5 Nutritionists Share Their Go-To Superfoods
5 Nutritionists Share Their Go-To Superfoods

5 Nutritionists Share Their Go-To Superfoods

Supplements are all well and good, but there are plenty of foods out there that are guaranteed to improve your nutritional intake. Here, five experts share their tips for supercharging your diet this January…
By Tor West

Rohini Bajekal

Nutritionist & Founder Of Rohini Bajekal

A superfood is any nutrient-dense food with science-backed benefits. The term ‘superfood’ gets bandied around a lot, but there’s more to it than expensive powders and supplements. The best superfoods are the ones that are unprocessed, whole and accessible. 

Garlic and onions are great examples. Both have been prized for their medicinal properties and are rich in prebiotic fibres. Prebiotics don’t get enough attention but are just as important as probiotics when it comes to feeding your good gut bacteria. A top tip when preparing onions is to keep as much of the outer layer as possible on the onion, as this part of the vegetable is rich in quercetin, a powerful antioxidant. Always use fresh garlic and onion when cooking as they are easier to digest. 

A teaspoon of cinnamon is full of antioxidants. Studies show a teaspoon of this warming spice can reduce inflammation, improve heart health and regulate blood sugar. Cinnamon works well in both sweet and savoury dishes – add it to porridge, crumbles, stews and curries. 

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Jen Walpole

Nutritional Therapist & Founder Of Jen Walpole Nutrition

Broccoli is the definition of a superfood. Superfoods are, for me, foods that have a multitude of health benefits without being expensive and only found in health food shops. Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin C – a potent antioxidant – and aids iron absorption, collagen synthesis, energy production, hormone balance and mood. It’s also rich in a compound called sulforaphane, which supports the liver in its detoxification processes, therefore supporting more balanced hormones. Broccoli sprouts are even more concentrated in sulforaphane and can be added to meals for an extra nutritional hit. Stock up on frozen broccoli and add to your morning smoothie. If you don’t love broccoli, grate it into sauces, curries, stews and dhals. 

Bone broth is the superfood I recommend to all my clients. A rich source of minerals, amino acids and collagen, bone broth has been consumed for centuries for its health benefits. It’s especially rich in glutamine, an amino acid that’s been shown to reduce inflammation and support gut health. If you make your own, add two to four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to help draw nutrients from the bones, or for ease I’m a huge fan of Freja bone broths. Use bone broth as the base for soups, ramens, stews and risotto. 

Haskap berries contain four times the antioxidants of blueberries. Haskapa’s berry powder is a great way to reap the benefits of these nutrient-dense berries. Just one to two teaspoons is enough to elevate your meals into an antioxidant powerhouse – add to porridge, smoothies, yoghurt and overnight oats. 

Start with the basics. Don’t overlook fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables and wholefoods when it comes to improving your diet. All too often, I see people taking an array of superfood powders – like maca, lucuma, spirulina and chlorella – but aren’t sure why they take them or the benefits. It’s far more beneficial to support the root cause of a health issue. For example, if you are using maca for energy, consider why you may be lacking energy in the first place: what’s your sleep and exercise routine like? Are you getting enough daylight? Have you checked your iron levels recently? Maca won’t help with any of these, and you could be throwing money down the drain. 

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Sonia Wahlroos

Nutritionist & Founder Of Nordic Nutritionist

Food is medicine, but quality matters. If you’re looking to improve the nutrient density of your diet, look to natural, whole foods, not processed powders. Spirulina and chlorella, for example, are tricky to grow and harvest, and tend to be heavily contaminated with heavy metals and toxins. The same goes for maca, goji berry and cacao powder. If you prefer the ease of a powder, look for blends that contain only one ingredient – the superfood itself – with no additives or filler. 

Turmeric powder is the exception. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties and is fantastic for muscle pain and low-grade inflammation. It’s even been shown to be more effective than painkillers in some studies. 

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Kerry Beeson

Nutritional Therapist At Prep Kitchen

It’s worth trying different types of mushrooms. Oyster, shiitake and enoki mushrooms earn the superfood title and can be easily found in bigger supermarkets. They’re a rich source of immune-supporting nutrients, vitamin D and protein. 

Nutritional yeast is a fantastic source of B vitamins. I love everything about nutritional yeast – it’s nutritious, easy to use and delicious. It’s brimming with antioxidants to reduce oxidate stress and support immune function; it’s a brilliant source of beta glucans, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol and balance blood sugar; and it’s a great source of plant-based protein; and it’s rich in B vitamins and vitamin D. Sprinkle on soups, stews or pasta, or use it to flavour sauces. 

Smoothies are a simple way to pack in nutrients. If you’re a fussy eater or unsure where to start when it comes to improving your diet, you can’t beat a smoothie. Start with a base of almond milk, coconut water or cold green tea, and add fermented foods like yoghurt or lassi, along with blueberries and blackberries. Berries are lower in sugar than many fruits and boast anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune-boosting properties. 

Don’t overthink it. The term ‘superfood’ is often misinterpreted and it’s a common misconception that these foods are somehow a panacea for all. The truth is, if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, then you’re probably already eating a multitude of superfoods, and this is precisely what we should all aim to do, rather than placing our faith in just one or two foods. 

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Lauren Windas

Nutritional Therapist & Co-Founder Of Ardere

Olive oil is loaded with beneficial plant compounds. A key component of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is nature’s superfood. Studies show it can support brain and heart health, and reduce inflammation. Extra virgin oil is a fantastic oil for low-to-medium heat cooking, and can be added into dressings or used in marinades. 

Ginger and turmeric can easily be added to curries. Studies show turmeric improves memory, boosts serotonin and dopamine, and may prevent mental decline. To maximise absorption in the body, make sure you cook it with black pepper. Ginger, meanwhile, is rich in antioxidants and can support digestion. 

Chia seeds are one of the few plant-based sources of omega-3s. Chia seeds contain nearly 10g of fibre per 28g serving, a third of your daily recommended fibre intake. Sprinkle onto salads, yoghurts or porridge, or incorporate into smoothies for a boost of fibre. My go-to speedy breakfast is a blueberry smoothie with almond butter, kale, flaxseed and chia seed. 

Superfoods don’t work in isolation. There’s no denying benefits can be gained from eating more nutrient-dense foods, but the misconception here is that they work in isolation. Eating chia seeds every day won’t protect you against chronic disease if you’re sedentary and consume a typical western diet high in sugar and processed foods. Superfoods can’t compensate for a poor diet any more than sticking a bucket under a leak will stop the water from dripping. My top tip? Add in colour where you can: stir-fries with spinach, garlic, broccoli, turmeric and ginger; carrot and coriander soup with fresh ginger; live yoghurt with cranberries and flaxseed; or a tomato, onion and red pepper omelette with smoked salmon, rocket and kimchi.

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DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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