Day 2: Stock Up On Superfoods With Naturally Sassy
posted on Monday, 1st September 2014 | find under Nutrition
Sneaking some superfoods into your diet can help you go that extra mile and ensure your body stays happy and healthy. Below, guest blogger Saskia - author of Naturally Sassy - talks superfoods and how to make them meal-time regulars. Don't forget to do the Hiitgirl workout today too.
I love super foods! You’ve probably been hearing about them all over the place these days. Chia seeds, açai, baobab.
A super food is anything that has an insanely high nutrient density, and properties that can help heal, repair and support our bodies as we go through our lives. I’ve listed some of my favourite super foods below, but did you know that even blueberries are considered a super food?
With just a little bit of planning, it’s really not difficult to get some super foodie goodness into your body every day. So challenge yourself and include one of the nutrient rich foods below into your everyday!
Pomegranates are bursting with an amazing array of antioxidants which serve so many purposes in our body. They help neutralise free radicals, fight disease and reduce inflammation.
The antioxidants found in pomegranate have specific anti-cancerous properties, helping to protect against several types of cancer such as breast, prostate and skin cancer.
The anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate comes from its high Vitamin C content that will help to manage inflammatory problems such as asthma, eczema, muscular inflammation and other injuries.
I actually prefer to use pomegranates in my savoury dishes over sweet treats! They work so perfectly on top of pasta and in salads to give a gorgeous sweet crunch. Add a sprinkle to your dinner and get an amazing super boost.
Kale has exploded over the last few years! It went from being a food only available at health shops and farmers’ markets, to one of the most talked about greens in the supermarket. I say yay!
Because it’s a potent source of antioxidants, kale is an incredibly anti-inflammatory food. It’s a great source of calcium, magnesium and vitamin K, which all help to strengthen your bones.
Kale is one of the best alkaline foods. This means it balances your PH levels, setting your body into an alkaline state, the healthiest way for your body to be.
Kale has loads of incredible health benefits that are enhanced by eating it raw. I know raw kale seems like it would be pretty horrible, but when you make it well, it is so delicious. You just have to massage in a delicious dressing until it wilts, and voila, a tender, tantalising salad.
Raw coconut yoghurt
Yes, coconut is a superfood! It’s actually one of the highest sources of electrolytes in nature. Electrolytes are ionized salts in our cells that transport energy throughout the body. This is probably why you’re starting to see people sipping on the water straight from a coconut walking down the street in the last year or so. It’s also a great source of fibre. Fibre is essential in maintaining a healthy digestive system. So eating coconut helps to regulate bowel movement, stabilise blood sugar levels and keep you fuller for longer!
Try experimenting with coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream and desiccated coconut. It’s so fantastic for you and so diverse. I love to make raw coconut yoghurt, but I’m also obsessed with using coconut milk in a stir-fry with lemon juice and a touch of tamari. Coconut oil is also an amazing swap for olive oil when frying or cooking at a high temperature.
Oh, and you can even rub the oil on your skin. It’s honestly the best moisturiser I’ve found. Gotta love nature!
Even more exciting than coconut being a superfood? Chocolate is a superfood! But let me be clear, I don’t just mean any chocolate. I mean cacao, the pure, unprocessed form of chocolate that comes just as nature intended it, with all its beautiful vitamins and minerals intact.
I have the biggest sweet tooth, it’s actually a running joke between most of my friends. But the most amazing thing about cacao is that I can indulge and satisfy those chocolate cravings without guilt. I love chocolate so much that I even created a free healthy chocolate ebook!
Cacao is one of the world’s best sources of antioxidants. It also raises your levels of serotonin, meaning that it can act as a natural mood booster and anti-depressant.
The antioxidant power in cacao can support a healthy heart, by lowering blood pressure, lowering LDL cholesterol and reducing the build-up of plaque on artery walls. This can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Now we’re getting into the hardcore stuff. I’m not going to lie…spirulina smells like pond. That’s because it’s an algae. But it’s a powerful thing, and definitely worth adding into your daily routine. Try adding it to a sweet smoothie with banana, blueberries, orange and a handful of spinach, the colour may change but the taste will still be delicious! Or, if you really think it’s that bad, consider taking cold pressed pure spirulina capsules every morning!
Spirulina contains a wealth of beta-carotene, chlorophyll, iron, and vitamin B6, which help to support and strengthen your immune system. The powder also contains around 70% of it’s weight in protein. It contains 18 amino acids, including all the essential amino acids. This means it is a really fantastic addition to a plant based diet, especially before and after a workout.
In day 2, don't forget to do the first Hiitgirl workout then move onto day 3's challenge.