We hear the experts talking about ‘super foods’, but which ones are actually super?

Here are some of our favourite super foods that will help give you a healthy start in 2013.

Chia Seeds

These little seeds contain an endless amount of health benefits and could easily be incorporated into your daily eating habits. Sprinkle one tablespoon over cereal in the morning or add it to your favourite smoothie. Chia seeds are incredibly high in the omega-3 fatty acids that help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, plus they contain protein, fibre, calcium and essential amino acids. Chia? Chee – yeah.

Blueberries

Blueberries contain vitamins and nutrients that are popularly known to fight off cancer. They are beneficial for digestion, can help prevent (and in some some cases reverse)  age-related memory loss, and they work wonders for your skin! The antioxidants in blueberries are said to neutralize and protect the skin against damaging free radicals and once the skin is protected, it is free to age more gracefully. Try this watermelon and blueberry icy pole recipe below – a fun way to get your intake of blueberries this Summer and keep cool.

Watermelon and Blueberry Icy Poles

Ingredients:

–          Quarter of a seedless watermelon

–          2 tablespoons lime juice

–          1 cup fresh blueberries

–          Icy pole moulds

 

Method:

–          Puree watermelon and lime juice in a blender.

–          Divide blueberries evenly into icy pole moulds and top up with the watermelon puree.

–          Freeze.

 

Garlic

Naturally aged garlic can do wonders for your health as it contains a high concentration of antioxidants that protect the body against damaging free radicals. In addition to this, garlic is well known for being a natural preventative of the common cold. If fresh garlic isn’t your cup of tea, garlic supplements are available from your local health food store or pharmacy. 

Acai Berries

Acai berries are high in the antioxidant properties that are capable of ridding the body of harmful toxins. This super fruit contains high levels of vitamin B, which helps the boosts energy levels. I’m sure all of us can always do with a bit of an energy boost, particularly on Monday mornings.

 

Tomatoes

Victoria’s sun can be quite brutal on our skin during the summer months and we know how important it is to protect ourselves against UV rays. Tomatoes have the power to help protect you against the sun and its ability to cause sunburn. Lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, increases the skins protection against the sun and decreases your chances of being sunburnt. Eat tomatoes regularly throughout the year and come Summer time, your skin will be reaping the benefits.

Dark Chocolate

No need to feel guilty about giving into temptation and buying yourself a block of chocolate anymore because dark chocolate is actually good for you. But I must emphasise the word dark – choose chocolate that contains around 80% cocoa. The higher the cocoa content, the more antioxidants are present that can assist in combating those nasty free radicals and keep your heart healthy.

 

Hemp Seeds

These tasty seeds contain 9 essential amino acids, plus they can act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Hemp seeds are often overlooked as being good for you due to the misconception that they are from the marijuana plant and will get you high, they won’t. They taste similar to pine nuts or walnuts and are very high in protein. Incorporate them into your eating regime to boost your health in countless ways. So whenever a recipe calls for nuts, why not try hemp seeds? All the cool kids are doing it.

 

Broccoli

Broccoli assists our bodies with maintaining a healthy nervous system, blood pressure, bone health, immune system and heart. Essentially, broccoli is beneficial for every component of the body, plus it’s more affordable and accessible than other super foods so there’s no excuse!

Watercress

Adding watercress to your salad will do your body wonders as it boasts high levels of almost every important vitamin. Particularly high in vitamin A and B, watercress is quickly becoming a popular alternative to lettuce because of its amazing health benefits.

 

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts contain high levels of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Another bonus is that they have almost no trace of fat and boast cholesterol-lowering abilities. Try this simple recipe below for a quick and healthy summer side dish.

Sautéed brussels sprouts with bacon

Ingredients:

–          300g brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

–          160g bacon rashers, rind removed and diced

–          30g butter

–          1 clove garlic, thinly chopped

–          Salt and Pepper

 

Method:

–          Steam brussels sprouts, trying not to over cook them.

–          Cook garlic in a dash of oil until soft then add bacon.

–          Continue cooking until bacon is crispy.

–          Add brussels sprouts and butter to the garlic and bacon – toss to combine.

–          Season with salt and pepper.

About The Author

Ashlee Blackburn

Ashlee recently moved to Melbourne from her hometown of Ballarat, which has seen her grow a fascination with anything and everything to do with Melbourne. She has a passion for learning and for the past three years has been completing a degree in Media and Communications. She now calls Melbourne home and when she's not busy studying, she can be found exploring Melbourne's cafes or at home reading one of her favourite fantasy novels.

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