Feel super in winter … with these top 10 superfoods!
While we’re surrounded by an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in summer, winter is a time where we might turn to comfort food and a few less heathy treats to get us through the cold months. This is a great time to focus on superfoods and ways to get more of these nutritional powerhouses into our diet daily. So, what are the Top 10 super foods and how can you get them into your diet easily?
No single food can offer all the nutrition, health benefits, and energy we need. Instead, combining healthy choices from all food groups should be the aim. Research has shown that healthy dietary patterns can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Scientists have, however, identified a few foods which contain high amounts of extremely important nutrients which have a protective effect on the body and may prevent disease. These have become known as ‘superfoods’.
Many superfoods are available fresh, frozen or canned and are easily added to, or can take a starring role, in your winter menu to boost your immunity and keep you fighting fit over the long Tassie winter.
So, what are the Top 10 super foods?
High in fibre, blue and red berries like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries are packed with phytochemicals. Just as healthy frozen as fresh, these can be added to your breakfast yoghurt, cereal or smoothie, and are great for a snack any time of the day.
Fish, especially oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout and sardines, have a high omega-3 content and are also a great source of healthy protein.
Add a handful of nuts to your oatmeal, cereal or yoghurt in the morning, as a snack later in the day, or in your salad. Nut butters are another way to consume more nuts. All nuts – like hazelnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pecans – are a great source of plant protein and monounsaturated fats.
4. Olive oil
Olive oil should be your oil of choice for cooking and dressing salads. It’s a great source of vitamin E, polyphenols and monounsaturated fatty acids, which all help reduce the risk of heart disease.
5. Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, Swiss chard and collard greens all contain vitamins A and C, calcium, fibre and phytochemicals. Wilt a few handfuls into stews, soups and curries, or sauté them in a little olive oil on their own.
Calcium, protein and live cultures all do you a world of good. Stick to unflavoured and unsweetened natural and Greek yoghurts. You can add honey, fruit and nuts yourself to control your sugar intake. A great breakfast food, yoghurt can also be used in place of sour cream or mayo as a topping and in dips and sauces.
Wholegrains include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and bulgur. Swap brown rice for white rice or potatoes for the ‘starchy’ part of your meals. Wholegrains are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, B vitamins and phytonutrients. They can lower cholesterol and protect against diabetes and heart disease.
8. Cruciferous vegetables
Steam or stir fry some broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens or kale, and you will have an excellent source of fibre, vitamins and phytochemicals which may protect against certain cancers.
Beans and peas are a great course of fibre, plant protein and folate, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. They are great in soups (minestrone for example), stews and salads.
Lycopene and vitamin C are the key ingredients in tomatoes which are protective against cancers including prostate cancer. Uncooked, they are brilliant in salads or as a salsa. Cooked, they form the basis of many favourites such as Napolitana and Bolognese sauces as well as adding sweet richness to all sorts of stews and casseroles.