Blueberries were given the superfood title in the mid 2000's due to their high levels of polyphenols that positively impact the nervous system and brain function, helping to combat memory loss and enhance your mood. However, research has found that blackcurrants can contain up to eight times the health-boosting antioxidant level of blueberries. Dark colour berries such as blackcurrants are said to be good for heart health, fight cancer and Alzheimer's disease. It also has a high level of vitamin C. Aim to eat half a cup to one cup of berries per day or add them to a juice or smoothie but take caution when buying so-called 'super juices' containing blackberries as the sugar content can be very high.
This superfood is very low in calories, has zero fat and high levels of fibre, helping to keep you fuller for longer. The lutein found in kale will keep your eyes healthy and the high levels of vitamin C will help support the immune system. If you are on a vegan or calcium-free diet, eating kale is a great way to increase your calcium intake. Add a side of kale to your evening meal or making your own homemade kale chips for a healthy snack. Simply spread the kale over a baking tray lined with heated coconut oil, add salt and pepper and cook until the kale is crispy.
Green tea really is an amazing 'superdrink;' not only can it hinder the development of tumour-spreading blood vessels but it helps offset the effects of alcohol by repairing liver damage. Whilst suffering from a hangover try swapping a cup of coffee for a green tea. Caffeine addicts need not panic because green tea contains caffeine so will act as a mild stimulant whilst decaffeinated versions are available as well. Like many other superfoods, green tea contains skin-enhancing antioxidants hence why it is increasingly being used as an ingredient in skincare products.
Avocados are packed with high amounts of fibre, plant sterols, magnesium, folate, protein, potassium, vitamins B6, E and K. Eat avocado if you have troubled skin because, unlike other fruits, it contains Omega-9 fats that repair damaged skin by reducing redness and irritation. It's important to keep in mind that an avocado can contain as many as 400 calories, whilst a Mars bar has 230 calories. Obviously an avocado has far more health benefits and it includes monosaturated fatty acids that are more likely to be used as slow burning energy than stored as body fat.
Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming. A body that is not alkaline risks poor immune function, low energy and weight gain. The nut is high in protein and fiber and vitamin E. Eat them with the skin on to get all its nutrition. It has also been shown that almonds gives a more stable blood sugar level and that it can increase your metabolism and fat burn. Try eating a small handful of nuts per day.
Ginger has several health benefits, and is one of the best and most natural ways to ease stomach discomfort and nausea whilst it's anti-inflammatory compounds also reduce pain and even reduce symptoms of arthritis. Ginger gives you a stronger immune system and keeps your blood sugar levels in balance. Ginger increases the heat production and metabolism, which may contribute to weight loss. A tomato is known to contain high amounts of antioxidants, it has an ORAC-value of 400, while Ginger has a ORAC-value of 14 800!
In order to boost concentration, the nerve fibres that send messages between brain cells need to be insulated by a fatty substance called myelin. Essential fatty acids such as omega-3, found in oily fish, help build myelin, so try making mackerel on toast in the morning or taking a can of tuna into work to eat as a snack or, alternatively, take fish oil supplements such as cod liver oil every morning.
US scientists have recently discovered the abundance of health benefits from eating black rice. The rice is rich in the antioxidant 'anthocyanin' which has been linked to helping fight cancer and heart disease. It also contains fibre and vitamin E, which can help your digestive system, immune system, skin and eyes.
This creamy fat-free and protein-rich cheese has recently become popular. It's a type of fresh dairy product that has a similar creamy texture to sour cream and a mild tangy taste. It makes a great protein rich snack, that's low in fat and sugar, which can help fuel your day. It's high in calcium, vitamin A and vitamin B, making it a nutritious alternative snack and you can use it in dips, sauces and as a cooking ingredient.
Spinach, like tomatoes, contains antioxidants that combat free radicals. When tested on rats, researchers at the University of South Florida found that spinach improved both memory and learning skills. The high potassium levels found in spinach increases the speed of signals between neurons, helping our brains to be more responsive. In recent years, spinach has become a fashionable superfood so it is often included in restaurants' menus but the easiest way to consume spinach is to add raw leaves to a salad or eat boiled spinach with scrambled eggs for a nutritious breakfast.
Article by Lovisa Nilsson. Lovisa is the in-house nutritionist at leading health and fitness app,Lifesum