‘Superfood’ is a loose term these days. In a way, any food can be described as a superfood in its own right. However, these five superfoods are genuinely perfect examples of actual superfoods, and this article also teaches you not only the nutritional benefits, but also how to use them all in delicious and simple recipes that you can do easily at home!
Garlic, related to onions and leeks, is a popular, well-known, and healthy food. It is very popular worldwide, especially in Indian and Italian cuisine. It is very versatile, and can be used and adapted into dishes, rice, sauces, dish bases and many more. The bulb is an excellent source of manganese, which helps protein digestion, as well as the more well-known Vitamin C and Vitamin B6, which both aid production of red blood cells. Garlic could also help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart attacks and heart disease. Remarkably, as well as supporting immune system function, garlic is also believed to prevent certain types of cancer, meaning that, with its versatility and popularity, its health benefits really do make it a superfood.
Turmeric is a ground spice used mainly in Asian cooking to add both flavour and a vibrant yellow colour. As well as having a strong yet excellent flavour, it is a superb anti inflammatory, and is a good antioxidant. Turmeric has been claimed to be effective in treating chronic diseases, to the extent where it may be able to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and cancers, which really does make it a superfood. Turmeric could also aid pain relief and help healing wounds, so it is good to eat in foods after a minor cut. Helpfully, turmeric can be absorbed more easily then some foods when combined with black pepper, so is all-round an excellent superfood for many reasons.
Salmon is full of healthy fats, which are unsaturated, and aid with energy release. It also contains multiple proteins and B vitamins, as well as Potassium, which is required for nerve function and liquid balance. Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which have a variety of health benefits, including growth and inflammation reduction. Studies suggest that salmon reduces the risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. However, salmon consumption should be regulated, just with tuna, because too much salmon consumption can lead to a contamination of heavy metals, which can cause stomach issues, due to environmental issues to do with plastic in the seas. Negative effects can be reduced by limiting salmon consumption to two to three times a week, so the risk of metals is minimal. However, these drawbacks do not take away from the fact that salmon is an excellent source of many nutrients, and can be perfect for helping to maintain a healthy body weight.
Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin A, potassium, fibre, and several unique antioxidants. Eating more mushrooms is associated with greater consumption of vegetables in general, contributing to an overall more nutritious, balanced and healthy diet. Due to their unique antioxidant content, mushrooms also have a role in reducing inflammation and preventing certain types of cancers, like many other superfoods. Another reason mushrooms are considered superfoods is that waste products are used to grow them, so they are more economically and environmentally viable than many foods, so they are super not just for humans, but also for the environment and business.
Curried Salmon with Garlic Fried Mushrooms and Wilted Spinach:
For the Marinade:
2 Salmon fillets (100g approx. each)
4 tbsp natural greek yogurt
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp dried tarragon
Black pepper (ground)
1 tsp lemon juice
100g Chestnut Mushrooms, roughly chopped or sliced
3 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp natural greek yogurt
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 handfuls spinach
Combine the 4tbsp of yogurt, the spices, a pinch of salt and a small amount of ground black pepper in an oven proof dish. Put in the lemon juice and stir.
Coat the salmon with the marinade in the dish, then put in the fridge for between thirty minutes and one hour to marinate and allow the flavours to develop.
While this is marinating, heat a frying pan with the olive oil, and fry the shallots over a medium heat for five minutes, until soft but not brown. Add the garlic cloves and cook for a further two minutes.
Add the chopped mushrooms and stir, then fry until the mushrooms are softened. Stir in the yogurt, then transfer to a bowl until required again.
After the marinade time, remove the dish from the fridge and place in an oven preheated to 180C. Cook until the salmon is cooked all the way through and the marinade is turning golden. This should take between 10 and 20 minutes.
While the salmon is in the oven, wilt the spinach in a hot griddle pan until it is soft, and in a saucepan reheat the mushroom mixture.
Spoon the spinach onto a plate, followed by the salmon and then the mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and serve.
Berries are nearly all extremely nutritious, and are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. The high antioxidant contents of most berries help to reduce and to treat various digestive and immune-related disorders when used alongside medicine and therapies. Some of the most common and nutritious berries include: Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries and Cranberries. Berries are extremely versatile too, as they can be implemented into breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, desserts and drinks. This helps to secure Berries’ status as a superfood because they are so easy to implement in a diet to improve healthiness!
Berry Compote with Greek Yogurt and Oats
Mixed berries of your choice- Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Cranberries, Blueberries etc.
Natural Greek Yogurt
Pour all the berries wanted into a saucepan on a high heat, and heat with a small amount of water.
When the berries start to break down, add in between one and two teaspoons of caster sugar, and stir, before continuing to cook until the berries have completely broken down and resemble a lumpy, stiff stew. Put in a bowl and set aside to cool.
When the berries have cooled, in a bowl put in the wanted amount of yogurt, before pouring over the berries then swirling them together, not stirring, so that they do not mix but are combined in the bowl.
Sprinkle some oats on top and serve.
This recipe is perfect for either breakfast or dessert, because it can be a healthy end to a meal or the perfect nutritious start to a day.
Written by Peter Jennings.
Images courtesy of Michael Dziedzic, Michelle Blackwell, Chinh Le Duc, Caroline Attwood, Andrew Ridley, and Viktor Vasicsek @unsplash.com