SUPERFOODS are now a buzz word for wellbeing – but some of the best health-boosting essentials have been in our kitchens for decades.
From prunes to oats, eggs and bananas, the foods your gran ate have outlived any fad and are full of the nutrients your body needs this winter.
They are among our list of ten old-fashioned superfoods that are as good for you as pricey kale, açai and avocados.
Dietitian Kaitlin Colucci said: “The ‘superfood’ label is a popular way for companies to hype certain foods and sell products, but lots of more familiar fruit, veg and store cupboard essentials that have been in supermarkets for decades convey just as many health benefits.”
Here Kaitlin reveals the ten old-fashioned “superfoods” and explains their health benefits.
A GREAT source of protein, eggs contain a huge range of vitamins and minerals.
They contain vitamin A, to help defend against infection and illness, vitamin E which is good for nerve health, and vitamin D to keep bones and muscles healthy and is found in very few other foods.
Eggs also have a range of B vitamins which support strong cell functioning.
They contain ten minerals including calcium, which is good for the bones, zinc, which supports the immune system and iron, which boosts energy.
BANANAS are cheap, accessible and loaded with micronutrients.
They are especially high in potassium — one of the body’s most important salts — as well as minerals called electrolytes.
Bananas boost heart health and digestion too, due to the antioxidants and fibre they contain.
A GLUTEN-free wholegrain and a great source of dietary fibre, oats contain goodness that can help reduce cholesterol.
They contribute to a healthy heart and weight and contain protein which helps you stay fuller for longer.
Oats boast a range of nutrients including B vitamins, iron, zinc and magnesium, which bolsters energy and nerve function.
THESE have always been popular because the sorbitol sugars and high fibre content help to prevent constipation.
That fibre is particularly good for digestive health but prunes also contain antioxidants.
To gain all the benefits, eat the whole fruit not just prune juice.
LENTILS can help replace meat as part of a healthier diet lower in saturated fat.
They’re a great source of folic acid, which can offset types of anemia, B vitamins and dietary fibre.
They help with gut function and healthy bowel habits and stabilise blood sugar levels.
They’re also a good source of protein which we need to repair cells and make new ones.
NUTS like almonds, which are a particularly healthy example, contain a lot of vitamin E, which fights free radicals, and vitamin B2 which helps tackle nerve inflammation, a contributor to migraines.
They also contain dietary fibre which can lower blood cholesterol.
THESE are a great source of selenium, a component of proteins and enzymes that protects against infections and cell damage.
They also help with your metabolism and thyroid health.
If you leave mushrooms on your window sill, exposing them to sunlight for 24 hours before cooking, they will create their own much-needed vitamin D, making them a true superfood.
DARK green leafy veg is full of nutrients and broccoli is packed with iron and folate which both boost energy.
It is also rich in vitamin C and just two spears is considered a portion of your five a day.
In fact, a 45g serving of raw broccoli provides 70 per cent of your recommended daily vitamin C.
Steam broccoli, instead of boiling it, to keep those vitamins in.
AN old favourite for protecting against the common cold, garlic is rich in the healthy compound allicin, also found in onions and leeks.
Allicin helps to block free radicals and stops the spread of bacteria.
Chopping garlic ten minutes before using it in cooking and leaving it to rest releases even more allicin.
THIS has brilliant antioxidant properties and is especially high in polyphenols and flavonoids which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can also help with cardiovascular function and gut health.
If you’re drinking coffee for its health benefits, opt for ground beans, not instant.
- See kaitlincolucci.com.