Superfoods are all the rage in today’s health-conscious marketplace. But how can you integrate them into your diet?
We’re lending a helping hand by giving our top 5 picks for superfood recipes you can find online, explaining the science behind what makes these delicious dishes so beneficial to health.
So, without further ado, here are the recipes!
Superfood Recipe #1 – Overnight Oats with Berries, Nuts & Yoghurt
This first superfood recipe is perfect for those in a rush in the mornings who want a delicious and nourishing breakfast. It is prepared entirely the night before, so all you have to do is grab it out of the fridge and go!
The recipe contains berries, which are considered a superfood due to their impressive antioxidant profile. Antioxidants help fight oxidative stress – tissue damage caused by highly reactive “free-radical” molecules. Antioxidants neutralise these reactive particles, helping to reduce inflammation, slow ageing and protect against a range of diseases including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Nuts are high in fibre, minerals, protein, antioxidants and unsaturated fats. Don’t be scared off by a high fat content – epidemiologic studies have shown that they don’t contribute to obesity but actually helps you lose weight. In recent years, the nutrition world has been increasingly recognising that moderate to high fat diets such as the Mediterranean diet and the ketogenic diet may actually be highly beneficial, and that high carb, low fat diets may be detrimental to health and longevity. Nuts have been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce coronary heart disease, oxidative stress and inflammation. So, load up your breakfast with these crunchy, satiating treats!
Finally, we’re recommending adding some Greek yoghurt to the mix. Plain (no sugar!) yoghurt is packed full of nutrients, including vitamins A, B1, B12, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous. However, the main reason to eat yoghurt is that it’s rich in gut-loving bacteria called probiotics. There is mounting evidence that these good bacteria improve intestinal health, enhance immune response, reduce cholesterol and may even prevent cancer.
One of the great things about Overnight oats is that they are highly customisable. This epicurious post provides a formula for perfect overnight oats. But this recipe by Brewing Happiness is our top-pick:
Superfood recipe #2 – Spinach & Garlic Omelette
Our next entry is another delicious breakfast option. This superfood recipe is hearty, high-protein and incredibly simple and easy to prepare.
Eggs are a fantastic and cheap source of protein, omega fats and whole host of other vitamins and minerals. However, it is crucial to get pastured eggs as their nutrient profile is vastly superior to eggs from caged hens. Eggs raise your HDL (good cholesterol), which has been associated with higher cognitive function Eggs are also very high rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
Spinach, like all dark, leafy greens, is considered a superfood due to its incredibly nutrient density. Spinach is high in folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, B2, B6 and fibre. It is also very rich in antioxidants, large amounts of carotenoids, which fight inflammation and might even reduce cancer risk.
Garlic is part of the allium vegetable family. A 2019 meta-analysis in Food Science and Nutrition found that alliums were associated with preventing cancer, reducing diabetes symptoms, lowering cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
Here is the recipe, posited by Take it Easy Chef:
Superfood recipe #3 – 10 Ingredient Lentil Bolognese
Here is a vegan spin on the much-loved Italian classic.
Lentils are part of the legume family, along with beans, peas, chickpeas and peanuts. These foods are densely packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. Lentils boast a high protein content, and unlike many animal sources they are low in saturated fats. Research has shown that regular consumption of legumes can improve type 2 diabetes, reduce blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol.
This superfood recipe also contains allium vegetables and walnuts – we’ve already covered the fantastic benefits of these foods. Just be sure to use wholewheat pasta when eating this, so that the carbs digest slower and don’t cause any insulin spikes that can create resistance and contribute to inflammation and belly fat.
Here is the recipe, from Rainbow Plant Life:
Superfood recipe # 4 – Sesame Salmon, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Mash
This next superfood recipe is delicious, and highly nourishing for brain health and longevity. It is a simple dish, with an Asian twist, and includes some amazing flavours and textures.
Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty-acids. These are the building-blocks of our brains, and are crucial for cognitive functioning and longevity. A 2014 study compared the brains of two groups of monkeys; one group had a diet high in omega-3s, while the other was depleted in omega-3s. The group with the diet rich in omega-3s had vastly superior cognitive functioning, and MRI showed that their brain’s structure was far more complex – with comparable sophistication to a human brain! In humans, fatty fish consumption has been associated with better cognitive performance in middle age, and with significantly reduced incidence of cardiovascular issues.
Sweet potatoes are packed full of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C and the powerful antioxidant beta carotene. They are gluten-free, and a great source of complex carbs (meaning they are digested slowly, avoiding high-blood sugar and insulin resistance!) A 2016 study had this to say about sweet potatoes: “The unique composition of sweet potato contributes to their various health benefits, such as antioxidative, hepatoprotective, antiinflammatory, antitumor, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antiobesity and antiaging effects”. Pretty great huh!
Finally, there’s broccoli – a bona fide superfood. This is because it is a low-calorie and nutrient dense food, rich in magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, vitamins E, C and K, folate, B6, carotenoid antioxidants and fibre.
Here is the recipe from BBC Good Foods:
Superfood recipe # 5 – Farro Burrito Bowls
For our final superfood recipe, we’ve selected these delicious farro burrito bowls from Cooking Light.
Farro is a purported “ancient grain”, meaning that is has not been altered much in thousands of years, and is highly unrefined. Ancient grains are packed full of more vitamins, nutrients and fibre, making them a fantastic complex carbs source.
This recipe contains black beans. Like lentils, beans are a legume which pack a serious nutritional punch. This study suggests that regular bean consumption is an effective and environmentally friendly way to combat many diseases, including cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Finally, avocado is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It is packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre. Avocados have more potassium than bananas with a fraction of the sugar. They are also packed full of monounsaturated fatty acids, in particular Oleic acid, which, studies suggest, has a beneficial effect on cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases like Alzheimer’s and arthritis.
Find the recipe here:
And there you have it! Reach Magazine’s top 5 superfood recipes are packed full of all the essential nutrients you could ever need, with the added bonus of being simple and delicious. We hope you try them all, so that you can start living a healthier and happier life today.