Super foods are such a buzzword lately! Things that are high in omega 3, dense in vitamins, they’re all the rage..
There are certain foods that are known for being good for you – but there are some secrets that are less commonly known.
Some top nutritionists have shared some of their top eight ‘double agent’ foods, and when it popped into my inbox, I wanted to share it (which is rare, as I don’t often share press releases!)
Top 8 secret superfoods
You’ve probably already heard that…. it supports your heart health
‘Beetroots are packed with nitrate, a type of mineral salt, which lowers can lower blood pressure and may help to fight heart disease. How? It relaxes and widens the smooth muscles in the blood vessels, reducing blood pressure.’ Explains Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at www.nutricentre.com.
But did you know that… it lifts your mood
Beetroots contain betaine, which in other forms is used to help treat depression and supports feelings of wellbeing. ‘It is also high in trytophan, the ‘feel good’ chemical that increases serotonin levels.’ adds Wilkinson.
You’ve probably already heard that…. they help you to lose weight
Mushrooms have a low glycemic index and high levels of protein. Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns explains ‘this means they are digested slowly and keep you fuller for longer. They are also packed with nutrients with only 20 calories per ½ cup!’
But did you know that…they can ease hay fever symptoms
‘Mushrooms can modulate and regulate the immune response and reduce our sensitivity to allergens. Go for a high quality organic extract from Reishi mushrooms, such as Mico-Five by Hifas da Terra (£55.00, John Bell Croyden).’ recommends Barns.
You’ve probably already heard that…. it can soothe sunburn
Aloe Vera can help to speed up new cell growth and repair damaged tissues. ‘That’s why it’s an excellent after sun soother for irritated and burnt skin. Due to its high vitamin content (A, B1, B2, B6, B12), Aloe Vera can rejuvenate and reach deep into the skin helping to heal wounds. Try Soothing Skin Gel by What Skin Needs (www.whatskinneeds.co.uk, £14.99).’ says Sonja Dymalovski, Skincare Expert at What Skin Needs.
But did you know that… it supports the digestive tract
Aloe leaf gel may be helpful for supporting digestive health too. ‘It’s said to contain anti-inflammatory compounds and has been studied for its potential to relieve inflammation in the gut.’ adds Barns.
You’ve probably already heard that…. they help you to get a better night’s sleep
Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, hormone that makes us sleepy. ‘Go for a concentrated cherry juice to regulate your body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle.’ says Shona.
But did you know that… they taste best with almonds
Cherries are part of the Rosacea family, which also includes almonds. That’s why to bring out the flavor of cherries, mix it with almond extract for the perfect dessert!
You’ve probably already heard that…. they are good for energy
Chia seeds can give you a real energy kick. ‘One tablespoon has more calcium than a glass of milk, more omega-3s than salmon, and more antioxidants than blueberries. It is also a top plant based source of protein.’ explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist, author of The Natural Health Bible for Women (www.marilynglenville.com).
But did you know that… they support weight loss
They may be small but they are all mighty. ‘Chia seeds help with weight loss by absorbing 10 times their weight in. This slows digestion, keeps you feeling fuller longer and reducing sugar cravings.’ adds Marilyn.
You’ve probably already heard that…. it helps manage inflammation
‘Curcumin (a component of turmeric) is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, helpful when treating chronic conditions, such as psoriasis or arthritis.’ says Barns.
But did you know that… it is a powerful detoxifier
Spice up your dishes with turmeric to help the lover function properly. ‘It stimulates production of bile by the gallbladder that is used by liver to filter and expel toxins. You can also take turmeric supplements with the active Curcumin for similar effect. Try CurQuMax by Quest Vitamins (www.revital.co.uk, £10.45)’ adds Cassandra.
You’ve probably already heard that…. they are packed with vitamin C
Forget oranges. ‘A cup of this super-fruit provides 98% of your daily vitamin C value! Strawberries are also very rich in antioxidants that help to fight with free radicals, making it a potent anti-ageing agent. ‘ says Wilkinson.
But did you know that… they can whiten your teeth
Shona explains ‘Strawberries contain malic acid that acts as an astringent and removes discoloration. Mix it with baking soda to make your own natural tooth-cleanser.’
You’ve probably already heard that…. it helps to relax and makes you feel better
‘The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation. In addition, high amount of magnesium, a powerful antidote to stress, can help you to unwind. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same calming chemical produced by our brain when we are falling in love.’ explains Shona.
But did you know that … its makes your skin glow
Chocolate is packed with antioxidants that protect our skin from free radical damage, keeping it supple and soft. ‘It also has great sun protection properties as it shields our skin against UV rays. One condition: go for a chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content. Try OMBAR 72% Raw Cacao (Planet Organic, £1.99)’ adds Barns.
Did you learn anything new here?