'Superfoods' are something of a marketing buzzword in the food world, but you should aim to include them in your diet every day regardless. So what actually constitutes a superfood? There remains much confusion around this but generally speaking, these foods are typically multitaskers packed with disease-fighting nutrients. The challenge with filling your cupboards and fridges with superfoods is their cost, as many of these super-healthy options (goji and acai berries, for example) are unrealistically expensive. However, there are plenty of accessible, affordable options out there. Here are our picks to try for the next time you're at the grocery store.
You might not think of eggs as being a superfood. After all, they're hardly exotic and so, well, accessible. However, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse that are jam-packed with high-quality vegetable protein and antioxidants that help keep your eyes healthy and protect your skin from harmful UV rays. A fantastic, affordable must-have for when you're on your next weekly food shop.
Bursting with vitamins A, C, and K, broccoli is one of the greatest greens going. The vegetable also contains folate as well as a healthy dose of sulforaphane, a type of isothiocyanate believed to ward off cancer. Broccoli is a fraction of the cost of trendier, more niche superfoods, but not many can match it for nutritional benefit.
The reason sweet potatoes are such a bright orange color is due to their alpha and beta carotene. When consumed, the body converts these into the active form of vitamin A, which helps keep your bones, eyes, and immune system healthy. Just one medium-sized sweet potato provides almost four times the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, plus a decent dose of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and a bunch of antioxidants.
Time for something sweet. All types of berries are an excellent source of fiber, a nutrient that is often neglected in people's diets these days. Fiber helps maintain a healthy digestive system and is also good for your heart. The great thing about berries is that they are all beneficial in a multitude of ways, so you can mix it up and keep things interesting. Frozen berries are also a great addition to smoothies and oatmeal.
Like berries, oats are a great way to up your fiber intake and they also make an ideal ingredient for a smoothie. Oats are usually consumed for breakfast and this makes sense - the generous amount of fiber and slow-release carbohydrates will keep you full and energetic for the entire morning. You can also bake some delicious, healthy snacks using oats as a base ingredient. Granola, oatcakes, or even homemade protein bars are all easily achievable.
Finally, a beverage to wash it all down with. Regular consumption of tea has been proven to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer's, and even some cancers, as well as enhancing the health of teeth, gums, and bones. Another popular reason to put on the kettle is tea's ability to help with weight loss, thanks to it being rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids.