It undeniable that certain foods – mostly plant based – are blessed with super amounts of goodness. Nutritionists across the world get very excited when they hear the word ”super-food’, and are usually ready to share their opinions on the topic. However, there are 7 superfoods that all nutritionists are in agreement with, and it’s because of the important nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fibre they contain. The only problem is, however, is that you’ve likely never heard of them. In this article today I am going to share with you 7 Superfoods You’ve Probably Never Heard Of , that will knock out damaging free radicals and offer a range of other health benefits.
1. Acai Berries
The acai berry is a reddish-purple fruit, which comes from the acai palm tree around Central and South America. These dark berries have shown to have a higher antioxidant content than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries. They are also found in many weight loss products; a pilot study showed that overweight people who consumed acai had improved blood glucose, insulin and cholesterol levels. Acai berries can be best served with frozen or tinned black-currants to your favourite yogurt.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds contain 12 per cent of the RDA of calcium in one tablespoon, making them a great addition to your diet if you’re concerned about bone health. They are also a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. Chia seeds have also shown to help weight loss as they expand your belly, helping you to feel full, eat less, and ultimately shed the excess pounds. They are best served with cereal and yoghurt, but can also be added to protein shakes.
3. Tenderstem Broccoli
All broccoli is good for you, but this tenderstem broccoli is even better as it contains more glucosinolates – plant chemicals that laboratory studies show can help precancerous cells to self-destruct. It’s also very versatile is so you can include it in many different dishes – and even eat it raw.
4. Brazil Nuts
Most of the health benefits of Brazil nuts can be attributed to its high selenium content. Selenium is an important antioxidant that can protect from the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive particles that can oxidise and thereby, damage the body cells and tissues. Selenium can neutralise such free radicals and in the process, provide protection against a number of diseases including, heart disease. Selenium is also found to boost the immune system and promote the synthesis of glutathione, which plays an important role in minimising free radical damage.
5. Sour Cherries
Research suggests that anthocyanins in sour cherries assist in the repair and renewal of collagen – helping to strengthen your skin and arteries. In addition to vitamin C and anthocyanins, sour cherries are loaded with three disease-fighting chemicals that have been shown to stop cell transformation (leading to cancer).
6. Curly Kale
Kale is very rich in lutein with an 80g portion providing 6mg of this antioxidant that could help protect against macular degeneration (the leading cause of age-related sight loss). The fiber and sulfur in kale also aids with digestion and liver health, whilst the Vitamin C it contains hydrates your body and increases your metabolism, leading to weight loss and healthy blood sugar levels. Not to mention, the fiber in kale also lowers cholesterol.
This East African fruit, which looks and feels like a velvety type of coconut, is hugely rich in potassium (which helps keep blood pressure normal), has six times more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium gram for gram than milk. Another interesting fact about baobab fruit is that it’s sometimes used as an ingredient in skin-care, hair-care and body-care products. Some personal-care products contain baobab oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the baobab tree, as research shows that baobab seeds are rich in essential fatty acids (such as linoleic acid) that may help improve the skin.