The food and health industry is littered with advice and it can be difficult to know where to start. Making small gains and generally health conscious-choices are likely your best bet at living a healthy lifestyle rather than taking any one mantra or regimen verbatim.
There are numerous ingredients that could be included in your diet to reap benefits from and we could have included many in this list, but these 4 superfoods are a great start to be including on your weekly food shop!
Turmeric or curcuma longa to give it its scientific name, contains a chemical called curcumin which has been purported to aid the reduction of swelling. Turmeric is a very beneficial ingredient that anyone should have in the house; as well as its health benefits it can also create incredible taste in your stews or even juices to name just a couple of uses.
Curcumin, a polyphenol, has been shown to target several signalling molecules while also showing activity at the cellular level, which has helped support its efficacy including for managing inflammatory and degenerative eye conditions.
Ginger is a brilliant store cupboard ingredient, again both for its flavour and health properties. The chemicals it contains seem to work in the stomach and intestines and is also used for nausea, menstrual cramps, and osteoarthritis.
In recent years, there have been several randomised control trials evaluating the efficacy of ginger supplementation in reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in cancer patients and dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps). It has also been seen to improve lipid profiles and benefit insulin sensitivity.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, swiss chard, spring greens or spinach tend to be a great source of nutrients including zinc, calcium, vitamin c, folate, fibre and iron. The green leaves of these also have the potential to reduce illnesses including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
While these can taste bitter when eaten alone, frying with a little butter, garlic and seasoning can make them delicious and they also work well as a base for soups or smoothies
Filled with health benefits such as its ability to improve gut health and lower cholesterol, chia is also one of the few medicinal plants that produce essential oil in great concentration which is used to make omega-3 fatty capsules. Studies have also revealed that chia seed has a higher availability of phytosterols which have cancer and cardio-protective effect with antimicrobial activities (Alonso-Calderon et al. 2013).
Add these 4 superfoods to your recipes for some fantastic health benefits. Tag us on instagram (@therenaissaint), we’d love to see how you incorporate them!
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