These top 5 everyday superfoods don’t get as much love as kale, blueberries and spinach but their health benefits are just as powerful. Boost your nutrient intake with delicious, versatile and inexpensive beets, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, red cabbage and basil. No need to load up on goji berries andspirulinaa every day when you’ve got a kitchen full of these simple, health-boosting foods.
Juicers everywhere rave about the benefits of adding beets to their daily juicing routine, and they’re most certainly raving for a good reason. Just to start with a few reasons to eat these red root vegetables, they contain sodium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, iron and phosphorus and that’s just getting started! They’re also considered a fibre food and are high in good-for-you natural carbohydrates making them an excellent source of natural whole-food energy.
The beautiful red colour of beets comes from a group of antioxidants called betalains of which there have been hundreds of studies on the numerous health benefits.To sum it up, it’s been shown they may be effective in areas such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and inflammation. Beets are also good for your well-being as they contain feel-good tryptophan, plus they can lower your blood pressure and can help cleanse and detoxify the body. Do I need to list any more reasons to eat beets? Well just for good measure, they’re cheap and available year round so you don’t really have any excuse not to eat them!
2. Red Cabbage
Red cabbage is another vegetable that is both inexpensive and typically available year round. Red cabbage contains twice the vitamin C as green cabbage and it may help to lower the risk of some types of cancer. In addition to being full of vitamin C, it’s also high in fibre, vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium, thiamine, folate, calcium, iron and magnesium. Cruciferous vegetables such as red cabbage get their anti-cancer properties from glucosinolates which is said to aid in the prevention of bladder, breast and other cancers. All the minerals and vitamins in red cabbage make it great for anti-aging, boosting immunity, preventing osteoporosis and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s it’s also good for the eyes and skin.
TRY IT: Chop and saute until lightly cooked, finely chop and add to salads.
Red Cabbage Recipes
3. Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are packed with minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and copper. They’re also a good source of vitamin K, phytosterols that have been shown to reduce cholesterol and protect against cancer, and zinc which can help protect against osteoporosis. Pepitas are also an excellent source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin Bg and folates, also knows as the vitamin B group plus they’re a good source of protein and can reduce inflammation.
TRY THEM: Eat a few tablespoons as a snack, sprinkle on salads, add to hot cereals, add to baking or trail mix.
Basil is known to have powerful antioxidant properties that can protect the body from aging, skin conditions and even some types of cancer. It’s high in magnesium, vitamin K – important for bone health, iron, has antibacterial properties and has been shown to detoxify the liver. If you don’t have access to fresh basil, both dried basil and basil oil offer some of the same health benefits and even have some of their own. The fragrant herb also contains the flavonoids orientin and vicenin, which are plant pigments that shield your cell structures from oxygen and radiation damage.
TRY IT: Add to fresh pasta, add to salad dressings, add to juices, use in pesto.
5. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a dark, green leafy vegetable that offers a bunch of health benefits. It contains 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, it contains betalains, which have an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effect on the body and it’s high in fibre in protein. It also has a huge amount of vitamin K which is important in helping maintain strong and healthy bones. To top it all of one serving offers a high amount of immunity-boosting vitamin-C and eyesight-saving vitamin A.
TRY IT: Chop finely and add to salads, saute with lemon and garlic, use as a wrap.