Superfoods which can reduce the risk of a heart attack.

‘Superfoods’ is a term we all have heard of, in recent times. With this category of foods gaining traction as time goes on, it is important to be well informed and know the facts from misinformation. Nowadays, with seemingly every other food ingredient being given this title, it can feel intimidating or gimmicky to a lot of us; so, let’s discuss what makes superfoods ‘super’.

So, what are superfoods?

There are healthy foods, and then there’s superfoods. Essentially, superfoods are a category of nutrient powerhouses which have an exceptional nutritional content. Registered dietitian Beth Czerwony RD said, “Superfoods are those that offer exceptional health benefits, beyond what you’d expect based on just their nutritional profile.”

In these foods you would find nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, K, and B vitamins, essential minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium; that is in addition to them being rich in antioxidants. What’s more is you would find that superfoods have a high fiber content, or even healthy fats (yes! certain fats can be healthy for you). A lot of superfoods are vegetables and fruits, but a small portion of this category comes in the form of fish or even dairy products.

The health benefits and risks of superfoods

It’s a well-known fact that the most impactful way to give your body the nutrition it needs (nay, deserves) is not through supplements or tablets; it's simply through a good, nutritious diet. Even the simplest dietary swaps can get you one step closer to your health goals.

You may know of ‘antioxidants’ and ‘flavonoids’, but what you may not know is that along with these nutrients being shown to help in preventing coronary heart disease, they are anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic as well. Flavonoids are a compound found in fruits and vegetables – especially in green leafy vegetables. Antioxidants effectively help regulate the physiological functioning of your body. Thus, the rise in popularity of these highly researched superfoods is no surprise as we have started caring more and more about our health and wellness.

Of course, moderation is key when it comes to a healthy diet; relying solely on ‘superfoods’ can lead to nutritional imbalances in the body. While it is really interesting to see the benefits superfoods bring to the table, a balanced diet should be your first priority. Thus, treat superfoods as elements which could elevate your regular diet, not replace it. Another concern is the expense of some of these ingredients, which can make regular consumption challenging for those looking for more budget-friendly solutions.

Superfoods everyone needs

Okay, now that we know what superfoods are, let us discuss the most common superfoods and how to turn your usual meals into ‘supermeals’ using these ingredients.

Superfood - Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, help you manage your blood pressure, and aid in faster exercise recovery; blueberries are surely one of the most well-known superfoods.

Supermeal - Use your blueberries to make a nutrient-packed smoothie or yoghurt bowl. Refreshing and healthy!

Local swap - Jamun, much like blueberries, are known for their rich antioxidant properties, as well as being rich in potassium, iron, and fiber. The taste, of course, is a happy bonus.

Superfood - Kale: Kale is high in fiber, rich in iron, and is also known to have nutrients which can help prevent diabetes. It is also high in potassium, which is recommended to be consumed to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and prevent heart disease.

Supermeal - Cook your kale with garlic, or blanch the leaves to make a delicious salad; you could also blend it into a smoothie.

Local swap - Believe it or not, since cabbage and kale both come from the cruciferous family, cabbage is a great substitute when it comes to cooking with locally sourced ingredients.

Superfood - Avocado: Just like a lot of other superfoods, avocado is great for your heart health. It has beta carotene, is rich in potassium, vitamins C, E and K, and magnesium.

Supermeal - Make a classic avocado toast, or if you’re feeling inspired, make an avocado and greens smoothie or a lovely avocado chocolate pudding.

Local swap - Since bananas are also high in potassium and vitamin C, you can easily swap them out in a smoothie or sweet treat.

Superfood - Quinoa: Quinoa, unlike other plant-based foods, is a complete protein. It’s a whole grain which is rich in (you guessed it) antioxidants, fiber, and iron. This makes it good for your heart, digestion, and prevents diseases.

Supermeal - Use quinoa in a salad, as an alternative to white rice, or roast it and use the crispy grains as a yoghurt bowl garnish.

Local swap - Rajgira is a grain eerily similar to quinoa, having just as much fiber and iron. It also is known to be anti-inflammatory. It can be cooked like you would quinoa, and can be popped like corn for a fun snack!

Superfood - Ginger: An ingredient beloved to us all, ginger is anti-inflammatory, helps to regulate blood sugar levels, and soothes stomach and digestive issues.

Supermeal - Ginger can be added to cold-pressed juices, tea, and soup. It’s a great addition to any meal you wish to enhance the nutritional value of.

Ingredient - Cinnamon: This delicious spice has the ability to prevent bacterial and fungal infections, and is also known for its anti-viral properties.

Supermeal - The magic of cinnamon can be added to teas, juices, baked goods, and even some hot apple cider.

In conclusion Superfoods are great sources of antioxidants, which can help prevent a host of diseases and ward off illnesses. Which begs the question - Is there a way to get the goodness of superfoods in one package? Yes! Check out our range of cold-pressed juices, smoothies, shot tonics, and juice cleanses here at 11.11 Vital Juicery.