Superfoods are the latest trend fresh from the world of nutrition. You’ll be sure to find their green, purple and oh-so-seedy appearance donning many an A-lister’s plate.
They’re said to cure ailments, prevent life-threatening diseases and even reverse the effects of ageing. But do they actually work and how can you add them into your diet without pledging to lead a pure vegan lifestyle?
We have rounded up a list of the top superfoods and included easy ways to incorporate them into your diet.
These tiny berries are packed full of antioxidants and have significantly high levels of vitamins C and K. Consuming foods which are high in antioxidants can help to fight infections and lower the risk of serious disease. A study cited by the British Dietetic Association also found that women who ate 2 or 3 portions of blueberries a week had a 32% reduced risk of heart disease compared to those who did not eat blueberries.
One way of incorporating more blueberries into your diet is to sprinkle them over your cereal in the morning - but why limit these super berries to the breakfast table? Add them to zucchini, carrots, chickpeas and quinoa to create a nutritious salad for lunch, or blend them with avocado and lime juice for a fierce guacamole dip that you can add to a chicken breast for dinner.
This green leafy vegetable is just as healthy as it looks. As a member of the cabbage and brussel sprouts family, it packs more nutrients than all of its siblings combined, primarily antioxidants and vitamins. The goodness doesn’t stop there though, kale is also a great source of fibre, calcium and iron, which are all vital for healthy muscles and bones.
Kale is virtually tasteless once blended, which makes it fantastic to throw into smoothies and soups, you can add it into almost anything without jeopardising the taste. Throw apples and bananas in with a handful of kale to make a healthy blended treat.
Black beans can help you to feel fuller for longer, and contain very little calories and fat. Their magic comes from their high fibre and protein content, which expands in your stomach making you feel fuller for longer.
You can throw black beans into almost any dish, they complement rice, couscous and quinoa perfectly and they also make great additions if you are wanting to bulk up a soup without eating bread.
Surprisingly our old favourite broccoli is a superfood. The unsung hero is filled with folate, fibre, vitamins C and A, and calcium, which are all crucial for healthy functioning. The little tree has also been associated with reducing levels of fat in the body that can lead to cardiovascular disease, according to the NHS.
If there’s one food that’s good for your heart, it’s oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel.
The UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition found that there was substantial evidence that eating two portions of oily fish a week could reduce the risk of heart disease. The study showed that it can also lower your blood pressure and reduce the amount of fat that could build up in your arteries.
Nail three superfoods in one by cooking grilled salmon with blueberry and chilli sauce, and some broccoli and sweet potatoes to accompany it on the side.