Up the diet ante
Superfoods — what makes them so good? According to Dietitians Association of Australia spokeswoman Charlene Grosse, there are no strict rules about what can be called a “superfood”.
“However, they should be foods that pack a nutritional punch, ” she said.
“Superfoods should be high in fibre, antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
“And they should also contain only minimal amounts of, if any, saturated fat, added sugars and salt.”
Try these simple ideas to incorporate superfoods into your diet:
• Make a moist blueberry and banana bread.
• Include a big handful in an icy granita.
• Top a cup of fresh blueberries with a little low-fat ice-cream for dessert.
• Sautee with almonds and garlic as a side dish.
• Whip up a broccoli soup with cheesy toasts.
• Throw broccoli into a cold pasta salad for lunch.
• Spread on your toast with banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
• Use it instead of cream cheese for a lower-fat version of cheesecake.
• Dollop it on homemade pizza and cut back on the amount of other cheese.
• Dip bread in egg and milk mixture to make French toast. Top with yoghurt, berries and honey.
• Team with low-fat bacon for a breakfast burrito.
• Top fried rice with a cooked egg.
• Toast a tortilla with a filling of chicken, kidney beans, cheese and avocado.
• Blend up chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and garlic to make hummus.
• Use chickpeas in a Moroccan tagine.
• Blend with milk and fruit for a dense, nutty-tasting shake.
• Soak with juice or milk and refrigerate overnight to make bircher muesli.
• Use as a crust on meat or fish, instead of breadcrumbs.
• Toss half a cup of cooked quinoa into a salad for a protein punch.
• Fill your lunch box with quinoa and vegie fritters.
• Make a super-filling porridge — no oats required.
• Use shredded salmon in pasta
• Prepare a maple syrup glaze to brush over oven-baked salmon.
• Use on your lunchtime sandwich with a little low-fat cream cheese, dill, chives and capers.
• Toss mixed ripe tomatoes into panzanella salad (bread salad).
• Put both tinned tomatoes and tomato paste in a pasta sauce.
• Serve caponata or ratatouille on crunchy bread.
• Process with strawberries and a little honey, and freeze for a healthy dessert
• Layer with oven-baked oats, dried fruit and chopped nuts
• Make a dip with yoghurt, herbs, olive oil and garlic
Superfoods for beauty
A balanced diet with variety is the best way to have healthy, glowing hair, nails and skin, according to Charlene Grosse.
“There are no magic foods shown to be the most effective, but including the following within a healthy diet can help.”
Skin, hair and nails are mostly protein so include at least one daily serve of lean meat, chicken, seafood, legumes or eggs along with three serves of low-fat dairy products.
Munch on nuts to keep your hair and nails in good shape.
“Nuts are little nutrition nuggets, packed with essential fats, vitamin E and B vitamins, ” Ms Grosse said.
For skin, increase your intake of citrus and kiwi fruit, which are both high in vitamin C — essential to make collagen.
Also good for the skin is betacarotene that is converted to vitamin A. Mango, paw paw, spinach, carrot and pumpkin contain a good amount.
Not all foods are created equal
Some foods in the same food group do have a nutritional edge over others. According to The Monday to Friday Diet author Susie Burrell, if you’re going to pick up a berry, make it a blueberry because they are high in antioxidants.
For nuts, eat walnuts because of the omega-3 fats. Grain bread trumps wholemeal varieties, and when it comes to fish, choose salmon, sardines or snapper over white fish. For poultry lovers, turkey is a better choice than chicken.
© The West Australian
More Health news: thewest/lifestyle.com.au