Five of our favourite (super) foods that everyone should have in their home
words by Sadie Macleod
The Pulse: Lentils
These lovely little green things often get a bad rep for being the ultimate “hippie” food. But there is a lot more to them than meets the eye. For starters they are packed full of fibre, especially soluble fibre, which is fantastic for digestion and keeping blood sugar levels stable. This in turn will help you feel fuller for longer as you won’t experience the sugar spikes that cause you to be hungry again. One cup of lentils also contains 18g protein and 37 per cent of your recommend daily intake of iron. Lentil’s are also an incredibly versatile food. You can use them to make a healthy curry, or turn them into a dhal. Lentils go particularly well with turmeric (more of that later) and I also love teaming them up with coriander. You can even turn them into burgers! And if you buy the dried version they will last in your store cupboard for ages.
The Spice: Turmeric
Best known as a spice used in curry, turmeric is pretty much a staple food in India – and we urge you to make it one too as it is also an incredibly healing one. It is a bright yellow spice and the compound responsible for this, called curcumin, also contains all the health benefits. These include, phenomenal anti-inflammatory properties, which have been proven to be as effective, and in some cases more so, than prescribed drugs (without all the nasty side-effects). This makes it the perfect thing to introduce to those suffering from arthritis and even cancer (where the research reveals how fantastic the spice is at reducing tumor sizes). Turmeric is even great for calming inflamed skin conditions such as eczema. Try adding yours to scrambled eggs for a hip and healthy breakfast – or lentils!
The Protein: Wild Alaskan Salmon
Salmon is not only one of the easiest fishes to cook (it goes with just about everything) but it is also packed full of skin and hair loving omega 3s. Wild Alaskan Salmon in particular contains one of the best sources in the world due to its diet of krill, which also gives it its exotic pink colour due to a natural carotenoid found in krill. One three ounce serving of salmon contains more than 18 grams of protein plus potassium, selenium and even vitamin B12 (important for nerve and blood cells).
The Vegetable: Kale
Although not as well known as spinach and cabbage, kale is often regarded as an antioxidant superstar amongst leafy greens, from those in the know. And for good reason. Kale is bursting with calcium and iron, not to mention vitamins A, C and K. One cup of kale only has 36 calories and per calorie has more iron then beef! It also contains seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli. Kale can be eaten raw (and tastes great with pomegranate seeds) but if you have never had it before we suggest lightly steaming it.
The Fruit: Goji Berries
Having been used in Chinese medicine for over hundreds of years, goji berries must be doing something right. They are full of antioxidants and have been hailed a worthy superfood by many nutritionists. Not only are they made up of over 18 amino acids but they are also a rich source of vitamin C. The best kind come from Tibet and are organically grown. We like to add ours to salads, porridge, quinoa dishes and even glasses of water (the berries act as a natural flavourer).
All these fab foods also make a great meal when combined together. The goji berries add a nice sweet flavour to the lentils and salmon and the turmeric helps the whole meal to taste incredibly exotic.