As we root through our pantries searching out a hero to help create healthy, immune-boosting meals, we’re also holding out for something satisfying and tasty. Are there any foods out there that tick off all the boxes? Yes! Luckily, superfoods can satisfy our needs and our wants.
What makes a food “super”? The term “superfood” describes a food, usually plant-based, that offers maximum health benefits and limited calories, and are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They help give our breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks that extra oomph of health, especially for our immune systems. Here are nine of the many superfoods that can help keep our systems healthy and whole.
Açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a grape-like fruit originally from the rainforests of South America. With their deep purple colour, these magical little fruits are high in healthy antioxidants and fibre. Their anti-inflammatory effects may also help support cognitive function. They go fabulously with a bowl of your morning granola.
We can’t get enough of these dark and tart berries. Packed with vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants, they’re been shown to help stimulate the immune system and fight inflammation. Elderberries are most commonly consumed as a syrup, but you can also find them in teas, gummies, lozenges, or pills.
Residents of Asia have been using these bright little buddies for over 2,000 years as medical herbs and food supplements, and it’s no surprise why. Goji berries are high in antioxidants, especially zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C all of which have significant benefit for eye health. They’re amazing immune system friends that may also have some benefit for those with depression or anxiety.
Moringa, a plant native to India, is a superfood superstar thanks to its big list of healthy compounds. Containing vitamins A, B2, B6, and C; potassium; iron; and magnesium, this supplement may help support liver, kidney, heart, and immune system health. It’s commonly available as a powder, and can easily be added to smoothies, breakfast bowls, baking, and more.
Spirulina powder is an unusually brilliant blue-green colour, due to its source as a type of algae originating in mineral-rich alkaline lakes, often near volcanoes. Due to its high quantities of protein, iron, and vitamins, it’s a unique but hugely beneficial supplement to add to your smoothies for a healthy, colourful immune boost.
6. Camu Camu
Originating from a shrub in the Amazon rain forests, camu camu is an unsung hero in the fight against viral infections, including colds, and also may have eye health benefits. With its high concentration of vitamin C, antioxidants, protein, and fatty acids, this cherry-like fruit is available in juice, powder, or capsule form.
7. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Who doesn’t love the smell of onions and garlic frying in olive oil? A staple for delicious salad dressings and Italian foods, olive oil is widely available and is an essential part of the Mediterranean diet. Its high monounsaturated fatty acid and antioxidant content make this oil beneficial for the prevention of heart disease, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Chia seeds are nutritional superstars in tiny packages. You can find them in bulk or packed into cereals, breads, crackers, and nutritional bars. Thanks to its high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, protein, and antioxidants, it’s a must-have for your superfood pantry.
Turmeric adds colour and flavour to any spice rack, but because of its polyphenol curcumin content, it can also act as an aid in inflammation, hay fever, and even anxiety. It’s an extremely adaptable ingredient for spicing up your baked goods, curries, or salad dressings.
Need some advice on how to implement these fantastic superfoods into your upcoming meal plan? Our recipe section has a variety of guides on how to get the most out of the flavours and benefits of superfoods. Your health—and your taste buds—will thank you!