It’s a few years now since we started talking about superfoods. Quinoa, goji berries, hippophae, aronia berries and dozens of other exotic new terms were added to our diet vocabulary, promising miraculous properties that would bring us improved mental and physical health. But the truth is, super foods are not a recent discovery, and not all of them go by such exotic names. An excellent example is olive oil, the super food par excellence, which never occupied the position it deserved in our contemporary lifestyle. Yes, we appreciated its value, but how could it compare with the more exotic, rare and expensive substances presented as panaceas for all our ills by the advocates of an alternative – and exclusive – lifestyle?
Superfoods are those foods which contain a higher concentration of nutrients, remove toxins from your body, leave you feeling younger and fitter, and tone up your immune system – all without any undesired side effects. And the list of super foods is endless! We have prepared a list of some of the most important, essential in the everyday diet of children and adults, some of them familiar, some of them less well known, some only recently introduced to the shops, but all available and easy to integrate into your diet.
1. Olive oil: It protects the arteries, reduces bad cholesterol levels, brings down blood pressure, helps control blood sugar and prevents the build-up of cholesterol.
2. Honey: Honey is an excellent natural weapon against bacterial and fungal infections, rich in polyphenols. We all know how effective it is in treating a sore throat or a cough. It is also recommended for stomach ulcers, while its flavonoids are believed to help prevent heart disease and cancer. More surprising – despite its sweet taste, it is valuable in controlling the balance of sugar in the blood.
3. Broccoli: With properties that are proven to cut the risk of cancer, broccoli helps the human liver to expel damaging toxins. It also contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and is said to improve the memory! Other vegetables in the same brassica family, like cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, have similar properties.
4. Beetroot: Excellent for cleansing the blood and the liver; helps defend the organism against infections.
5. Garlic: Famed for its antioxidant properties and capacity to rid the body of damaging toxins.
6. Pulses: Pulses are rich in natural fibres and help clean out the intestine and bowels, cutting cholesterol levels and regulating the amount of sugar in the blood.
7. Lemon: The lemon contains a high dose of vitamin C and is a powerful antioxidant, good for the liver. It also contains 20 compounds believed to be effective against cancer. Its juice is very good for the skin, balancing pH levels.
8. Pomegranate: Not only does the pomegranate reduce the risk of hardening of the arteries, it also has powerful antioxidant properties which protect brain functions and memory from the effects of ageing.
9. Tea: Rich in catechins, tea protects the arteries, preventing heart disease and strokes, while reducing cholesterol and toning up the whole system.
10. Red wine: The phenols in red wine reduce the risk of heart disease, while the resveratrol is a valuable antioxidant, effective against inflammation and believed to help prevent some cancers.
1. Kale: Kale is rich in antioxidants which cleanse our organism, as well as fibres which assist us to digest our food properly. It also has vitamins A, C and K (helping the blood to congeal and keeping our bones healthy).
2. Linseed: Rich in plant fibres and in Omega-3 fatty acids, linseed is good for the body’s cells, particularly in the brain, offering protection from heart disease and reducing cholesterol levels.
3. Emmer wheat flour: This was the flour used by the ancient Greeks, who kept the wheat we consume so abundantly for their animal food! Emmer wheat has been cultivated more and more widely in recent years, as people appreciate its great health benefits, particularly its role in more effective brain function.
4. Sweet potato: Rich in vitamins (A, C, D, B6), calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium, the sweet potato can help prevent heart disease, strokes and some forms of cancer, while also thought to be effective against the development of cataracts.
5. Asparagus: Asparagus is a powerful diuretic and cleansing agent; it removes toxins and can ease digestion.
6. Brown rice: Rich in plant fibres, brown rice helps improve the digestion and stabilize blood sugar levels.
7. Apples: Apples are among the most effective foods for cleaning out the liver and kidneys, helping them dispose of heavy metal traces and cholesterol. The apple also contains flavonoids thought to help prevent breast cancer.
8. Parsley: Parsley helps our kidneys function effectively. It also helps liver function and is a powerful antioxidant.
9. Blackberries: With their powerful antibiotic properties these delicious berries help us fight off bacterial infections and viruses.
10. Seaweed: Eating seaweed can help our bodies expel any traces of heavy metals or radioactive waste we may have ingested in our food.
1. Goji berries: Grown in Tibet, these little red berries are rich in vitamins (A, B, C, E), amino acids, antioxidants and minerals. They are a valuable ally against depression, and can prevent the development of cellulite.
2. Quinoa: Quinoa is a grain rich in proteins, vitamins, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It is particularly valuable in healing damaged tissue.
3. Hippophaes: With more than 190 nutrient substances, hippophaes protect us from free radicals, improve the appearance of the skin (concealing scars and the signs of ageing), helping the digestive system and increasing energy and vitality.
4. Saffron: Strengthens the immune system, reduces cholesterol and creates a sense of wellness and energy
5. Maca rice: Grown in Bolivia and Peru, Maca rice is believed to help with infertility and sexual problems, as well as period pains and menopausal symptoms. For athletes, it can increase energy levels and stamina.
6. Noni: A wild fruit found in Tahiti, rich in antioxidants and nutrients which boost cell function and combat free radicals, strengthening the immune system and improving circulation of the blood. Also believed to be effective against pain and inflammation.
7. Wheat germ: Rich in chlorophyll, wheat germ increases the flow of oxygen to the body’s cells and helps improve brain function. It contains a wide range of vitamins and proteins, is effective against bacteria, eliminates heavy metal traces and toxins from the body, aids fertility, helps combat pain and constipation.
8. Aronia: Otherwise known as chokeberries, these are an excellent aid in the battle against hypertension and heart disease. They also reduce stress, can help fight virus infections, increase energy levels and treat infections of the urinary tract. They also help to reduce the intensity of allergies.
9. Soya beans: These contain iron, calcium and mercury, good for the heart and valuable in reducing blood pressure. Also recommended for treating symptoms of menopause.
10. Cannabis seeds: Cannabis seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats and help cut cholesterol levels. They contain Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as linolenic acid, believed to help individuals with arthritis, heart disease and cancer. It is also claimed they can improve memory function.
More super foods: fennel (effective against water retention), artichokes (helps cleanse the liver), onion (helps combat free radicals and viruses), tomatoes (rich in lycopene), ginger (an anti-inflammatory, good for the digestive system), fish (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C, good for the brain and heart), bananas (the vitamin B6 helps improve our mood), spinach (rich in vitamin K, calcium and magnesium), avocado (helps clear the arteries and reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer), almonds (vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and proteins, help stabilize blood sugar levels) and yoghurt (good bowel function, as well as boosting the immune system). At the Porto Sani super foods play a prominent role – and in their purest form! Food comes direct from the farmer, because all fresh fruit and vegetables are delivered daily from a farm nearby in Nea Fokaia. You will recognize the healthiest foods at the breakfast buffet and on our restaurants’ a la carte menus, thanks to the "S" symbol next to the healthiest dishes, making it easier for you to go for the most wholesome option.
Tip: try the 'Superfoods' corners at Sani Beach & Porto Sani restaurants and find the Superfood symbols (S) included in most restaurants menus.