Superfoods are those which have extra nutritional benefits and possibly even medical benefits. This select class of ingredients will act as a shortcut to achieving specific dietary goals such as lowering cholesterol or help with ailments such as arthritis. In this post I am going to share two of the best superfoods which I have found and what their health benefits are.
Turmeric has a whole host of health benefits, the active ingredient is called curcumin. It is a yellow spice from India and is found in most Indian dishes. It has an earthy flavour and stains food and anything else it touches yellow. You can remove the yellow stain with direct sunlight. The biggest benefit of turmeric is that it is a strong anti-inflammatory agent. Therefore is great for anyone who suffers from hives or arthritis. It can also stop swelling of internal organics such as the liver. It may also help improve liver function. In India it is mixed into a paste to act as a skin lotion. Over time it is said to make skin glow and it could also help remove acne. There are no known side effects of turmeric.
When it comes to including it in your diet, it is difficult to include in most dishes. It obviously works well in curries but other than that it is best consumed as a tea or in capsule form. Turmeric supplements are popular but beware of ones which just include the powder as they will not be very effective. Turmeric needs help to be absorbed by the body. Therefore look for extra ingredients when buying a supplement. In tea it should be boiled for around 10 minutes which helps it to absorb into the blood stream. Add lots of milk and sugar, plus you can also add ginger, cardamon pods, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. It is quite a tasty drink like this. If you don’t want milk add a good squeeze of lemon juice. A pinch of pepper will help absorption.
Garlic is the best superfood to help lower cholesterol. My doctor told me to swallow a whole clove a day to lower my levels. Obviously garlic can be included in many dishes. It is really easy to include more in your diet. Garlic bread can be made the healthy way by mixing some freshly grated garlic with low fat margarine. Then spread over wheat bread and toast. Make sure the garlic is in tiny pieces so that it cooks and looses the raw bitter taste. If you are making pasta, even from a jar of sauce, adding a little extra garlic is a god idea. It can also be bought in ready cooked jars. Sprinkle the finely chopped version over rice and hey presto, you have garlic rice. Use the sliced jars to add to sauces for a quick and easy fix.
Garlic is good for overall health. It has antioxidant properties and is a natural antibiotic. If you have tooth ache and no access to painkillers, crush a clove under a knife to release the juices and hold it in your mouth alongside the problem tooth for 15 minutes. It will sting for a while, then help with the pain. Apparently this only works for certain types of tooth ache. The only read side effect of garlic is bad breath. When I had toothache I stunk, but in foods the smell shouldn’t be bad.