The term ‘superfood’ has been used in recent years to describe a food that offers optimum nutrients to boost general health. But very often these foods don’t really offer more than nutrients than your average piece of fruit or humble vegetable, it’s just the hype that’s made it more super. There are however some interesting foods out there that really are a great boost for your health – superfoods from around the globe: Here they are:
Plantains are fruits that look like a banana with a slightly stronger peel, that when ripe, looks even more like the humble snack. Taste wise, they are like a combination of potato and banana. Given it’s natural banana resemblance they are perfect for caramelising and baking, especially with some melted raw cacao or dark chocolate. When it is less ripe, it’s better use is that of a potato but with slightly more nutrients. Plantains are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre and iron.
Cabbage is a natural powerhouse of nutrients, especially great for supporting your liver to flush out harmful toxins. Kolrabi is a relative of cabbage with a amild flavour, packed with potassium to balance blood pressure and promote heart health that will also give your immune system a boost due to its high vitamin C content. Try something new by making this into a slaw, eaten raw for maximum benefits.
When we think of seaweed and it’s benefits, we tend to head straight to Nori, known for its role in sushi as the outer case to hold everything in. But there are some fantastic seaweeds out there, full of nutrients and taste. Arame is a great seaweed, packed with calcium, fiber, magnesium, iodine and vitamin A. It’s slightly sweet in flavour and works great with rice dishes, noodles or salads, along with sesame based dressings. Eating seaweed is not a hype, it really is good for you!
I sit on the fence with Spirulina. Whilst yes, it is full of chlorophyll, which has powerful benefits with normalising blood clotting, wound healing, hormonal balance, and detoxification and digestive health, it has been hailed a great protein alternative for vegans. However, there are no confirmative studies that show that our bodies absorb spirulina as a protein. My advise is to use spirulina as a health booster, but find other natural sources of protein, such as peas, lentils and beans for a well-rounded diet.
I first came across the weird looking jackfruit in India. As I travelled through the country I saw it growing everywhere and then during a cooking class, it got used for a curry dish. I was hooked! Jackfruit is known as the jack of all fruits. It is a rich source of vitamin, minerals, phytonutrients, carbohydrate, electrolytes, fibre, fat and protein, plus has no cholesterol or saturated fats. It’s low in calories and one of the few trees rich in B-complex group vitamins as well as vitamin B6 so a great source of protein and energy boosting vitamins. It’s known for its benefits for Diabetes, weight loss (with it’s low calorie content) and nerve system booster. Jackfruit for me is a win win if you can find it!