The marketing term, superfoods, is used to describe plant and animal-based foods that are nutritionally dense. Along with a steep price tag, the trend around superfoods has shifted to determine alternatives both available to the local area as well as affordability. The general rule when it comes to nutrition and diet is to eat the rainbow… incorporate as many different colors of available fresh food as possible on a daily basis. After a quick search of these highly claimed superfoods, we found some alternative versions you may already be consuming as part of your regular diets for your health, wellbeing, and overall longevity:
Lentils and legumes(beans) – there’s a variety of these plant-based protein powerhouses that come in shades of yellow, green, purple, red, and so on. They can be used in place of quinoa as an underrated source of protein, vitamins, fibre, and minerals that prevent cancer and readily available on budget. They make delicious stews, soups and curries and versatile dishes as well as a great carb alternative for those seeking wholesome carbohydrate options.
Sesame seeds, flax seeds and mixed nuts – these two seeds provide as much nutrition as the famous chia seeds. A teaspoon of ground flaxseeds meets your daily quota of omega 3 fatty acids. They also provide beneficial dietary fibre to aid digestion and help to balance hormones. If you want good glowing skin, healthy cells and organs, these nuts and seeds provide that in the form of vitamin E.
Sardines – a common catfeed, sardines come as the tiny little fried fish sold in most local markets or the slightly bigger portions that make a delicious meal full of the same nutritional components as salmon which are fatty acids for improved mental function and optimum nerve health as well as healthy proteins. It is also much cheaper, sustainably sourced and less prone to heavy metal poisoning.
Spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, herbs and cabbage (greens) – if you can incorporate a variety of these cruciferous green leafy veg in your diet daily, you will live a life full of health benefits. Full of good sources of vitamins A, C, calcium and carotenoids as well as a unique chemical called sulforaphane that shows some anticancer properties. Vegetables like broccoli are single-handedly beneficial in the prevention of heart attacks. Greens also aids your digestion with insoluble fibre. Switch them up to get a good mix of benefits in your daily diet.
Guavas, strawberries and other berries – these can be found in plenty on season and have similar benefits to pomegranate and cranberries that are a good source of vitamin C and may slow the rate of prostate cancer.
Fresh fruits, watermelon, banana, pineapple, mangoes, oranges, avocado, peppers, papaya, etc – we are blessed with a myriad of fresh tropical fruits that come in different seasons year long. Filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and vital nutrients, they help promote a healthy heart, brain, and physical function. Fruits are a great alternative for processed snacks and contain healthy natural sugars for daily fuel.
The bottom line is to be creative in including these foods into your diet daily. Increasing these nutritious foods can create a shift in your lifestyle for the better.