The Weekly Journal | Health

By Yenia Hernandez Fonseca - April 7, 2022

SUPERFOODS

FOR OPTIMAL WELLBEING

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Have you heard that old saying, “beauty starts from within”? Well, let us tell ya… what we eat has indeed a direct effect on our bodies. For example, a healthy diet full of good fats, fibre, vitamins, and amino acids can make all the difference between a glowing complexion and a tired one. 

The growing field of culinary medicine explores the links between food and health. It is believed that foods can be used to support the body's natural healing process. While no single food holds the power to perfect health, superfoods are rich in compounds and vitamins that are beneficial to our wellbeing. 

The following nutrient powerhouses can help your body ward off certain diseases, improve energy levels, and even reduce the effects of aging.

1. Leafy Greens

According to Nusa Urbancic, Campaigns Director at the Changing Markets Foundation, the new rules also seek to place a ban on the destruction of unsold fashion items. Every time an old piece of clothing is thrown out, it contributes textile waste to the atmosphere.

They contain high levels of fibre, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. They’re packed with abundant anti-inflammatory compounds known as carotenoids that protect against certain types of cancer. 

Where to find them:

Arugula, Kale, Spinach, Romaine Lettuce, and Collards are just some of the healthiest leafy greens in the market. You can add leafy green powders made of leafy greens as a complimentary supplement to your diet.

How to eat them:

Eat leafy greens as soups, salads, or smoothies.

2. Avocados

Avocados are a great supply of nutrients and antioxidants, such as folic acid, Omega 3, magnesium, potassium, lutein and fiber. In short, avocados contain 20 vitamins and minerals. Avocados are famously great for the skin because they contain high poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. They are packed with antioxidants, such as carotenoids, which not only help fight free radicals, which are the chief cause of aging, but also help keep your skin hydrated and elastic. As well as keeping skin supple and dewy, avocados also help regenerate damaged skin cells, reduce redness and irritation. 

Where to find them:

Avocados are available almost everywhere, from big food markets to specialized, organic shops. Our best recommendation when buying avocados is getting them from your local farmer’s market. Not only are they free of pesticides, but supporting your local farmers stimulates the local, circular economy.

How to eat them:

On toast, grilled, or in the form of guacamole. Avocados are always the freshest foods to add to your spring/summer menu. We swear by avocado smoothies!  Check out this recipe here.

3. Berries

Berries are a great supply of vitamins, minerals, fiber and bountiful amounts of antioxidants associated with helping reduce risks of developing heart diseases, cancer, and other inflammatory conditions. They're typically high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidant polyphenols. Naturally sweet, they're also low in calories and carbs. 

Where to find them:

Berries are commercialized in different ways, mainly as fresh or frozen products. Include Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Acai, and Cranberries in your diet. You may also find berries in the form of powders and supplement pills. 

How to eat them:

Add berries to your smoothies, sprinkle some on oatmeal or yogurt, or any other sweet treats, such as desserts. They’re great in savoury dishes too! A delicious addition to cheese and meat boards. 

4. Bone Broth

Bone broth is a savoury, nutrient-dense, and collagen-rich liquid made from simmering marrow-rich animal bones and connective tissues in water for an extended period of time. When bones are simmered for hours, the collagen inside the bones cooks down into gelatin. When ingested, this gelatin helps soothe our digestive tract and heal our gut, which boosts the body's ability to expel waste and help the liver process toxins. Bone broth is great for elasticity of skin as it’s full of collagen, minerals like calcium and magnesium, and essential amino acids. While it is typically very low in calories, bone broth can satisfy hunger.

Where to find them:

You can make bone broth using bones from any animal like beef, chicken, turkey, or pork, for example. In order to make the most nutritious broth, it’s best to use a variety of bones: marrow bones, oxtail, knuckles, feet. You can also add vegetables, herbs, or spices to your broth to enhance the flavour. Bone broth can also be found in stores pre-packaged, in the form of powders, or even power bars. 

How to eat them:

Hot and home-made is best but adding bone broth powder to your smoothie is always a great option for people on-the-go. 

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium. Especially its most active compound, curcumin, is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It has proven to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower triglycerides. Turmeric is a great ally for skin treatments. Having an inflammatory reaction in your body can be rough on your skin, which can make it look puffy and tired, causing wrinkles and aging in the long run. People suffering from eczema and rosacea could really benefit from including turmeric into their diets.

Where to find them:

The most effective way to take turmeric is with a liquid, such as in liquid shot form or even blended within a drink or smoothie. Turmeric can be found as a root, powders, and capsules. 

How to eat them:

You can sprinkle turmeric spice on soups, rice, or roasted vegetables. Blend some in a smoothie or improve your cooking skills by making a warm cup of golden milk. Mustards and curries contain turmeric too.  

6. Olive Oil

Naturally extracted from the fruit of olive trees, olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats and antioxidants. Olives are rich in polyphenols, compounds that plants produce to protect themselves against environmental threats. Olive oil is a source of at least 30 phenolic compounds. The phenolics in olive oil have antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it contains antioxidants such as vitamins E and K, which prevent cellular damage caused by oxidative stress.

Where to find them:

Olive oil is best consumed in its extra virgin version as it’s undergone the least processing. Extra virgin olive oil has more polyphenols than regular olive oil.

How to eat them:

Add olive oil to salads, soups, pastas, breads – anything! Have you tried olive oil cakes