Superfood your mood
Superfoods have the power to give us glowing skin, whittle our waistlines and help us through a flu-free winter, but did you know that certain ingredients can also alter our emotions? These include maca, goji & quinoa which have all been hailed as secret ingredients to ever-lasting health and well-being. We are not talking in a different language, they are all in fact superfoods. It may seem like every leafy green or exotic berry has the word superfood stamped onto it but certain ingredients really do have some pretty super properties. Definitions of superfood range from a food that is considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions, to a nutrient rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health & well being. Literary interpretations aside, it all comes down to science. We are beginning to get a deeper understanding of the power many foods have in terms of health and well being. Especially in their potential to prevent illness. We are gaining knowledge via verified and quality scientific research into everything from antioxidants to polyphenols, to probiotics and essential fatty acids. Plus research has shown that certain ingredients possess the unique qualities to not only change our aesthetics on the outside but also our moods.
Secret ingredient superfood
TASTE THE RAINBOW
Barely a week goes by when a new superfood isn’t discovered. But there is no need to embark on a faraway pilgrimage to source the latest wonder ingredient. You can probably find them in your kitchen. A lot of us don’t realise that our mundane fruits, vegetables and grains deserve the title of superfoods – ones such as beetroot for heart health and tomatoes to prevent prostate cancer. But they aren’t as new or sexy as aronia berries or matcha. When you include superfoods in your diet, your energy levels increase and your mental state improves. Many superfoods contain compounds which promote relaxation in the brain. For example avocados, coconuts and certain nuts increase serotonin levels which boosts happiness and combats depression.
EATING FOR ENERGY = (Maca)
A powder made from a radish like root of the brassica family. Originating in the Andes of Peru, its rich in vitamins B, C and E as well as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids. It has been found to help balance male and female sex hormones, aid fertility, hormonal acne, libido, moods and anxiety as well as being a natural caffeine-free energy booster. It has a caramel-like taste, so is good in smoothies, nut balls, brownies, almond milk, maca hot chocolate and even banana bread.
EAT FOR A FLAT BELLY (raw sauerkraut)
The fermented cabbage has been shown (by a number of studies) to fight obesity, high cholesterol, constipation and be anti-cancer because it’s packed with probiotics and antioxidants. Add it to salads, sandwiches and oily fish such as mackerel. Just make sure you don’t heat it as this will destroy the beneficial enzymes.
EAT FOR IMMUNITY (elderberry syrup)
Preliminary studies demonstrate that elderberry may have a measurable effect in treating flu, alleviating allergies and boosting respiratory health. Packed with vitamins A, B and C mix it with water to make a refreshing beverage.
EAT FOR CLEAR SKIN (chia seeds)
A powerhouse of nutrition, these little seeds are high in soluble fibre to keep gut function happy, this helps with the absorption of key nutrients and the elimination of nasties – both essential for blemish free skin. They can be added to smoothies, energy balls and more.
EAT FOR STRESS RELIEF (blanched almonds)
Magnesium deficiency is very common and is largely the result of struggling to cope with daily stresses. Almonds (without their skin) are the best natural source and can be used for baking gluten free cakes combined with fresh fruits as a snack or even use them in soups to create a non-dairy, creamy texture.