oestrogen – which balance hormones and soothes PMS and menopausal symptoms. We’ll take two servings, please!
Do you incorporate any other superfoods into your diet? Share your healthy tips below.