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Top 5 Super-Foods

by Heloise Beaton

A new breed of ‘super foods’ are claiming to have a solution to all our well-being needs and solve all our dietary problems. We take a look into these foods, some you may want to incorporate into your larder, and some you may not…

Salba

Salba is the richest whole food source of Omega 3 fatty acids and fibre found in nature. Gram for gram Salba contains eight times more Omega 3 than salmon, four times more fibre than flax, six times more calcium than whole milk and 30 % more anti-oxidants than blue berries plus much more. Studies claim that it is effective in its use of stabilising blood sugar levels, therefore having helpful benefits from those who suffer from diabetes. It is one of the only foods that are suggested for multiple purposes such as weight loss and management, Coeliacs, vegetarian or deficiency diets, plus it has anti-ageing properties. Salba comes in a powdered form and can be used in baking as a partial flour supplement and sprinkled over everyday meals such as cereals, salads and cooked into meals such as lasagne. It is currently grown in the land surrounding the Amazon Basin in Peru and is widely available on the internet.

Acai Berries

Acai berries are more familiar in our food vocabulary as their popularity has grown in recent years as a beneficial fruit for good health. The Acai berry, which is also described as the new ‘mega berry’ comes from the deepest darkest Amazon Basin in Brazil. The Acai palm tree produces the berry that is approximately 90% pip stone with the juicy pulp being up to half constituted of fat. The Acai berry is one of the best sources of anti-oxidants and contains a healthy amount of plant sterols – a class of phyto-chemicals that have been shown to reduce cholesterol, protect the immune system and relieve prostate enlargement. Some health reports* also claim that super foods such as the Acai berry help fight heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening problems.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds have taken over in popularity from the flax seed as a very healthy and beneficial super food to incorporate into the daily diet. 30% of the seed contains Omega 3 oil along with another 40% containing Omega 6 oils and are able to absorb 10 times their weight in water, making them effective at keeping our bodies hydrated. Studies have also shown that the Chia seed slows down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrate calories into simple sugars making them beneficial for those who suffer from diabetes and also those who wish to lose weight – as it keeps hunger at bay. Chia seeds were a staple of the Ancient Aztec diet and can be eaten raw or prepared for a number of dishes.

Marine phytoplankton

Marine phytoplankton is a single-celled aquatic organism, which is not a plant, seaweed fungus or herb. It contains a unique combination of life sustaining nutrients and has the power to fuel every cell of the human body, a huge natural energy supplement. Those that use Marine phytoplankton have said to enjoy greater brain function, improved heart function, relief from asthma, anti-inflammatory among other benefits. Martine phytoplankton comes in a variety of forms, so there is a choice available as to what suits the consumer. It can come as a liquid form to drop in to foods and make into drinks and also capsules to take for ease.

Quinoa

Quinoa is an ancient food, which has made a come-back due to its super beneficial content. Quinoa is an amino acid rich seed that is available in most health stores throughout the year and has an extensive amount of recipe ideas, making it a very simple super food to introduce into the diet. Quinoa is high in protein, and the protein it provides is complete, meaning it includes all nine essential amino acids making it beneficial for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa is often suggested for those who suffer from migraines as it has a high content of magnesium, which is known to relax blood vessels, stopping blood flow restriction that occurs with a migraine.

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Comments

  • 3 years ago Robert Crampton said:
    i have just started using Chia and would like more information on it.
    • 3 years ago Fifty Content Editor said:
      Hi Robert. Further to your request, May's issue of Fifty has an article all about Chia seeds in the Food & Drink section. I hope it's useful to you. Hannah.
Photo of Heloise Beaton
Heloise Beaton
Heloise Beaton is a freelance journalist from Nottingham.

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April 2014 in Food & Drink