Published Feb 2, 2021
If healthy living and an active lifestyle is important to you, then you’ll know that diet also plays an important role. Whether you’re working out for weight loss, or to stay or get fit, or you’re simply living your healthiest life, then you need a diet that sustains you.
A healthy, balanced diet full of vitamins, minerals, good fats and lean protein is great. But with so many superfoods now on the market, we can supercharge our diet that little bit further. Many superfoods are in powdered form, and have perhaps unfamiliar names such as spirulina and maca. But many wholefoods have now been given the superfood label such as blueberries and beetroot.
Here’s eight different ways you can add superfoods to your diet.
Spirulina green smoothie booster
Spirulina is an algae, that is usually dried and made into a powder. It’s a complete protein source suitable for vegans and has been named by the UN as a food of the future. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals and has a taste reminiscent of the sea. Chlorella is another similar superfood powder and if you don’t like the taste of spirulina, chlorella has a more delicate taste.
Try adding a heaped dessertspoon of either to a smoothie made of banana, kiwi, coconut water and a handful of baby spinach.
Baked goods can also benefit from a supercharge. Maca comes from Peru and grows high up in the Andes. It’s related to the radish and has a slightly nutty, butterscotch taste. It forms a fine powder which resembles flour. Try replacing a quarter of your usual flour with maca powder for a delicious twist on your normal chocolate chip muffins.
Maca is said to increase energy, improve fertility, regulate hormones and even increase libido and sexual function.
Try adding roasted beetroots, blanched tender stem broccoli and a sprinkling of mixed omega rich seeds to your next salad for a bowl of fresh, wholefood goodness.
Protein ball super snack
Mix chia seeds, powdered pea protein, cacao powder, medjool dates and a squirt of maple syrup in a blender, roll the mixture into balls and pop them in the freezer for an hour. They’ll keep in the fridge for a week and make the ideal post-gym or mid-afternoon snack.
Hemp super shake
Add two heaped dessertspoons of hemp powder to the nut milk of your choice for a healthy, plant-based, protein fuelled workout shake. Add a banana and a handful of berries to sweeten. Hemp is a fantastic vegan-friendly protein source and is much underrated.
A curry of your choosing!
Whether you make your curry using spices from scratch or you use a jar of curry paste, you’ll be benefitting from turmeric. Turmeric, or more specifically, the curcumin within turmeric, is an ancient superfood. It’s been used for centuries to help treat inflammation due to its natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cacao, cacao, cacao
Imagine if chocolate was healthy? Well actually, it can be! Cacao is the raw form of chocolate, before all the fats and sugars have been added and it’s packed full of immune supporting antioxidants.
You’ll find cacao in powdered form, as a butter or as nibs you can snack on straight from the pack. Use powdered cacao in hot drinks or baking, wherever you’d use its sugary cousin, cocoa powder, for your next chocolate fix. It’s also ideal added to smoothies.
Chia seeds are a great source of fibre, protein, omega 3 and a plethora of vitamins and minerals. When you add them to liquid, they form jelly like coats and swell to three times their size.
This makes them perfect for a milky pudding. Add a tablespoon to a small glass of nut milk and leave in the fridge for an hour or overnight. Once set, top with some blueberries and raspberries for a tasty and healthy breakfast or dessert!
Written by Bev Walton
Food Writer and Nutritionist, dietician
A chef of over 35 years with experience in all types of cuisine, dietary plans, recipe development, health and nutrition. I have been writing for over 10 years for both magazines, websites and ghostwriting for ebooks, Kindle and fully published books. I have a degree in nutrition and dietetics and work with restaurants and organisations within the healthcare profession. I am also able to take high quality photographs of recipes created. No writing task is too great, and whilst I specialise in the above, I am able to write about any topic you throw at me. Member of the Guild of food writers.