Superfood - it’s a buzzword that has become common in our increasingly health-conscious world. The term itself is simple, but the definition can be cause for confusion. What exactly is a superfood? Although this terms has no official definition, all labelled superfoods have a few similarities:
- They are nutrient powerhouses
- They contain high doses of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
- They are especially beneficial for health and well being
There is a long list of foods considered to be superfoods - a few of the most well known include blueberries, kale and salmon. The TruMarine Team has compiled a list of our 5 favourite superfoods, why they are so super, and our favourite ways to enjoy them.
1. Goji Berries
These small red berries date back into the early days of Chinese medicine, where they were often soaked in tea or congee to promote good overall health. Today, goji berries are enjoyed by many people around the world. Due to an abundance of antioxidants, they help naturally boost the body’s immune system, promote good eyesight, and encourage healthy skin. Goji berries are also surprisingly high in protein - 1 cup of goji berries has almost 12 grams of protein, which is equivalent to 2 large eggs.
We love adding a handful of organic goji berries into our morning smoothie or in our oatmeal.
Cacao is Latin for ‘food of the gods’, which to us, makes perfect sense - after all, it is the basis of chocolate. This crunchy superfood is actually the dried, minimally processed and fully fermented fatty seed of the plant Theobroma cacao. Cacao, in raw form, contains almost 20 times the amount of antioxidants of blueberries, making it a yummy way to help prevent a variety of diseases.
Try using raw cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips in your favourite protein bar or power cookie recipe.
3. Nutritional Yeast
Yes, this nutty, cheesy, savoury condiment is a superfood! Nutritional yeast can help provide much needed vitamins, especially for vegans and vegetarians. It is high in B vitamins, which assist with cell metabolism and help the body convert food into fuel, allowing us to stay energized throughout the day. Nutritional yeast is made from sugarcane and beet molasses, not to be confused with brewer’s yeast, a by-product of brewing beer and used in baking.
Nutritional yeast is a yummy food topper. Try sprinkling a tablespoon on top of salads, pasta, or our favourite - popcorn.
4. Chia Seeds
These black seeds may be tiny, but sure do pack a nutritional punch. They are brimming with fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as calcium, manganese and phosphorus. Omega-3 is an essential fat most commonly found in fish and fish oils, and is important for brain health and function. Unfortunately the body cannot produce Omega-3 fatty acids on its own and must get them from outside sources, such as food- a great reason to add chia seeds to your daily diet.
We love matcha!
Matcha is a traditional Japanese drink and is carefully prepared from high quality green tea leaves called tencha. (Not all matcha is created equal and it's important to know where your matcha is sourced - where it is grown and how it is produced). The unique harvesting method stimulates the production of amino acids and results in leaves that are a deep shade of green. Unlike green tea, where tea leaves are soaked in hot water and disposed of, tencha leaves are ground into matcha powder, utilizing the whole leaf. Grinding the entire leaf into powder ensures that 100% of the nutrients are available for consumption.
This nutrient-rich powder can help lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health, and is incorporated into many ‘clean’ lifestyles and healthy living regimes around the world.
One of the main benefits of matcha is that it is packed with vitamins, such as vitamins A, B-complex, C, K and EGCg. EGCg - epigallocatechin gallate - is also commonly labelled as catechines and is the reason matcha is considered a superfood. Tencha leaves have a high concentration of EGCg, which provides potent cancer fighting properties and boosts metabolism.
Switch it up in the morning or afternoon and have a cup of matcha instead of coffee. Matcha helps improve concentration and cognition - providing many of the same benefits as coffee, without the possible side effects of caffeine.
That's our top 5 favourite superfoods, try adding a few to your routine and reap the benefits. Let us know what you think! We would also love to hear about any superfoods that you recommend.