There's been plenty of hype in recent years around so-called 'superfoods', with things like blueberries, kale, nuts, quinoa and salmon getting plenty of attention. While these six foods may not have achieved superstar status just yet, they're definitely worth adding to your shopping list, starting today.
This unusual looking vegetable may take a little longer to prepare, but given its nutritional value, we think you'll want to make the effort. One of the most antioxidant-rich veggies around, artichokes also pack a powerful protein punch. What's more, they are an excellent source of fibre and contain vitamins C and K, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. Both the heart and leaves are edible (and delicious!) and can be enjoyed in several different ways – boiled, baked, grilled, roasted, steamed, stuffed or sautéed.
Brussel sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable, which means that they are high in nutrients and low in calories – some of the more famous members of this family include broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage. They are high in vitamins C and K (one of the functions of vitamin K is to help the body absorb calcium, which is also found in Brussel sprouts) and are a good source of vitamin A, alpha-lipoic acid (a powerful antioxidant) and protein. Brussel sprouts are delicious roasted, pan-fried or sliced and added raw to salads.
This humble herb may not be one of the first things that springs to mind when you think about healthy greens, but you may be surprised to learn that it made the top 15 on a list of 'powerhouse' fruit and vegetables ranked according to their nutrient density – it scored higher than kale, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, among others. Chives are bursting with goodness – calcium, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin K and choline, an essential nutrient that plays a key role in the nervous system and affects liver function and brain development – so sprinkle them liberally over quiches, frittatas, omelettes and salads, and in veggie stocks.
Guavas are an excellent source of fibre, potassium, antioxidants and vitamins A and C. In fact, they are one of the richest food sources of vitamin C, with one guava providing twice as much immune-boosting goodness as an orange. There's also evidence that this tropical fruit may boost heart health, with one study linking it to a decrease in blood pressure and bad cholesterol and an increase in good cholesterol.
Kefir (cow or goat's milk that's been fermented with kefir grains) is a valuable source of calcium and is jam-packed with live probiotics that keep your gut healthy and boost your immune system. So, while the idea of a fermented dairy drink may not sound entirely appealing, with so much goodness in just one glass, you'll definitely want to give it a try.
They may be small, but sardines are certainly big on benefits. An outstanding source of omega-3 fatty acids, sardines also have very low mercury levels, making them one of the safest fish to eat. Pop a tin or two into your trolley next time you hit the grocery aisles and enjoy them on toast, with a few slices of fresh tomato, in a crisp summer salad, or in homemade fish cakes.
Up your nutrition game
If you'd like some guidance on your nutrition journey, Elixr nutritionist Mogestri Pather is here to help. Mogestri holds a Bachelor of Health Science and an Advanced Diploma in Applied Science in Nutrition, and is an accredited VLA (vitality, longevity and healthy ageing) practitioner with a personal and caring approach. She
advises on weight loss, anti-ageing digestive imbalances and immune disorders.
To make an appointment with Mogestri, call 0414 650 515 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.