Though there are many delicious foods available to modern munchers, there are some foods that are just that bit better than others. These foods go above and beyond normal foods to provide us with more of the good stuff and less of the bad.
For those of us conscious of what we eat, these superfoods are great to know. They can allow us to eat all the meals we love the most but without the side effects that come with alternative ingredients.
Here are our top superfoods to help make a healthy start to 2013:
Those of you who enjoyed our first box of the year will have already discovered quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) for themselves. Technically a seed, this great superfood is actually related to spinach, of all things!
It has the same cholesterol-lowering qualities of grains and legumes as well as lots of fibre and calcium. Quinoa also contains nine different amino acids – essential for healthy tissue growth and repair – as well as more enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and phyto-nutrients than most grains.
For those trying to minimise their carb intake, quinoa is also a great substitute for rice. The energy it contains is slow-releasing and it is great at retaining water – meaning you stay fuller for longer!
There aren’t many living creatures that are also superfoods, but salmon is one. It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids which are especially useful to the brain, eyes and heart and may also have a role to play in lowering blood pressure.
The omega-3 also teams up with the vitamins A and D, amino acids and selenium present in salmon to help protect your brain from the ageing. This means that eating salmon can reduce your risk of developing Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease while acting as a natural antidepressant!
Salmon is also very high in protein – but unlike the protein you get from other meats (beef, pork etc.) it is very easy to absorb and contains none of the cancer-causing growth hormones given to livestock. In fact, a single serving of 4oz provides almost half your daily requirement of protein.
Well your usual baked potato contains a high amount of starch. This converts to sugar when digested meaning a sugar spike. For those trying to keep to a low-sugar diet, sweet potatoes can provide just the answer (which is strange given their natural sweetness!)
Sweet potatoes are also packed full of vitamin A – as all orange veggies are – and also contain vitamin C, B3, B5 and B6, tryptophan, manganese, potassium and copper, with only around 100 calories per serving!
They are an incredibly tasty and versatile root veg too – we’ve used them in curries, salads, risottos and stews before with great results!
Like quinoa, lentils are great at lowering cholesterol and managing blood sugar. They are also particularly high in fibre helping with conditions like hemorrhoids, constipation, IBS and diverticulosis.
A natural source of magnesium, lentils can also be important for healthy muscle, nerve and heart function. They are a wonderful source of vitamin B9, or folic acid if you want to get technical, which is essential for producing and maintaining new cells and is vitally important for pregnant women and infants. Vitamin B9 can also prevent anemia by helping to create normal red blood cells.
Lentils can be enjoyed in a range of curries as well as being a great veggie substitute for mince meat. Our chef, Patrick, has also concocted this great Creamy Kidney Bean and Lentils recipe which is included in one of our Fresh Start recipe series.
If you’re not familiar with the best (and tastiest) ways to cook with these ingredients, then do not fear, Hello Fresh is here! We believe dinner should be fun, easy and healthy, which is why we regularly include these and many other superfoods.
You can take a look at some of our recipes by visiting our website or, if you’re keen to start your food adventure with us today, head over to our “Fresh Start” page where you’ll find money off your first box!
What are your favourite superfoods? Which have we missed off our list?