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Susan Jane Duckworth,Published 20 October 2016
Superfoods are natural plant foods which are exceptionally high in nutrition and can therefore provide the body with high amounts of energy. They contain a broad range of nutrients such as enzymes; phytochemicals; vitamins; minerals; chlorophyll and antioxidants. They are more easily absorbed by the body and are generally superior to supplements because they are wholefoods and have not been chemically processed in a laboratory.
Superfoods can help regulate the body's metabolism and therefore control cravings. They can also help us tune into the body's natural appetite making it difficult to undereat or overeat.
Superfoods go beyond basic sustenance to deliver a nutrient-dense package of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant-based proteins, with benefits for your health and vitality as well as your taste buds. Introduce a wide variety to your diet for optimum nutritional benefit.
It can be hard trying to decide what Superfoods are best for you as they all have unique qualities. The best way to start is with one or two to see what benefits you feel from them, that way you can decide which ones you prefer. It is also best to start with a small amount e.g. a teaspoon and then slowly work it up until you reach a level that you are comfortable with.
Superfoods are an easy way to upgrade your diet from healthy to super healthy.
Green superfoods are particularly rich in chlorophyll, an extremely important biomolecule responsible for the green pigmentation in plants and critical for photosynthesis. The structure is very similar to proteoheme, the red pigmentation in blood. Studies have shown that when chlorophyll is consumed the production of haemoglobin in blood is increased. Higher amounts of haemoglobin mean an increase in oxygen rich blood, essential for cells to thrive. Green superfoods also contain a range of beneficial nutrients to help build muscle and tissue, aid your digestive system and may help protect you against disease and illness. They are particularly good for anyone suffering from anaemia.
Real Vitality Superfood Barley Grass Powder is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll, which is thought to aid cardiovascular health. Mix with juices, shakes and smoothies or add to raw food recipes for a superfood boost.
Maca root is known as Peruvian ginseng as it has been valued there for thousands of years for its endurance and energy-giving properties. It is also known as natural viagra, for its apparent aphrodisiac effect. Try Real Vitality Superfood Maca added to flour in bread and cake recipes.
Real Vitality Superfood Spirulina is near-perfect in nutritional terms. It is among the most protein-rich of food sources and contains a huge number of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and phytonutrients like betacarotene.
Wheatgrass too is understood to contain all the nutrients your body needs to be in tip top condition.
Real Vitality Superfood Wheatgrass can be mixed into non-acidic fruit juices and smoothies.
Chlorella is an algae packed with protein (60%), has all the essential amino acids and a high chlorophyll count, making it brilliant for people with anaemia (it helps aid the production of red blood cells) and a great way of getting more magnesium into your diet. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and build up. Try Real Vitality Superfoods Organic Chlorella, it comes in a range of sizes so you can buy as little or as much as you need.
Juices can make up one of your five a day, but make yours a super-juice and your body will thank you for the extra goodness. One glass of juice (usually around 150 mls) counts as one of your five-a-day, only one however! Aim for no added sugar, pure and organic juices to get the most benefits. These juices are also great for perking up smoothies and protein drinks.
Try adding Real Vitality Superfood Acai for starters. Pronounced ah-sigh-ee and native to the Amazon, these grape-like berries have potent antioxidant properties as well as unusually high levels of minerals including manganese, which is beneficial for bone health.
Pomegranates are being studied for their for their effects on reducing blood pressure and cholesterol as well as their anti-cancer properties. Try Biona's Pure Organic Pomegranate Juice with no added sugar for a tasty, healthy boost.
Cooling and soothing aloe vera has been used for centuries to aid digestion. Pukka Herbal Ayurveda Aloe Vera Juice is extracted from the tender inner leaves of the plant, and may help to relieve symptoms of IBS.
Naturally sweet and delicious Biona Organic Pure Cranberry Juice is 100% pure cranberry juice, which means that every drop is working hard to provide vitamin goodness plus relief for those suffering from cystitis.
Tart Cherries are high in anthocyanins and phenolics, they have been studied for their effects on pain and recovery time, gout and preventing inflammation. Anthocyanins have been found to help block pain (similar to how ibuporoen works). Try Biona's Organic Tart Cherry Juice for a thirst-quenching healthy drink.
Coconut water is low in fat and calories, has no cholesterol, and has a natural balance of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium making it a healthy electrolyte drink. It's brilliant for post-workout replenishment and is popular as a hangover cure, it is also widely used in the developing world to combat stomach upsets and dehydration. Try Biona's Organic Coconut Water.
Coconut oil is a heat-stable oil, that can be used for cooking, but is also brilliant as a fat replacement in a wide range of recipes. It's rich in lauric acid (about 50%) which is anti-bacterial and anti-viral and destroys many disease causing organisms. Try Real Foods Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or Essential's Raw Virgin Coconut Oil.
Fresh coconut has a range of vitamins and minerals and is a good source of dietary fibre and trace minerals ( including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous). Try this Real Foods Fresh Coconut or if you prefer dried coconut, try this Desiccated Organic Coconut.
Coconut milk is a useful substitute in non-dairy recipes, it's great at fighting infections and its sweet, creamy taste is great with porridge, smoothies and desserts. Try this Essential Coconut Milk, pressed purely from fresh coconut kernels.
Blueberries are thought to have the same properties as cranberries when it comes to cystitis-fighting. They are also believed to have anti-ageing properties for your body and mind. Try adding a handful of Real Foods Blueberries to your breakfast each morning for a great start to the day.
Goji berries, also known as wolfberry, have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and were introduced to Britain's hedgerows in the 1700s by the Duke of Argyll. They are rich in vitamins B, C and E. Try these tangy berries from Real Foods.
Rio Trading Pau D'Arco Lapacho T-Bags contain the South American herb Pau D'Arco, which is understood to have natural antibacterial properties and has been used for centuries by the tribes of the Amazon to benefit the immune system.
Also try Real Foods Camomile Herb Tea for a relaxing and refreshing night time drink, or for something to wake you up and brighten your day have a cup of Real Foods Green Tea.
Real Food Cacao Nibs are simply chocolate in its raw form before it has been processed into the sweet treat that we all know and love. Sugar and dairy-free, cacao nibs contain the mood-boosting amino acid tryptophan as well as antioxidants, enzymes and minerals.
You could also check out our Raw Food section for a selection of really healthy, exciting snacks.
We’ve been selling natural, healthy food in Edinburgh since 1975. Our mail-order business has slowly evolved over the years to become a thriving webshop, supplying vegetarian, vegan, organic, Fairtrade, free-from and superfoods directly to customers using a 24 hour courier.
Real Foods have long been famed in Edinburgh for our bulk and packdown buying options. We offer our own brand products in a wide range of sizes, so you can try out small amounts and see if spirulina is for you! This also means you can ensure freshness, spices, herbs and nuts all benefit from being bought as and when you need them. Our bulk products offer incremental discounts. The more you buy, you less you pay! Our webshop will show you the prices and apply all discounts before payment. We often sell to businesses and can provide product specifications upon request. Any questions, just email our lovely team at firstname.lastname@example.org or have a look at our FAQ’s here.
We are certified by the Soil Association for our organic products. This means we are certified to pack our own brand organic products, ensuring full traceability of products and supporting the Soil Association in their work. The Soil Association organic logo on our packs is the most recognised organic symbol in the UK and your guarantee that our goods meet the highest standards of sustainability and quality.
Real Foods provide health advice online and in our 2 shops, we’re also blessed with fantastically knowledgeable staff, so if you’ve any questions about which superfoods might suit you or how to crack a coconut, ask us! Or have a look at our articles or Health Notes.