‘Superfood’ was a marketing label coined to highlight the nutritious aspects of everyday ingredients. You don’t have to purchase unpronounceable products and break the bank to enjoy healthy and delicious foods.
There are those who embrace overpriced superfoods as the must-have miracle ingredients that will bless them with good health. You know the type. They insist on sharing with you how good they feel since they started drinking hemp milk; they’re also the ones who can’t stop raving about how ‘regular’ they have become ever since they started adding chia seeds to their morning smoothies.
Perhaps the idea that a food item – the more exotic, the better – could reduce the risk of chronic disease, prolong life, and aid weight loss is attractive to a generation obsessed with quick fixes and miracle remedies. If that religious sprinkling of goji berries can lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides, boost immunity and keep one looking youthful, surely it justifies adapting to strange new tastes and paying top dollar?
But consider this:
The word ‘superfood’ was a marketing term first coined in 1990 by UK medical author Michael van Straten to describe how ordinary foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts – can help the body build resistance to stress, disease and infection. It was never about products that are inaccessible or exorbitantly priced.
So, rather than eat a small range of superstar superfoods purchased at premium prices, we should incorporate a wide range of foods rich in natural goodness into our daily diet. Eating healthily does not have to cost a fortune.
Here is a list of everyday superfoods that are packed with nutrients and easily available in your local grocery store:
- Apple – Contains pectin and vitamin C, both which helps keep cholesterol levels stable.
- Orange – Fresh oranges are high in vitamin C, which can help fight infections.
- Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower – Their anti-inflammatory properties help lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Tomato – Rich in antioxidants – especially beta-carotene and lycopene – and vitamins C and E
- Chinese cabbage – A powerhouse of antioxidants and abundant source of soluble and insoluble fibre. It also contains folates, vitamin C, electrolytes and minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron and magnesium.
- Moringa – Source of antioxidants and contains vitamins A, B and C, iron, magnesium and zinc.
- Pennywort – Has antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and contains vitamins B1, B3 and B6, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium and zinc.
- Bean sprout – Source of vitamins and minerals, and powerhouses of plant enzymes which are thought to activate the body’s own enzyme systems ability to metabolise fats and oils.
- Onion – Contain an antioxidant called quercetin, which is believed to lower risks of arterial hardening, high blood pressure and heart attack.
- Ginger – A warming antiseptic spice that aids in digestion and is useful against nausea. It contains gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Dark chocolate – A source of iron, magnesium as well as some B-complex vitamins. Contains theobromine, which triggers the release of the natural feel-good chemical known as endorphin. However, do eat this in moderation as it also contains fat and caffeine.