Superfoods are brimming with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein, antioxidants, healthy fats and a host of other nutrients. Try introducing some of these ‘darlings’ of the food world as part of your balanced diet – and encourage your children to eat them too!
Here’s a list of seven noteworthy superfoods, plus smart tips for including them in family meals and snacks:
1) Yoghurt Yoghurt is an excellent way to obtain your daily dose of dairy, because it’s made from milk, which is rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and calcium. The live cultures in yoghurt have valuable properties when consumed daily, and can play an important role in achieving and maintaining good digestive and general health.
Tips: Yoghurt tastes great on its own, and it’s a quick smart snack you can enjoy any time of day. Some more creative ideas: try mixing your cereal with yoghurt instead of milk. Use it in place of cream on top of desserts, and add it to lollies and fruit smoothies. Experiment with savoury marinades, dips and sauces made with our NutriDay Plain Low-Fat Yoghurt.
2) Blueberries Among the most-often mentioned superfoods, blueberries are rich in fibre, antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
Tips: Fresh blueberries are not often available in South Africa, but you can find them frozen in most big supermarkets. Try mixing them with yoghurt and cereal at breakfast time, and add them to smoothies or to muffins, cakes and breads.
3) Cruciferous vegetables This family of super-healthy veggies includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels Sprouts. They are rich in fibre, and contain plenty of Vitamin C and many other nutrients.
Tips: Try using finely sliced broccoli and cabbage in quick, colourful stir-fries. Most kids love cauliflower cheese, and you might find they enjoy coleslaw too. For a lighter salad dressing for your coleslaw, use a combination of mayonnaise and NutriDay Plain Low-Fat yoghurt.
4) Avocados Dense in nutrients, luscious avocados are also crammed with healthy monounsaturated fats and have a delicious, mild taste that combines well with other punchy flavours. Tips: Pile slices of avo on top of salads and pizzas, and add them to the kids’ sandwiches. Whizz up an avo with plain yoghurt to make a delicious salad dressing, or create gorgeous chunky Mexican guacamole and serve with crackers and veggie sticks.
5) Oily fish Sardines, pilchards, mackerel, anchovies, snoek, fresh tuna and salmon are all rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for human health, and that may help reduce risk factors for heart disease.
Tips: A good way to get your dose of fish oil is to eat fishpaste, tinned pilchards or mashed sardines on toast for breakfast! Tempt the kids with a nutritious pilchard hotpot, or whizz up oily fish such as snoek or sardines to make delicious pâté. v 6) Nuts Nuts can be expensive, but you need only a small handful a day to reap the benefits of these little nutrition ‘bombs’, which are rich in fibre, protein and essential fats.
Tips: Top our NutriDay yoghurt with a sprinkling of roughly chopped almonds or nuts of your choice. Instead of snacking on crisps or sweets, pop a few whole raw, unskinned nuts into your mouth.
7) Pulses Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family, and they include all sorts of beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. The United Nations has declared 2016 The International Year of Pulses, so celebrate these economical, fibre-rich ingredients by finding interesting ways of including them in your family’s meals.
Tips: Use tinned chickpeas to make our heavenly hummus, a delicious, nutritious dip and spread. Surprise your family with a favourite South African recipe: Three Bean Salad! Make mince dishes go further (and add fibre) by including a tin or two of kidney or butter beans – you can mash them up first if you don’t think the kids will fancy them.
These seven superfoods are just a sampling of other ingredients that are considered beneficial to your health. If you have more suggestions to add to our list, leave a comment below, or share your thoughts on our NutriDay Facebook page.