Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs – These are staples of a healthy diet and yet there are many other food choices around us that have been known to be beneficial to our overall health and well-being. These are called superfoods or adaptogens and they are surprisingly easy to incorporate into any recipe. If you have a strict diet, you can also make your harumaki gluten-free which is a Japanese spring roll, made with wheat flour that you can incorporate a mix of vegetables and seafood.
Adaptogens are plants, herbs, roots and fungi that help our bodies adapt to stress. These superfoods are popular for boosting our immune system, improving cognitive function and getting rid of free radicals from our bodies. They also have the capacity to fight off anxiety and depression and decrease mood swings.
One of the easiest ways to include superfoods in your diet is by infusing or steeping leaves in hot water. There are tea bags that have been pre-packed with different combinations of superfoods. Enjoy your tea hot or cold, with a splash of milk and some natural sweeteners like Stevia.
A smoothie in itself is already healthy. They are usually made of fresh fruits and vegetables, yoghurt, and other nutritious ingredients. Since many superfoods come in powdered form or in extracts, adding them to your already delicious smoothie is as easy as 1-2-3.
Some superfoods are savoury (like ginger) and can be added to many soup recipes to give it some much-needed kick of flavour.
Sauces and dips
Just like soups, adding powders and extracts of adaptogens to sauces and dips is a great way to enjoy their health benefits.
Tinctures are alcohol-based, extract-concentrated mixtures that can be taken straight from the dropper or added to teas and drinks. Any alcohol can be used, but the most common is vodka as it has a neutral taste and the extract’s flavour still shines through.
Give your morning brew a boost with extracts. For example, adding He Shou Wu extract to your coffee is said to have energy-enhancing properties.
Some superfoods to consider
With so many varieties out there, figuring out which superfoods to add to your diet can be a challenge. Here are a few adaptogens worth looking into:
- Pine pollen is cultivated every springtime and is said to have one of the most complete sources of nutrition. This superfood is very versatile since it can be added to drinks, smoothies, soups, and yes, even desserts. Pine pollen is commonly used as a nutritional ‘booster’.
- The reishi mushroom is so rich in antioxidants that it easily beats other superfood mushrooms in a recent study. This fungus has a fan-like shape and was once only served to people of nobility and those who could afford it in Japan and in some parts of China.
- If you’re looking to add Vitamin A and D3 into your diet, grab some rosita cod liver oil. This is the only extra virgin cod liver oil in the world. Another thing that makes it extra special is that it is produced in small quantities in Norway. Cods are harvested in the wild from pristine clean waters of this Nordic country.
Be creative in the kitchen
Aside from being full of nutritional value, superfoods are also bursting with unique flavours. Spice up current go-to meals or whip up a special dessert that would not be delicious but also packed with health benefits.
Whenever you consider buying superfoods, always purchase from trusty stores like Superfoods Australia where each product has been meticulously chosen for its quality and nutritional value.
Simona LeVey did her degree in psychology at Tel Aviv University. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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