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Superfoods: Fad or Fab? Here’s All You Need to Know

green foods

Should we be investing in our health and supplementing with these powerful health foods or are they just hype and a waste of money?

Here are 5 reasons why you may want to add superfoods to your daily diet:

  • Soil degradation and depletion from intensive modern farming, the soil our produce is grown in contains far fewer nutrients than it used to. As a result there may be fewer nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the fruits and vegetables coming from the soil. 
  • Nutrients are depleting every day after harvest and before getting to our plates. A study at the University of California showed that vegetables can lose 15-55% of vitamin C within a week and spinach can lose 90% within 24 hours of harvest. 
  • The modern world is bombarding us with pollution and chemicals at every turn. This puts our body under greater stress and results in the need for even greater nutrition to fight the adverse effects of environmental pollutants and stresses of our modern lives.

So although it’s best to receive as many nutrients as possible from whole food sources, we just might not be getting enough of the good stuff to really core all our bases with food alone.

Here are some top superfood blends everyone can benefit from adding to their diet:

  • For everyone:  a good quality greens powder: look for a mix of spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, barley grass and moringa
  • For Immunity: echinacea, rhodiola, rosehip, elderberry, reishi and astragalus
  • For inflammation:  Turmeric, ginger, collagen, biotin, selenium, grape skin extract, blueberry, raspberry, cranberry and pomegranate extracts, acai berry
  • For workout recovery: MSM, magnesium, L-Glutamine, L-CArnetine, Beetroot powder
  • For Hormone balance: maca, lucuma, ashwaganda, chastebrrry, milk thistle, fenugreek, ginseng, saw palmetto

Finally, here’s your checklist for buying top quality supplements:

  1. Check the ingredients and ensure it’s 100% the nutrient you are buying with no added preservatives, stabilisers or fillers.
  2. Look for who the producer is and where it is being produced. They should be USP verified, hold various UKAS, ISO and GMP certificates. These ensure safe production practices and higher quality standards.
  3. Does the producer have any third party testing on their products? This might be difficult to find out but it is worth asking and doing some research on.
  4. Is it possible to see the certificate of analysis on batches of their products to show verified nutrition content, ingredients, manufacture date, expiry date etc.
  5. Quality of packaging. As with fresh produce, the nutrition content of supplements also decreases with time so ensuring packaging that is airtight and light protected is crucial. The best is aluminium pouches or vacuum sealed dark glass jars.

We should all be trying to get as much nutrition as possible from organic whole foods but we also may need to give our diets a little boost with some high quality superfoods to help us reach ultimate health and wellbeing. 

Gabrielle Masefield is an experienced professional chef specialising in healthy modern cuisine. She is trained in multiple different disciplines from traditional French cooking to modernist raw vegan cuisine as well as holding a diploma in holistic nutrition from the School of Natural Health Sciences.

Gabrielle’s goal is to encourage and inspire others to release many common diet rules and reduce their anxiety and uncertainty around cooking. She focuses on creating enjoyment and a sense of fun in her dishes rather than any strict rules around particular diets, exclusion of certain ingredients or food groups. Gabrielle creates instead a relaxed ethos of inclusion and balance towards cooking, eating and nutrition concepts as well as joy and community through food.