Superfoods do not need to be exotic or expensive. Many everyday wholefoods grown here in Ireland can be considered superfoods. At this time of year, we are spoiled for choice. We don’t even have to stray beyond the fruit and veg aisle to get our superfood fix on a daily basis. Remember that the different plant colours come from phytonutrients like carotenoids and flavonoids that have many health benefits, so try and get as many different colours on your plate and eat a rainbow.
Poly-what?? Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get mainly from plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, chocolate, herbs and spices. They are the reason why red wine, dark chocolate and green tea are known to be so good for us. It’s thought that polyphenols can improve or help many aspects of health, including IBS, weight management, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease and cardiovascular diseases.
You really can’t beat beets. In a study of 40 healthy people it was demonstrated that they were able to better perform on cognitive tests 90 minutes after drinking 450 ml of beetroot juice compared with placebo (apple/blackcurrant juice). The reason for this is the presence of dietary nitrates. These lead to more nitric oxide to encourage oxygen flow to the brain. Remarkable how quick the effects were.
You can prepare these healthy salad jars a few days in advance. It’s easy to jam in lots of nutrients plus protein and complex carbohydrates to keep you fuelled for long tiring shifts at work. You can also use them as a very quick dinner to come home to, ready to grab from the fridge. No cooking equipment needed!
Getting organised in the kitchen has become increasingly important in recent weeks. The movement restrictions related to COVID 19 makes meal planning the ‘stress less’ option. The luxury of picking up some last-minute bits for dinner is just not possible right now. While online shopping deliveries have restricted time slots, requiring us to think ahead. For many people, a lack of planning and organisation is a real stumbling block to making healthier meal choices. Setting aside some time to create a meal plan and a shopping list for the week ahead can take the hassle out of healthy eating and help to keep your family’s wellbeing on track.