Health & Fitness The new superfood on the block that is giving blueberries a run for their money
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We’ve long been sold the benefits of blueberries for keeping us healthy, but there’s a new kid on the block labelled ‘super’.
Say hello to the haskap berry. Also known as blue honeysuckle or honyeberries, they’re a taste mash up of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
However these little beauties contain four times more anthocyanins than blueberries.
Anthocyanins, which give the fruit their purple colour, are a type of antioxidant. In other words they have anti-inflammatory benefits for the body, reduce blood pressure, fight free-radicals that trigger disease and boost exercise recovery to boot.
11 health benefits of blueberries
This so-called 'superfood' stands up to the science.While blueberries are frequently touted as a ‘superfood’ – a marketing term for foods purported to have higher-than-average nutrient density – the various benefits of blueberries stand up to science.
Haskap berries are also high in potassium, which our bodies need to build protein and muscle and are said to improve gut health. Other brownie points commonly listed include improving eyesight along with the appearance of skin.
You can introduce the berries, which are native to Japan, to your food freeze-dried as a powder. Sprinkle it on yoghurt, oats and granola, or add to your smoothies. [Check outfor their resealable 100g pouches].
Here’s a few more ‘superfoods’ that are a little closer to home…
Lemons boost your diet with vitamin C and plant compounds, specifically hesperidin and diosmin, which have been found to lower cholesterol. Make sure your lemons areorganic, that way you can eat some of the peel without worrying about pesticides. The peel contains up to ten times more vitamin C and antioxidants – which help protect your body from damaging free radicals – as the lemon flesh itself.
Lemon and Blueberry Muffins
When life gives you lemons, make cake!Want more blueberry and lemon ideas? Try, Blueberry and Lemon Pie Bars or our Lemon and Blueberry Mini Cheesecakes.
A disease-preventing plant with excellent health benefits is lurking in your salad drawer! Parsley is a great source of vitamins A, B, C and K, and is rich in antioxidants, too. It also helps to reduce homocysteine levels – a high level of homocysteine is linked to the early development of heart disease. Parsley also contains some protective carotenoid compounds that help protect your vision.
Consider this the new kale. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, just like kale and Brussels sprouts, and a nutritional powerhouse! It is high in fibre, vitamins A, B, C and K, choline – which helps regulate memory and mood – and quercetin, which can help prevent cancer. It’s also a rich source of phytonutrients – the special compounds found in plants that help keep our cells healthy and mutation free.
Mushrooms are low in calories and dense in micronutrients, including B vitamins, zinc, selenium, copper, phenols and cancer-fighting antioxidants. The shiitake mushroom has been singled out as being the most beneficial to human health and is thought to play a role in protecting against more than
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Strawberry fan Victoria Beckham is on to a good thing! Strawberries have a high anthocyanin content, which is anti-inflammatory and helps reduce blood pressure and even improves your cholesterol profile. Eating just eight strawberries a day provides you with 120 per cent of your daily vitamin C intake and an abundance of antioxidants.
Modern diets have virtually lost their probiotic content, leaving our guts perilously low in healthy bacteria. Kefir is a yoghurt-like fermented drink, a wonderful source of probiotics which also boosts your immune system, aids digestive health and improves bone density. Best of all, if you’re dairy-free, there are plenty of non-milk based alternatives available.
Gram for gram, the organism spirulina may well be the most nutritious superfood on the planet. It is a type of algae that is packed with vitamins, minerals, high-quality protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Available in tablet or powder form, sprinkle it on your porridge or supercharge your morning smoothie with this wonder food.
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