Superfood isn’t actually a scientific term and is just a word commonly used to describe a particularly nutritious food. It was actually started in the early 20th century as a marketing strategy for bananas by the United Fruit Company.1
There are loads of superfoods, and many of them are readily available at most supermarkets. To qualify as a superfood, it must contain compounds that are beneficial to human health. This can include antioxidants, fibre or fatty acids.1
Superfood 1: Ginger
Ginger is often considered a spice or a herb, but it can also be categorised as a vegetable as it is the root of the ginger plant.2 Whatever you consider it to be, it is a fantastic ingredient to include in your diet due to its plethora of health benefits!
Ginger can boost your ability to digest food by improving the health of the gut microbiome. It contains the component gingerol, which is effective at combatting nausea and calming inflammation in the stomach.3
Ginger is full of antioxidants, which can help to maintain healthy cell regeneration and stop free radicals from causing damage to cells. Ginger helps the food move more quickly through the digestive tract, stopping unnecessary fermentation in the gut that leads to bloating and excess gas.3
Ginger can be used in sweet or savoury dishes - pop it in a cake, add it to a curry, or even drink it in ginger tea! It is so incredibly versatile that you can add ginger to any part of your day.
A couple cooks have put 15 incredible recipes all in one place. If you’d like to try out some recipes with ginger, check out their recipes here!
Superfood 2: Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are prebiotic, making them a wonderful fuel for the good bacteria in the gut. They contain vitamins C, K and B, magnesium, folic acid, beta carotene, iron, potassium, iodine, calcium, sulphur and chlorophyll. This huge selection of essential nutrients can prevent any deficiency that may impact your overall health.4
Leafy greens are anti-inflammatory, which can reduce gut inflammation and digestive issues associated with inflammation, including issues such as IBS and IBD (Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis).4
Leafy greens may sound pretty broad, so we thought we’d name a few. Spinach, rocket, bok choy, collards, kale, and mustard greens are just a few of the leafy greens you can chuck into your recipes to add a load of nutrients.5
Bon Appetite has created many incredible recipes that include leafy greens. You can check out their recipes here.
Superfood 3: Leeks
Leeks are high in inulin - a soluble fibre that supports a healthy gut. They also contain the antioxidant polyphenol, which helps to prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Leeks contain vitamins A and K and the mineral manganese, vital in fat and carbohydrate absorption.6
Leeks are delicious, versatile, accessible and easy to cook. BBC Good Food has created many easy and delicious leek recipes, which you can check out here.
Getting superfoods into your diet doesn’t have to be difficult. If you have a recipe that you already like to cook, why not try adding one of these superfoods to it? It could make the meal even more delicious whilst adding a large dose of nutritional value.
Which superfood takes your fancy - ginger, leafy greens or leeks? If you try any of the recipes we linked in this article or have your own recipe you’d like to share; we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org!