Which Super-foods will help you perform super-good?

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There are many a list of Super-foods out there on the interweb. It can get a bit confusing with so many different lists of these so called life enhancing and health maximising foods.

One of the reasons there's so many different lists is because there is money to be made in this health food revolution, and if these providers can package up 'their own' spin on super-foods, they can then sell these ideas on within their own brand and products.

As we don't support a specific provider of any of these plans, we're going to provide the list of 10 most common items to show up on these lists. The ones we feel are the heavy hitters of the super-food world. Sure, there will be extra's, like "what about such and such" or "I heard that I must be eating that other thing" or "hey you forgot x, y, or z".

Just think of this list as the base, the foundation - the stuff you should definitely be consuming on a regular basis.

As always even within some of these items there will be a good option and a not as good. For example salmon. Ideally this would be wild salmon, freshly caught. But most realistically farmed fresh salmon will be the go to option at most supermarkets in NZ. Then you'd have your tinned salmon, still a good source, but not as good as the others.... but better than not eating salmon at all.

So with that in mind let's dive into the 10 Super-foods according to Results Room.

Blueberries

Best buddies: all other varieties of fresh, frozen, or dried berries.

Blueberries are packed full of nutrients, most notable being Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Manganese, B Vitamins, as well as polyphenols.

Spinach

Best buddies: kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce, orange capsicum.

Spinach is king of the green leafies. As a general rule the darker the greens the more active phytonutrients they contain. It's a rich source of Vitamin K, Iron, and plant-derived omega 3 fatty acids.

Walnuts

Best buddies: almonds, pistachios, sesame seeds, peanuts, macadamias, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Although all nuts and seeds are good for you, the walnut is the 'flagship' nut. There's a reason it's shaped like a brain.... They are a rich source of plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids, rich in plant sterols, a good source of fibre and protein, and high in magnesium, folate and vitamin E, and they're the nut with the highest antioxidant activity.

Broccoli

Best buddies: brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, rocket, and watercress.

If you were only ever going to eat one type of vegetable again, then broccoli  and spinach would be fighting it out. To best absorb all available nutrition, broccoli is best eaten both raw and cooked. The raw vegetable has more Vitamin C, but cooking makes the carotenoids more bio-available.

Salmon

Best buddies: sardines, tinned tuna, herring, trout, oysters, and clams.

Hands down salmon is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Add to that it's a rich source of protein then salmon or its buddies should be on your dining table (and in your lunch) several times a week. If you can get fresh caught this is the best option.

Eggs

Best buddies: none - they can't be replaced.

Eggs are touted as the only complete source of protein we have, providing all of our amino acids (the building blocks that make up protein). As well having Vitamin A and E, eggs are one of the few foods to provide Vitamin D - the vitamin we most commonly get from the sun. Modern belief is that unless you have pre-existing cholesterol issues, the good effect on cholesterol that eggs have, vastly outweigh the bad.

Avocado

Best buddies: asparagus, artichokes, extra virgin olive oil.

So versatile, the avocado has more soluble fibre than any other fruit, as well as being number one for Vitamin E, Lutein, Glutathione, and beta-sitosterols. They're proven to increase HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL cholesterol. They are also rich in magnesium, potassium and folate. Get them in you!

Tea

Best buddies: black tea and green tea.

The worlds most popular super-food, tea can help with lowering blood pressure,, reducing risk for stroke, promoting oral health, preventing cancer and osteoporosis, promoting heart health, being anti-inflammatory, as well as contributing to daily fluid needs.

As if all that weren't enough, tea is rich in flavenoids - the same type as found in red wine and berries.

Coconut

Best buddies: coconut oil

Both coconut water and oil are in the mainstream now, and for good reason. The fat from coconut is over 90% saturated with the majority of that made up of medium chain triglycerides, which are transported direct to the liver for storage instead of as body fat. They then help stimulate the bodies metabolism assisting with weight loss. Read more about coconut oil in next weeks post.

Quinoa

Best buddies: oats, wild rice, brown rice, barley, buckwheat, and bulgur wheat.

There seem to be more and more ancient grains and ancient super-foods being discovered recently, but there's no denying the ever reliable quinoa. It's a potent source of iron and magnesium, as well as being a rich source of protein and calcium making it ideal for vegetarians or vegans.

If you're interested in quinoa spend 11 minutes to find out why you should fully appreciate it.