Not all superfoods come in packets: in no particular order, here are ten fantastically tasty and nutritionally dense fresh fruits and vegetables that will boost your health and energy levels! They’re available in our produce department daily.
Inky-coloured beetroot are rich in anthocyanins, giving them powerful anti-cancer properties. They’re also a particularly good source of Vitamin C, magnesium, iron, calcium and folate.
TIP Try beetroot roasted, boiled or grated raw and never throw away the leaves: they’re vitamin-rich and are delicious lightly steamed or stir-fried.
Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and supports a healthy immune system, so it’s a great addition to remedial teas. Ginger also helps soothe nausea, from motion sickness to morning sickness, and is used widely as a digestive aid.
TIP Ginger freezes well, so keep a knob in the freezer and you’ll never run out. Simply grate from its frozen state and store wrapped in cling film.
Famed for their antioxidant content– the anthocyanin pigment is what gives them their beautiful, deep blue hue- blueberries are also notable for being rich in Vitamin C, supporting heart health and for their ability to help control cholesterol levels.
TIP You’ve tried strawberries with balsamic, but what about blueberries? They’re just as delicious! Add a dash of good-quality, syrupy balsamic vinegar, allow to macerate and you’re away.
Did you know that the humble head of broccoli contains more Vitamin C than oranges? It’s also a great source of folate, calcium, iron and lutein and contains compounds with anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
TIP To preserve the nutritional value of broccoli, it’s best enjoyed lightly steamed or even raw.
Avocados have a high fat content but don’t let that put you off: they’re friendly fats, which support the body’s assimilation of vital nutrients and antioxidants. In addition, they help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad type) and contain generous amounts of potassium and Vitamins C, E and K.
TIP Half an avocado topped with lemon juice, salt and pepper makes an incredibly satisfying, delicious snack.
TRY Chocolate Mousse
You just know you’re doing good things for your body when you eat kale! Right enough, it’s proven to be super rich in Vitamin K and a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron, calcium and lutein (essential for good vision) to boot. Kale encourages the body’s natural detoxification processes and has anti-cancer properties.
TIP Add kale to juices and smoothies (use a high-powered blender) for a nutrient boost.
Coconuts- and particularly the oil- are nature’s number one source of lauric acid, giving them potent immune enhancing properties and protecting the body against viruses, yeasts, parasites and other bad bacteria. They’re also host to a variety of nutrients, including notable quantities of magnesium, iodine, iron, calcium and phosphorus. Young coconut water is an electrolyte-rich source of hydration.
TIP Young coconut flesh can be slivered finely and added to Asian curries and salads- they make very tasty noodles.
Lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges… we could go on and on! Different types of citrus have different benefits, but across the board you can expect a healthy dose of Vitamin C along with nutrients like potassium, folate, calcium, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus and magnesium from these low calorie fruits.
TIP Always opt for organic fruit when using the citrus skin (in marinades and marmalades, for example) to avoid the residue of pesticides and other sprays.
Sweet potatoes are an easily digested complex carbohydrate, guaranteed to satisfy. They’re a great source of Vitamin C and the dark orange fleshed variety is particularly rich in beta-carotene, meaning they support the body’s production of Vitamin A. All in all, a tasty and nourishing alternative to the regular spud whether mashed, baked, steamed or braised.
TIP Don’t peel sweet potatoes, as there’s plenty of nutritional benefit in the skin- all they need is a good scrub.
TRY Red Lentil Daal
You’ve added the powder to daal, but have you ever tried the brilliantly yellow fresh turmeric root? The active ingredient, curcumin, is an anti-inflammatory that’s proven to inhibit the growth of cancer. Turmeric has a detoxifying effect on the body, particularly the liver and blood, and is used widely as a digestive aid.
TIP Substitute fresh turmeric in recipes that use the powder, as in the Curried Cauliflower Soup that follows: a 4 cm length grated equates to roughly 1 tsp dry. But beware- it stains!