It seems that greedy manufacturers and their shareholders will stop at nothing to minimise cost while making as much money as they can from their products by using food that are known to have huge and negative impact on our health (i.e. Hydrogenated Fats, GMO ingredients, highly processed and refined ingredients (salt, sugar, oils…) obtained by extreme heat or solvents, or both — depriving food from any nutritious value and creating a product able to keep for a — ridiculous — extended period of time, containing chemical residues, and many other things that it seems we are discovering every day…)
At the end of the day it is always about money and never about the customer.
So let’s talk about Superfoods
What are Superfoods?
Superfoods are natural foods that are low in calorie and nutrient-dense (See ANDI, MANDI, ORAC articles), with high levels of antioxidants that help the body fight cell damage from free radicals. These antioxidants boost the immune system and are proven to play an active role in the prevention from cancer and promoting cardiovascular health.
At present, there is no definitive list of Superfoods, and there are some fruits and vegetables with extremely high concentration of antioxidants; however, they are not all known worldwide (i.e. Goji berries have only been globally noticed in the last few years, while Tibetans have been eating them by the handful for centuries, the same for Açaì berries, Maca, Aloe Vera...)
In order to preserve nutrients and essential antioxidants, it is important to use the right cooking methods, avoiding boiling into too much liquid and too long, and over cooking vegetables in general — Vegetables will always tell you when are over coked: their taste changes and become bitter (i.e Broccoli…). It is always best to eat vegetables and fruits raw (It is recommended that 75% of the diet should consist of raw food: salads, crudités, fruit juices (although they have lost most of the fibre), and that one main dish daily should be a salad) and as much of a range as possible.
Want an idea of a ‘Superfoods‘ dinner: Pan fried Fillet of salmon served with sweet potatoes, steamed Kale and Edamame, and side of fresh watercress salad sprinkled with mixed seeds and walnuts pieces, with a little Extra Virgin olive oil, lemon juice and chopped parsley and coriander vinaigrette.
Hints: Marinate the salmon fillet — same recipe as the vinaigrette, but add crushed garlic and a bit of puréed ginger — for 5 minutes. Using a frying pan, make sure the pan is really hot, put salmon fillet skin down, add slat and pepper to taste, and fry for 5 minutes with only 1/4 of a teaspoon of oil (ideally use a oil spray bottle — that you can refill with pure vegetable oil — do not buy already made spray as they are chemically manufactured), then put in hot oven (200˚c) for another 5 minutes. Middle should still be pink and soft, and the skin crispy. You can roast the sweet potatoes or mash them — once mashed, season and add 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin olive oil (instead of butter) and finely chopped parsley. To steam Kale, just place the leaves in a pot with a little water and salt — the leaves will steam instead of boiling. Keep lid on until cooked. Bon appetite.
It is important to notice that no matter how many litres of carrot or pomegranate juice one drinks everyday or how many bowls of blueberries one has for breakfast, when added to a very poor diet and lifestyle, one would not rip the benefits of those Superfoods.
* Based on their ANDI Score
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It is all about FOOD!!!™
This Blog offers an easy-to-read condensed descriptive of food groups, nutrients such as Minerals, Vitamins, Fat, Proteins and Carbohydrates, and their essential role the way nature intended, including their interactions on our body, and systems; nutrition; cooking processes; up-to-date listing of world news with major impact on food and consumers; comprehensive review of restaurants (Menus, Food-on-plate and Quality of Service); and easy-to-follow Exquisite recipes, as well as healthy snacks and juices.
Olivier is a Michelin-Star trained chef, also a student in Nutrition and Naturopathy, embracing fully his passion for good food and healthy eating. He should graduate July 2016.