So believe it or not this superfood craze is not as “trendy” as you make think. You are actually eating ‘Superfoods’ and not even realising! Sorry to burst all those superfood bubbles out there but here is the definitive definition of superfoods.
Superfood: (noun) a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.
So realistically there is a lot, however, most people think of exotic foods with unpronounceable names. Well I have news for you. You would be surprised to know, the Superfoods in harvest this winter is what you are already consuming and will probably consume at some point in the near future. These are the best Superfoods to enhance your immune system pronto and are especially delightful during the dark gloomy days!
This humble little fruit packs a punch when it comes to its antioxidant profile. It supports heart health and research suggests it also aids respiratory function by decreasing wheezing and the duration of a sore throat (which makes it particularly useful in winter when we are all prone to colds and flu and laying in bed feeling sorry for ourselves). They contain more vitamin C than oranges and their high fibre content also improves digestive function and bowel health.
Added bonus? Some recent research (albeit small) has found that eating kiwi fruit an hour before bed helps you get to sleep more soundly and reduces the time taken to get to sleep. Believe it!
Garlic is definitely not a new kid on the block, and has been used traditionally for thousands of years for its range of health benefits. Eating a few crushed raw cloves every day wards off colds and coughs and boosts your immune system. It may actually even stop you from getting sick in the first place- winning! You see, raw garlic contains alliin, which turns into allicin when crushed (confusing I know!)– these active constituents have been shown to boost white blood cells (which help fight foreign invaders-something you don’t want). If you don’t dig garlic breath, you can buy odourless capsules from your local health food store, which still have many of the medicinal benefits.
The little old supermarket button mushroom is a good source of vitamin D, which is an important nutrient to help you get through winter. Our vitamin D levels are lowest at the end of winter (because of our lack of sunlight exposure) but this hormone (yep it’s not actually a vitamin!) is super important for immune regulation. Store bought mushrooms can generate quite a good amount of vitamin D when placed in sunlight for a couple of hours so if you see a break in the clouds over winter get those mushrooms out and soaking up the rays! Although, don’t rely on these as your only source of vitamin D. Animal sources such as eggs and fatty fish, and sunshine exposure are better and more effective sources of vitamin D.
Added benefit? Vitamin D is important for bone health and muscular strength so correcting deficiencies may help you pump more iron at the gym!!! (if that’s your thing).
Now I’m not talking about your Capilano honey in the pantry! You see, not all honey is medicinal and Manuka honey has some pretty amazing health effects unique to this type of honey. My sources tell me that Manuka honey boosts the immune system and stops the growth of Strep bacteria, which can be responsible for causing sore throats or more serious health conditions. Look for products with a high UMF (unique manuka factor) as this is a global standard for measuring the antibacterial benefits of this magical honey.
Added benefit? Eating Manuka honey daily can boost energy, promotes good sleep and can be used as a facial beauty treatment!
ohhh Turmeric, this guy has made a BIG comeback recently and it’s no surprise because this herb seems to be able to fix anything! The active constituent is Curcumin, which not only gives this herb its yellow colour (watch out it really stains!) but it is also responsible for the anti – inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and digestive benefits of this spice. Add turmeric to your smoothies, teas, curries, stir fries, soups and other foods (so versatile isn’t it!) and eating it daily will benefit so many areas of your health. Um can you tell I love this herb?
p.s check out our amazing Turmeric Hummingbird recipe from our Nutritionist Alanna. It tastes amazing.
Who knows what you will learn next week folks!
All the smiles,
Your Hummingbird Enthusiast