Fatima Haffejee – Cii Radio | 08 Rajab 1436/28 April 2015
As much as I’d like to think of myself as a ‘healthy’ eater, I know the reality of it couldn’t be further from the truth. For the most part, I tend to be conscious of what I put in. I reiterate, for the most part (whilst mentally downing a fresh cream doughnut).
This has nothing to do with the latest fad diets but more to do with making better choices for the upkeep of my well-being.
On the topic of ‘fads’, I’ve never really taken to them. My opinions of diets, unlike the rand dollar rate, never fluctuates. If rated on a scale of 1 – 10, dieting gets a zero. Anything that’s likely to be an inconsistent part of my regime is considered unnecessary.
For those needing further elaboration, a ‘fad diet’, according to familydoctor.org, is a weight-loss plan that promises dramatic results. However, these diets don’t typically result in long term weight-loss and are not usually healthy.
But, in a world of quick fixes and instant gratification (I’ve said this before) people are willing to try just about anything. Companies that promote ‘fad diets’ take advantage of this fact.
So what’s this about ‘conscious eating’ you might ask? (and this is where I break it down for you).
‘O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.’
What are Superfoods?
Livescience.com defines it as foods (mostly plant-based but this may include some fish and dairy products) that are nutritionally dense and therefore good for your health. However, any list of ‘top’ superfoods is subjective as the term itself has no set scientific meaning.
Much to my mum’s delight, I’ve never had an issue with the veggies on my plate. At a basic level, superfoods are generally full of health properties, though one will need to take into consideration possible contamination, added sugars or over-consumption of them (the, everything in moderation rule, would probably apply here).
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of the New York Times bestseller ‘The No-Grain diet’, physical health is a direct reflection of what we put into our body. Pre-packaged processed foods may be convenient, but cooking from scratch using fresh unprocessed ingredients is an absolute must if you want to improve your health.
Dr. Mercola goes on to further elaborate on the buzzword ‘superfoods’, saying that while there may be tremendous benefit in selected foods one should not be fooled into thinking that they can be isolated from wholesome eating.
Whole foods that offer a wide range of essential nutrients can easily be incorporated into a balanced diet.
If (like me) you’re on the lookout for wholesome as opposed to binge-eating-followed-by-regret-diet here’s a list of top rated Superfoods.
Often topping most lists, blueberries aren’t necessarily better than cranberries or raspberries, but they are more readily available and palatable. Blueberries are found to be one of the best sources of flavonoids, natural compounds that protects the brains neurons (memory-carrying cells) from the damaging effects of oxidations and inflammation. As a result it has been shown to assist in preserving memory function.
Blueberries have a high water content, which make them hydrating for your skin.
A member of the cabbage family, Kale is a cruciferous vegetables related to broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and brussels sprouts.It is an inexpensive vegetable that is rich in Vitamin A (Calcium), B (Iron) and C (Zeaxanthin). A single cup of raw Kale contains more Vitaimin C than an orange.
The most common type of kale is called curly kale or Scots kale, which has green and curly leaves and a hard, fibrous stem. Being very high in nutrients and low in calories, Kale is considered one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.
Really speaking, it’s a wonder we haven’t already incorporated Kale into our daily diets.
I’ve never been a major Avocado fan (if that’s even a thing). There isn’t even a concrete reason for this and considering the health benefits of Avacado’s I can safely say that I’m only doing myself a disservice.
Avacado’s are very high source of potassium (more than banana’s), which support healthy blood levels. Avacado’s and avocado oil are high in monounsaturated Oleic Acid, a heart healthy fatty acid that is believed to be on the main reasons for the health benefits of Olive Oil.
They also tend to be higher in fiber than most other foods (about 7% by weight). Fibers are benefical in terms of weight loss and metabolic health,
Ntrients, such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin, found in Avacado’s are important for eye health and lowering the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Packed with protein and fibre, Chia Seeds were founded from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala, history suggests it was a very important food crop for the Aztecs.
Some consider it an easy solution to the dietary woes of vegetarians, further saying that it could potentially lower the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Studies have also shown that consistent usage of chia seeds lowers blood pressure.
The seeds are tasteless so they won’t affect the flavour profile of your food, which makes them easy to integrate into your meals.
A serving of Chia seeds, has 18 per cent of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which puts your well on your way to maintaining bone and oral health, and preventing osteoporosis.