Superfood is a term used to describe some common foods such as blackberries, which grow abundantly in the UK and some less common ones e.g. goji berries and spirulina. I love eating blackberries, in season, while walking the dog. What could be better, sunshine, exercise and superfood!
Superfoods offer the most natural, complete and raw form of nutrients available. They contain a high concentration of nutrients and phytochemicals that are shown to have health benefits beyond those of ‘common’ foods. Yet they do not, on their own, when consumed, cure any disease, nor do they create health miracles, if a poor diet and lifestyle is not addressed.
Superfoods can successfully be added to a current healthy diet to increase the nutrient value of the diet. The superfoods that I like to consume daily, apart from a huge pile of green salad leaves are:
1. Turmeric – it has been called the number one anti-cancer spice, acts as an anti- inflammatory agent and antioxidant . As a preventative measure add turmeric, daily, to your cooked vegetable dishes, to your juices or smoothies. Or take a 500mg supplement of its active ingredient curcumin.
OR Juice it! The whole turmeric root is available from some health food stores and is valuable for juicing: Here’s what I do with it: juice 1-2cm turmeric root along with carrots, ginger and whole lemon plus a dash of olive oil (for optimum absorption of the fat soluble curcumin).
2. Camu camu – This berry grows in Peru and Brazil, is made into a powder and contains more Vitamin C than any other food, being about 15% Vitamin C by weight! In comparison to oranges, camu camu provides 30-50 times more vitamin C, ten times more iron, three times more niacin, twice as much riboflavin, and 50% more phosphorus. It is a powerful antioxidant, is anti viral and generally strengthens the immune system. I add this to my freshly squeezed citrus juice, first thing in the morning.
3. Spirulina – it is actually a bacteria that is capable of using the sun to photosynthesise and so obtain its energy. Some people say that gram for gram it is the most nutritious food on the planet, with its protein quality being excellent. Great blended with my green juice.
4. Berries – these delicious and beautiful fruits are so rich in anti-oxidants as well as being anti-inflammatory. Pink and red skins contain anthocyanins which have been shown to be cancer fighting. I love raspberries (even frozen) and blueberries.
5. Ginger – This root has a long history of use for relieving digestive problems. It is also associated with reducing pain and inflammation. It does contain numerous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. I add to my juices and also add slices to my green tea.
These 5 favourites of mine are great to integrate into daily life for graceful aging strategies. Delicious too.
More in ‘Eat, Dance, Shine’, Chapter 12 Superfoods, out end of April 2016