SUPERFOODS

What are superfoods?  In my opinion, as a nutritionist, there is no such thing as a “superfood”.  There is no single food that holds the key to good health or disease prevention.  The word “superfood” is more of a marketing term for foods that have excellent health benefits. 

We cannot discuss all these “superfoods” in one article so we will discuss two to three per article along with a recipe or a smoothie recipe inspired from a fellow health and smoothie enthusiast, Ryan.

Let us take a closer look at these “superfoods” which are nutritionally dense and good for one’s health.  They are nutritional powerhouses that are worthy of a place in your daily diet:

  1. Beetroot
  2. Cayenne Pepper
  3. Chia Seeds
  4. Cinnamon
  5. Coconut Oil
  6. Flaxseeds
  7. Gelatin
  8. Ginger
  9. Maca
  10. Tumeric

  11. Beetroot

Helps lower blood pressure

Improves exercise stamina (this is according to a small study in 2012)

Helps you maintain a healthy weight – straight beetroot juice is low in calories and has virtually no fat. Brilliant in your morning smoothie.

Good source of potassium. If potassium levels are low, fatigue, weakness and muscle cramps can occur.

Good source of other minerals:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorous
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Selenium

 

Provides a good source of vitamin C which is an antioxidant, boosting your immune system and protecting cells from those pesky free radicals. Remember vitamin c aids in iron absorption.

Supports your liver

Good source of folate

Keep in mind that your urine and stools may turn red or pinkish after eating beetroot – this is harmless

NB:  Don’t drink beetroot juice if you are prone to calcium oxalate kidney stones.

Smoothie

  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1 cup mixed frozen berries
  • 1 small raw beetroot, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup pineapple
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2 Tablespoons rolled oats (makes it more filling but is optional)
  • Optional: 1 – 2 teaspoon raw honey
  • Optional add ins:  chia seeds, ground flaxseeds

Cayenne Pepper

The active ingredient in cayenne pepper is called capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning in many studies.

Cayenne pepper has been shown to reduce the amount of substance P, a chemical that carries pain messages to the brain, therefore with less substance P, less pain is felt.

Modest reductions in appetite have been found in studies

Often used as a home remedy for coughs, colds and congestion

Clear sinuses

Nutrients include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate

 

Coughs, Colds, Congestion and Sinuses Recipe (popular home recipe)

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of water
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