Seven surprising super-foods!

The term superfood has been bandied around for the last decade or so, and although several contenders spring to mind instantly (you thought of blueberries, didn’t you?), the term is really a marketing phrase used to lump together foods with exceptional nutritional density.

If kale, avocado and goji berry smoothies leave you cold, you’ll be happy to know that there are some surprising “super” foods lurking in your own kitchen cupboards – foods that are packed full of vitamins and are also pretty yummy, too…

Here are super surprising “super” foods and their incredible health benefits…

Eggs

Good old eggies are an incredible source of powerhouse protein, while also being rich in selenium, vitamin E and D, essential fatty acids and minerals such as zinc and iron. A large chicken egg has around 80 – 90 calories too, so they are perfect fodder for a yummy, healthy, lower cal breakfast. Buttered toast soldiers optional, of course! 

Why not scramble a couple of eggs and mix in some wilted spinach and mushrooms, or make egg muffins with some chopped up fridge veggie and a sprinkling of cheese for a super way to start the day?

Marmite

If you’re a lover of the yeast extract spread, you’ll know that it is super tasty on toast or stirred into stews and casseroles, but did you know that Marmite is packed full of vitamins and minerals too? A good scraping will provide you with Vitamin B12 and B6 as well as potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, folates and thiamin, to name a few!

It’s also very very low in fat and calories, but it’s quite salty, so stick to a couple of teaspoons per day.

Potatoes 

The humble white potato gets a lot of flack, but when eaten in a healthy way (i.e. not deep fried as chips!) potatoes are surprisingly high in health-boosting compounds such as flavonoids, phenolic acids and carotenoids that act as antioxidants by neutralising free radicals, which can be the cause of conditions including cancer and diabetes.

They also contain thiamin, Vitamin C and B6, magnesium and potassium. 

Why not enjoy an oven-baked spud with heaps of salad for lunch, or oven bake skin-on chunks or slices with a drizzle of good-quality olive oil and black pepper? Delicious! You can find out more about the benefits, plus loads of healthy recipes here

Baked beans

Beans! Who’d have thought they were a health food? Although we should point out that many cans of Baked Beans can contain sugar and salt, beans themselves are super healthy – so if you opt for cans with reduced amounts of salt or sugar, beans can be a very tasty way to get one of your five a day – if eaten as part of a healthy diet.

Baked beans are high in fibre, and also contact B vitamins including folic acid, as well as minerals iron and zinc. What’s not to love? 

Mushrooms

Little old mushrooms are – in actual fact – powerful super veggies! Plant-based foods are not always mineral rich, but mushrooms contain potassium, selenium, copper, iron and phosphorus. They also contain ergothioneine and glutathione – antioxidants that can help to keep your brain functions healthy as you get older, as well as Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin – rarely found in plant-based foods. This makes mushrooms excellent – and super tasty – additions to vegetarian and vegan diets.

Popcorn

Obviously it depends how you eat your popcorn, but the air-popped corn itself is super healthy and low in fat, too. Popcorn is a wholegrain that includes B vitamins, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. It is also mega high in fibre and extremely rich in polyphenols, making it pretty awesome to munch on if you’re looking for an evening snack option. 

Strawberries

If you love fresh berries but usually plump for blueberries as the healthier option, don’t discount juicy strawberries from your shopping list! Strawberries are an incredible source of vitamin C, which can help to protect your cells and keep them healthy, while also helping to maintain healthy skin, bones and blood vessels. They also contain manganese and folate. Simply chop into chunks and enjoy fresh – especially when the sweet British varieties are in season, Yum!

What are your favourite health-packed foods?

 

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