'Super-food' is a term coined by food technologist to identify essential foods and ingredients one should incorporate in their diet. These foods have a high nutrient content that has definite health benefits, with few properties considered to be negative, such as being high in saturated fats, food additives, trans-fats or contaminants. Some famous super-foods include broccoli, spinach, pumpkin and tomatoes which are rich in various nutrients.
Here are a few super foods you can find and include in your meals to benefit from their properties and create healthier meals for you and your family:
- Bananas: Bananas are not fattening, yes they are slightly higher in energy than other fruits but the calories come mainly from carbohydrates which are excellent for refuelling. In essence, all types of fruit and vegetables contain plant chemicals known as antioxidants. These antioxidants protect cells in the body against damage which can be the cause of disease in the body. Bananas are heavily packed with potassium that helps lower blood pressure, and vitamin B6 for healthy skin and hair.
- Yoghurt: This diary product is a rich source of calcium and easily absorbed by the body too. It's also a useful milk substitute for people who are lactose intolerant. Yoghurt has several health benefits, like care of the large intestine and relief from gastro-intestinal troubles. It is also a good diet food if prepared from low fat milk. You can include yoghurt in your diet by making 'raita's' at mealtimes or adding to breakfast cereal and consuming as a fruit smoothie.
- Spinach: Or 'palak' is very low in calories and high in nutrients. Research has shown that spinach aids in the prevention of several age related diseases. You can include spinach in your diet by making 'saag' preparations, dry side dishes, adding to dals, raita's, roti dough and also in soups and stews. Young and fresh spinach leaves can be consumed raw in a salad too!
- Olive oil: Studies have shown that the mono-saturated fat in olive oil is good for the heart. Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol levels and increases the level of good cholesterol. Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants. You can include Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your diet by adding it to salads, spreads, on bread and even in soups and stews.
- Honey: Honey is commonly used to soothe an aching throat, but it is actually also good to treat wounds and gastrointestinal problems. Honey acts as an antioxidant and helps build immunity. The colour of honey is relevant marker for both, quality and health benefits, the darker the honey the more antioxidants it contains.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are the best source of the anti-aging antioxidant lycopene. Studies show that lycopene in tomatoes is more easily absorbed by your body when it is cooked or processed, so feel free to add tomatoes to your curries, dal 'tadkas', gravies and even dry vegetables. You can also consume tomatoes in the form or juice or soup or raw in a salad.
By including these foods in your diet, you can develop a natural way of looking good and feeling good. Super-foods have been identified in order to aid the body to heal itself, remain healthy and rejuvenated.