That organic living is a conscious health choice
12 superfoods to add to your diet
The term ‘superfood’ is heard often, but there are few people who can explain what they are and what they do. Superfoods are defined by their high amounts of antioxidants, making particularly potent additions to your diet. While no one food is the solution to overall wellness, superfoods are exceptionally beneficial for their ability to neutralise the effects of oxidation.
Oxidation occurs when free radicals attack our cells. Free radicals can seriously damage our bodies and lead to the development of illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic fatigue. Antioxidants therefore help to neutralise the effects of these free radicals. Some antioxidants are produced by our bodies, and generally obtained from fruits and vegetables.
However, it is rare and difficult to obtain the optimum amount of antioxidants from a standard diet alone. Studies show that our bodies need around 5000 Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity units (ORAC) per day to reduce free radical damage. One serving of fruits or vegetables (around half a cup) will provide approximately 500 ORAC units.
Superfoods can help with this. We’ve compiled a list of 12 to add to your grocery list…
Avocados are high in antioxidants: carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. These three nutrients are important for eye health. High in fibre and low in carbohydrates, avocados keep you full for longer.0
Olive oil and coconut oil
Olive oil helps maintain a healthy level of cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, lowers the risk of cancer, protects the digestive tract, supports overall bone health, and improves cognitive function.
Virgin coconut oil extracted, with minimal processing and modification, from coconut flesh is similarly superior in health value. It should be organic, unrefined and cold-pressed.
Pumpkin seeds have a diversity of vitamin E antioxidants that result in greater health benefits. Consuming pumpkin seeds is also a good way of increasing zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and copper in your diet.
Okra is a powerful superfood to add to your diet (especially if you’re prenatal) due to being rich in folate – a vital B vitamin for optimal pregnancy – as well as vitamin C. It’s especially relevant in a prenatal diet because it contains nearly 10 per cent of the recommended daily intake of folic acid.
Rich in flavonoids and magnesium, buckwheat is great for heart health. It can lower the risk of diabetes and is generally as healthful as fruits and vegetables.
This earthy tasting green (also called red spinach) is even richer than kale in vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and manganese.
Restrict yourself to small amounts of this superfood as most chocolates tend to be high in sugar and fat. Even so, eating small servings of dark chocolate regularly can reduce the risk of heart failure and stroke, and can lower blood pressure.
Both the leaves and root of beetroot have been used to treat liver disorders as it helps to stimulate the liver’s detoxification processes. As it is nitrate rich, it may also help in heart attack survival.
Cranberries contain exceptionally high levels of antioxidants and are tasty whether fresh, frozen and dried. They deliver an incredible health-giving boost and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Curcumin, the pigment in turmeric, is what gives turmeric its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Turmeric neutralises free radicals, reducing joint inflammation associated with arthritis and improves liver function
Celery is an important source of antioxidants, like vitamin C and beta-carotene. The phytonutrients in celery also play a vital role in preventing unwanted inflammation in the rest of the body.
The probiotics (or friendly bacteria) in protect the gastrointestinal tract from harmful bacteria, and help resolve bowel issues. It is also a rich source of calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth, and decreases the risk of colon cancer.