Julie Montagu: How Superfoods Can Transform Your Diet
Ever wondered how superfoods can make a difference to your diet? Certified Holistic Health Counsellor and professional yoga teacher Julie Montagu sheds a light on what superfoods are and the effects they have on your body. Read on to find out how easily these nutritious foods can be incorporated into your daily regime to help you feel vibrant, feel good!
Superfoods are nutrient rich foods that are known to be extremely beneficial for overall health. There is much debate as to what qualifies a food as a superfood but there are many that are generally accepted as so. When you include more superfoods in your diet, you will notice that your health improves, your energy levels increase and you’ll generally also notice a difference in your mental state. Many superfoods contain compounds which promote relaxation in the brain. For example, avocados, coconuts and certain nuts work to increase serotonin levels in the body, which boosts happiness and combats depression. When you include more superfoods in your diet, you’ll naturally crowd out the bad stuff that you might also be eating. This will help your body to function more effectively and you’ll be less likely to feel run down or experience illness.
The following are well-known superfoods that are easy to include in your diet every day!
Raw nuts are full of heart-healthy fats as well as high levels of protein, fibre and a massive range of antioxidants. When eaten in moderation, nuts can help to lower cholesterol levels as well as to promote weight loss. Consuming around an ounce of nuts a day is the perfect amount for encouraging optimum health. Because of their rich omega-3 count, nuts are also a good choice if you follow a vegan / vegetarian diet. Omega-3 is extremely important for health and is usually found most prominently in fish, so if you don’t eat fish then nuts are the perfect weapon!
Several fruits have earned the superfood label due to their nutritional makeup. Kiwi, berries, apples, bananas, avocados, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cherries, dragon fruit, grapes and oranges all arguably fall under this label. Therefore, if you aren’t able to find the more exotic superfood, then you can still keep yourself healthy with these supermarket favourites. As a general rule, the more colourful the fruit, the higher the antioxidant count so aim to include a variety of colours in your shopping basket!
Broccoli, sweet potatoes, cabbage, beetroot and radishes all fall into the superfood category. These vegetables are collectively high in vitamins and minerals, not to mention they all have an impressive antioxidant count. Including more superfood vegetables in your diet will mean you are getting much more fibre into your body than usual. Not only does fibre help with weight loss by leaving you feeling fuller for longer, but it also helps to regulate blood sugar and to protect against a range of health conditions. These health conditions include heart attacks, strokes, haemorrhoids and kidney stones. These vegetables also contain calcium and vitamin K which, as we know, is essential for bone health.
Other Amazing Superfoods:
Baobab is becoming increasingly visible as a superfood. This African fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. Comparatively it contains six times the vitamin C count of oranges and twice the calcium of milk. It also has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries and more potassium per serving than bananas. Baobab also has pre-biotic properties that aid your gut in the digestive process.
Another amazing choice is Quinoa. Quinoa has boomed in popularity in the past year or so. This is thanks to its recognition as a superfood. It is a particular favourite of those who suffer from a gluten intolerance or allergy as it is completely gluten free. It is incredibly high in protein, iron, zinc, vitamin E and selenium. Quinoa is great for protecting your heart health as well as reducing your risk of diseases such as diabetes.
And finally, another superfood you should be sure to include is chia seeds. These tiny seeds are undoubtedly one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They are seriously low calorie with a massive dose of nutrition - even from the smallest spoonful. These little seeds were prized by the Mayans and the Aztecs with chia actually being the Mayan word for strength!
When you choose a diet that is rich in superfoods, as opposed to opting for various fad diets, then you are choosing a way of life that constantly promotes optimum health. Eating superfoods isn't about restricting or denying yourself, it is concerned with eating a range of delicious, healthy foods that feed every cell in your body and leave you feeling great!
For more information on the wonderful world of superfoods, get your hands on a copy of Julie's new book Superfoods: The Flexible Approach to Eating More Superfoods.