Superfood. More like a super over-used word! People chuck the word around more than pass the parcel at a party but what actually IS a superfood? A superfood is something that contains huge amounts of nutrients, optimizing your bodies ability to function and prevent and fight disease.
There are a lot of foods out there claiming to fix your life up but not all is as it seems.
Ones that aren’t worth your time
Goji berries have been high on the superfood list since forever, and you’ve probs sampled one in a salad and you didn’t even realise. Claiming these strengthen the immune system and brain activity while also containing calming properties, turns out you can get the same benefits (and more) from a variety of berries, like blueberries, that are chockers in antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C.
Or is it keen-wah? Quinoa has been celebrated as being high in protein, earning its superfood badge but turns out, it just has more protein than rice, rather than an exceptionally large amount of protein. Mix it up with bulgar, spelt, brown rice, farrow or whole rye, serving yourself up a dose of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
This sweetener is popular due to its lack of glucose, but it does have fructose, which still falls under that sugar umbrella, causing the same liver overload = weight gain effects. You’re better off cutting back on your overall sugar intake.
Coconut water is so common it’s found right next to the water now. Sure, it’s full of minerals, but it’s not going to rehydrate you any better than my mate H2O. Coconut water can actually have quite a bit of sneaky sugars in there – so if you do drink it, choose an unsweetened variety.
Insects have been gaining in popularity with their allegation to contain oodles of protein, more than your average chicken. If you can get past the ick factor, you can find cricket powder and protein bars in selected health food stores. Oh my Ninja!
Activated Charcoal is one of the latest trends in superfoods, and you’ll see it popping up more and more. Known for its highly absorbent qualities, there really is no benefit of consumption as there is no proof of its claim to detoxify the body. We’re born with built-in detoxifiers after all, our liver and kidneys! Instead, focus on eating more whole, plant-based meals (like in my TIFFXO program – we have the most delectable vegetarian recipes) to support a healthy immune and digestive tract instead.
Why not try…
Seaweed is more than just sushi. Not only sustainable to grow, it helps avoid iodine deficiency. Loaded with vitamins A through to E and K as well as folic and taurine, to say it’s good for you is an understatement. Sprinkle toasted seaweed over salad or soups or even fill a seaweed wrap with tofu, baked sweet potato, avocado and greens.
You don’t have to feel guilty the next time you reach for that popcorn on movie night, as long as it’s the right popcorn (like my TIFFXO Peanut Butter Popcorn). Popcorn balances your blood sugar levels, full of disease-fighting antioxidants and contains 3 times the fibre of sunflower seeds. Not only delicious, it also can lower your cholesterol.
Not just for date night, these shelled little numbers are full of iron, calcium and the proclaimed intelligence mineral, zinc. Zinc is great for mental development and healthy reproductive organs. Oysters are known to regulate your mood (and get you in the mood) and adapt to stress.
Everyday superfoods you may already find you have local
Wheatgrass supplies tons of vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and magnesium. Pop it in a smoothie, in a tablet or even raw if you’re feeling feisty.
Cinnamon is more than nice, it’s high in antioxidants, has been associated with lowering blood sugar and cholesterol and helping with symptoms in nausea and PMS symptoms and inflammation. Pop it over your morning oats, yogurt or smoothie and reap the benefits.
One of my faves, the avo is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Not only that, but it manages to pack in even more potassium than a banana. Eat it on toast, in a salad or just straight with some salt and lemon.
These include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy and Brussel sprouts. They have powerful anti-cancer benefits and support the liver’s function of detoxing the body as well as boosting your immune system and supporting healthy vision. Toxins can cause a lack of energy, so by promoting their removal; you’ll certainly feel more energised.
Sweet Potatoes are super high in vitamin C and potassium and brimming with Vitamin A, which helps with healthy vision and boosting your immune system. Roast them, mash them, chuck them in salads, curries. The possibilities are endless.
Almonds are one of the most nutrient-rich nuts available. One of the best non-dairy sources of calcium, these super nuts are also super full of vitamin E and protein. Keep your portion size in check but enjoy them raw or roasted.
Flaxseed is loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation, improve brain function and help fight disease. High in thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, they also hearty dose of protein and fiber in each serving. Try in oil or tablet form, or even put it through your oats or salad dressings.
Article by Tiffany Hall
Tiffiny is one of the highest qualified female martial artists in the world for her age. She is a 6th Dan Taekwondo black belt and one of Australia’s most recognised female martial artists.
Tiffiny has practiced and studied self defense, mixed martial arts and Taekwondo for over 25 years. She is daughter to an Olympic Taekwondo coach and black belt mother.