What makes Superfoods so Super?
Do we give too much credit to superfoods? The latest superfood alone cannot guarantee you good health or cure disease in one fell swoop. However some of these foods really do pack a nutritional punch above the rest so perhaps they do deserve a little extra attention.
Superfoods don’t need to have super high price tags or be hard to track down. Many can be found in your local supermarket, alongside their slightly less nutritious counterparts.
Kale v Spinach
Kale has four times more vitamin A (giving you over 100% of the RDA in just half a cup) and a whopping ten times more vitamin C than spinach. Eat it raw to preserve that vitamin C – in a green smoothie or as a salad leaf, just massage your dressing into the leaves a few hours before serving to soften them up (great for serving friends as can be prepared in advance!). Kale is also a great source of calcium, it’s Irish and as cheap as chips (kale chips anyone?)… what’s not super about that?
Sweet potato v Potato
Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of vitamin A (beta-carotene) providing 475% of your RDA in one medium potato where the regular spud contributes a big fat zero. The glycaemic load is lower which means the sweet potato, despite its misleading name, will play less havoc with your blood sugars. They also provide 30% of your daily vitamin C and steaming them is the best way to preserve this. Try sautéing red onion, tomato, peppers and courgette in coconut oil with garlic, chilli and plenty of smoked paprika. Toss in steamed cubes of sweet potato and serve drizzled with a light aioli (mayonnaise, water, lemon juice, lots of garlic!).
Quinoa v Rice
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) can now be found in most supermarkets. At 30% of your daily requirement of magnesium per cup, it has 6 times more than rice. It’s also twice as high in protein, providing essential amino acids we need to get from our diet. Not to mention its versatility: quinoa can be super as porridge, salads with any vegetable under the sun, a main or side, warm, hot, cold… it’s a winner all round. It needs a bit of flavour to get it going so sauté up some garlic, ginger, turmeric or chilli before adding it to the pot. Add in a good quality low-salt organic vegetable stock, for approximately 10mins with 1.5 times liquid per volume. For porridge, go for cinnamon or vanilla with water or milk, unless you like garlic and chilli of a morning, whatever gets you going!