It's spring! Get out of your winter funk and give your diet a boost with these delicious, nutrient dense additions that will have your whole body humming. If chosen well, food can reshape not just your body, but your overall health and wellbeing too. Think improved mood, focus, energy, skin, and metabolism.
Here’s my top 10 Spring Superfoods to help supercharge you this spring:
Great for: anti-ageing
With the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit, Blueberries help your skin repair damage caused by environmental factors like pollution and UV rays.
Try my Blueberry Protein Pancakes here.
Great for: skin
With it’s high concentration of fatty acids, salmon can prevent wrinkle formation. It’s special make-up of omega-3s helps stop the release of enzymes that reduce collagen, keeping your skin plump and fresh. Omega-3s also regulate oil production in the skin, which helps keep your complexion clear.
Try my Crispy Skinned Salmon recipe here.
Great for: weight loss
There's no reason to be afraid of eating fats—as long as they're the right ones! Avocados' healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) help to satiate hunger. Stick to a quarter of an avocado per serve, and watch that belly fat melt away. The creamy fruit is also packed with fiber and protein to help keep you full for longer. No more between-meal snacking!
Swap butter and margarines for a speed of avocado on your morning toast.
Great for: low mood
Just one quarter of cup provides more than 100 percent of your daily requirement of plant-based omega-3 fats, which has been shown to alleviate depression. Walnuts are also packed with tryptophan, an amino acid your body needs to create the feel-great chemical serotonin.
Crush a small handful (skins on) and sprinkle over your salad a few times a week.
5. Acai Berries
Great for: digestive health
These tasty berries are a great addition to your spring diet. Among other awesome properties, the acai berry is known to keep the digestive system clean and in optimal function by providing an excellent dose of fibre.
You can buy the freeze-dried powder from health food stores. Try sprinkling it over your morning oats, or by making my Antioxidant Smoothie.
Great for: water retention
These spears are a natural diuretic, which helps to decrease the level of fluid within the body. It also helps to cleanse the body of excess salts, which is especially beneficial for people who suffer from high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.
Try griddling a bunch with a little coconut oil, then season with cracked black pepper and lemon juice.
Great for: energy and stamina
Astaxanthin (pronounced "asta-ZAN-thin") is a naturally-occurring red pigment, or carotenoid. Scientists have touted it responsible for the stamina seen in salmon when swimming upstream to lay their eggs. Reported benefits include improved athletic performance, reduction in the risk of sunburn and skin damage, improved eye and joint health, increased skin elasticity and a reduction in fatigue.
To benefit, you would need to consume two large wild salmon fillets daily! An alternative is to take concentrated Astaxanthin supplements, which can be found in health food stores across Australia.
8. Maca Powder
Great for: energy
The maca root has an exclusive balance of proteins, carbs, anti-oxidants, plant sterols, minerals and vitamins. It is known to balance the endocrine system (such as your adrenals) which in turn boosts your energy and vitality.
Add a teaspoon to your next smoothie or for a decadent dessert, try my Cacao, Cherry and Maca-Tahini cups here.
9. Spring Garlic
Great for: weight loss
Spring garlic contains a compound called allicin, which gives it its pungent smell. It has been reported that allicin can help to avoid overeating by stimulating satiety in the brain. Spring garlic has a milder, sweeter taste than the dried white bulbs you buy in summer.
Try it crushed over chicken breast with a little olive oil, and oven-cook on a medium heat for 20-25 minutes.
Great for: alkalising the body
Chlorophyll alkalises and purifies your body by neutralising and removing toxins. It's known to heal digestive disorders, boost immunity, provide energy, and even prevent anaemia.
Liquid chlorophyll can be found in the health food isles of most supermarkets, pharmacy or health food store.
As Anne Wigmore once said: “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” Take every opportunity to nourish yourself with nutritious foods and your health will look after itself.
What are you favourite spring superfoods and why? Let me know below!