We are what we eat, and there’s been a big push to encourage healthier eating in the past few years. We all know that eating our fruits and vegetables is good for us but some are better for us than others? There are a few ingredients who are the heavyweight champions of the health food world. So what should you be trying to incorporate more into your cooking? Here are five ingredients who also contain a host of added health benefits.
The Acai berry has become a front runner in the superfood race as a result of its exceptionally high levels of anthocyanins, a deep blue pigment in the skin of the berry, which gives it a very high level of antioxidant activity. These antioxidants help to protect the body from damaging free radicals which are known to be at the root of many chronic diseases. The Acai berry also has a very high fiber and fat content making it great for slow-release energy. Just a 100g serve Acai pulp provides around 20% of your recommended daily intake for Vitamin E, 10% for Calcium, the same amount of protein as an egg, and three times the fiber of a slice of wholemeal bread!
Blue agave is currently one of the most popular alternatives to processed sugar and can be used as both a syrup or a dried powder. Blue Agave has a low GI (glycemic index) which means that it doesn’t cause a sharp rise in blood sugar levels which typically causes an increase in insulin production, making it a good alternative to those who need to watch their sugar intake. For those also looking to increase their fiber, blue agave contains the soluble fiber insulin which is proven to help gut health and may play a role in weight loss.
Matcha is produced from the whole leaves of the green tea plant and is processed into a powder, making it a very powerful antioxidant-packed ingredient, containing 137 times more catechins than in other types of green tea. Matcha can help protect the liver, improve brain function, reduce the risk of certain cancers and protect the heart making it a magical green powder to try and incorporate into your daily routine.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. When isolated from the cannabis plant CBD induces no high effects and has been proven very effective at reducing stress and anxiety. CBD can be ingested through edible cannabis products but can also be used in isolation as an oil or extract which can then be added food and drink or taken directly on the tongue.
Turmeric is a wonder spiced packed with phytochemicals including curcumin, which is responsible for the majority of turmerics list of health benefits. Curcumin is a proven anti-inflammatory and can help to remove inflammation from the body. It is also a good digestive aid and can help those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
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