We look back on some of the super foods that Jamie has brought to our attention over the last few weeks. From eggs and beans to wholegrains and nuts, we recap the essential super foods and what makes them so super.
How do you like your eggs in the morning? We like ours every which way because they’re a great source of protein, plus many other essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D. Our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium, which in turn keeps our bones healthy.
Despite the bad rap due to its high levels of saturated fat, cheese can be good for you. The key to successfully including cheese in a healthy diet is to use it sparingly. Cheese is an excellent non-meat source of protein and also contains a number of essential vitamins, minerals and bone-building calcium.
Fish has so many great nutritional benefits going for it: It’s a fantastic source of protein, typically low in fat, and by consuming a variety of types, it will provide many different vitamins and minerals, each offering wide-ranging benefits to the body. Oily fish is also a good source of omega three and fatty acids, which help keeps our heart healthy.
The humble sweet potato is a veritable powerhouse of nutritional goodness. The most prominent nutrient in sweet potatoes is vitamin C: one large sweet potato contains more than 70% of our daily reference intake, more than double that of white potatoes! And, unlike regular potatoes, these vegetables do count towards your 5-a-day because they are lower in starch than other carbohydrates.
WILD GREENS & HERBS
Vitamin K is found in extremely high amounts in spinach, kale and watercress… so eat your greens! Our bodies need vitamin K to help keep our bones healthy, to help our blood clot, and enable effective wound healing when we injure ourselves. These three greens also all contain calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones and teeth.
Tofu is a great protein source, whether you’re a meat-eater or not. It’s a great base, as it can suck up flavour and take on different textures like nothing else. Tofu also provides a selection of micronutrients such as copper, manganese, thiamine (vitamin B1) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6).
Go nuts and snack happy! Nuts are one of the few plant-based sources of protein, so they’re a great thing to include in a vegan and vegetarian diet. When it comes to nuts, just like fruit and veg, it’s best to mix up the varieties you eat to get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals and the maximum nutritional benefits.
Beans provide myriad health benefits, with each variety offering specific nutritional benefits. They offer an array of vitamins, minerals and are actually a great source of protein and fibre that’s ideal for vegetarians.
From a nutritional perspective, greens are a source of potassium, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C and B-vitamins such as folate and vitamin B6 – they’re a nutritional powerhouse!
We’re all familiar with the idea of 5-a-day, but we should really be aiming for at least 5-a-day, if not more. To lead a healthy and nutritious life, fruit and veggies need to be right at the heart of your diet. The wide bounty of incredible vitamins and minerals we get from the wide array of fruit and veg out there is honestly astounding.
Carbs in general have got a bit of a bad name in the foodie world, but working whole grains and wholemeal products into your diet can mean wonders for your health. Whole grain and wholemeal varieties of carbs all contain higher levels of certain minerals, iron, phosphorus and a variety of vitamins, than their refined counterparts. Integrating wholegrain into your diet is super simple: all carbohydrates have a whole version so there is no excuse!
TURMERIC & GINGER
Both these spices are powerful healers and packed to the brim with micronutrients. Ginger is a good source of manganese, which helps contribute to the normal formation of connective tissue in the body. Fresh ginger is a great source of potassium which helps the nervous system function normally, and contributes to the maintenance of normal blood pressure. Whereas turmeric is super-high in iron, which we all need to make red blood cells and transport oxygen around the body. When both spices come together they posses anti-inflammatory and anti-gastrointestinal qualities. Spice up your life!
Which superfood is your favourite? And which one will you be eating more of? Let us know in the comments section below. For more inspiration, check out these fab super food recipes.