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Rude Food

Super stars

Super foods are healthy foods that provide additional nutritional and medicinal benefits. Rude Health looks at the benefits of including them in your diet

What makes them super?

Niall Fennell of Nua Naturals based in Galway: “Superfoods are simply foods with very high concentrations of vitamins, minerals and all things good. Chia, bee pollen, coconut oil, hemp seeds, cacao, goji berries are just a few. I love cacao nibs, maca powder and coconut oil – amazing for keeping my mind alert, energy up throughout the day and protecting my future health.”

Ireland’s own Sea of Vitality

Harvest seaweed such as dulse and kelp from the Aran Islands and dry it to make a health store ingredient. According to Ria Jones: “There are over 500 different types of seaweed growing around the shores of Ireland. Of those 500 only about 15 are commonly used. Of these the most common are dillisk/dulse, kelp, sea spaghetti, alaria, carrageenan and bladder wrack.

“Seaweeds are the richest source of iodine which is essential for proper thyroid function and healthy metabolism. They are also high in iron, protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and vitamin B12. Recent research has shown that seaweeds have many health-improving benefits. They are full of antioxidants as well as having anti-inflamatory and anti-bacterial properties. They can help cholesterol and weight management and are also shown to be a probiotic which is good for digestive function. Seaweeds are available to buy in health food shops.

“Seaweeds are very versatile. They work very well in soups, stews and casseroles. Seaweed is really nice on salads or pickled foods. Kelp adds an extra moistness to breads and cakes.”

Top 10 super foods

1. Bee pollen – a super and most nourishing food with 40% protein and everything the human body needs. Sprinkle over cereal.

2. Camu camu – a bush with green or purple berries and white pulp that grows in rainforest in Peru and Brazil. Camu camu powder is good on porridge or in juice. Packed with vitamin C.

3. Chlorella – a single cell green algae, available as a powder you can add to smoothies. Good for immunity and detoxing.

4. Coconut oil – good for brain function and has antiviral properties. You can fry food with it, eat it with a spoon or add to numerous recipes.

5. Goji berries – resembling dried red raisins, goji berries grow in the Himalayas, China and Mongolia. Eat as a snack or add to salads and smoothies. Good for eye health.

6. Maca – from a root grown in the high Andes of Peru. Add the powder to smoothies, or take in capsule form. Good for fertility and menopause support, a rejuvenating tonic.

7. Medicinal mushrooms – include chaga, reishi, cordyceps, shiitake and maitake. Take as a liquid or powered supplement or drink mushroom tea. Have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

8. Oats, nuts and seeds such as hemp and chia are all superfoods. Chia seeds, for example, are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

9. Seaweed – dulse, dillisk, sea lettuce, bladderwrack, kombu or kelp, wakame and Carrageen moss. Add to various recipes. Detoxing plus full of vitamin B12, iron, magnesium and calcium.

10. Spirulina – a blue-green algae that grows in lakes in subtropical climates. Sprinkle over cereal and into smoothies. Packed with protein and amino acids. Anti-inflammatory.

Easy super recipe ideas

Niall Fennell: “Sprinkle bee pollen or maca powder on your granola; soak chia seeds in fresh apple juice until it becomes a pudding then chop some pineapple on top; mix cacao nibs and mulberries together and just eat them straight to curb chocolate cravings; sprinkle hemp seeds on your salad or in soup; throw all your favourites into a blender and blitz to make a smoothie.”

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