Recently, there’s been a bit of negativity around about the word ‘superfood’. It seems like people have been wising up to the fact that it is, in many ways, just a marketing term used to make us believe that by consuming a certain product, we’ll live for ever.
I can’t argue with that, but that doesn’t mean that foods that have been branded ‘super’ aren’t still crammed full of huge amounts of goodness and that we shouldn’t be eating more of them. They’re still wonderful for your body, even if you object to the semantics of it.
When you’re faced with some of the foods that have become popular in recent years, however, you can be left at a bit of a loss as to how to actually use them.
It needn’t be hard at all! Here are a few ways to pack some of the most nutritional foods on the planet into your existing diet with practically no effort.
Scatter on your cereal
Do you have a bowl of cereal in the morning? Or is porridge your breakfast of choice? Either way, make your first meal of the day both far more interesting and more nutritious with a few added extras.
Pass on the sugar and use blueberries (vitamin C and fibre galore), cranberries (inflammation-fighting powerhouses), or even strawberries when they’re in season (yet more vitamin C) for a little injection of sweetness.
Did you think quinoa had to be cooked? It can be sprinkled over your cereal for a lovely, crunchy texture. All that protein!
Seeds and nuts are also a breakfast staple. Think about how much nutrition must be contained in one walnut, if a whole walnut tree has to grow out of it. My favourite additions to breakfast are chia seeds, sunflower seeds and milled linseed.
Of course, the base of this should be good old oats or a whole-grain breakfast cereal with no added sugar.
Stir through your sauces
So, you know how good leafy greens are for you by now, but you’re still not sure exactly what to do when faced with a bag of kale of spinach.
The beauty of spinach is, it cooks in no time at all, so can easily be thrown into your pasta sauce or added as a layer in your lasagne at the last minute. It will add a lovely splash of colour as well as a lot of iron and protein. Throw any kind of leafy green or broccoli into your stir fries.
Another thing that it’s incredibly easy to add into any meal is any kind of pulse. A can of chickpeas can make a pasta or curry more interesting, and try adding kidney beans and red lentils to your spaghetti bolognese. Make sure you add some kind of pulse to any salad to make it heartier and more satisfying.
Sprinkle in your smoothies
Get some green goodness into your morning smoothie. As well as packing in blueberries and strawberries, try adding some filling avocado to get your day off to the best start possible. Don’t be afraid to throw in a bit of spinach or kale, too!
Then there are plenty of little extras to sprinkle in for an extra boost. Chia seeds, linseed or even moringa powder can all be thrown in there. Experiment and see what works best for you!
If you haven’t heard about kale chips yet, go out and buy yourself some kale immediately and then put the grill on, because you need to try this. Spread small pieces of kale on a baking sheet, season with a little salt and pepper and whatever other spices you fancy, and grill. It cooks quickly, so don’t let it burn. Voila. An incredibly healthy yet moreish snack to eat in front of the TV.
Rather than reaching for the chocolate, see if a small portion of nuts with dried fruit might sate your craving for something sweet.
With just a tiny bit of imagination and a spot of outside-the-box thinking, you’ll be feeling ‘super’-powered in no time.
Katie is an expert on natural living and wellness who spends most of her time writing for Sleep Health Energy, a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about enjoying top-to-toe health and getting a restful night’s sleep, which will leave you bursting with energy.