When hibernation turns into springtime lethargy, it’s high time for power foods. The best thing is they have long since been found in our kitchens, on our plates and in snack boxes; but what exactly is so great about power foods and how can you incorporate them into everyday life? The girls over at “Ernährungsliebe” (Nutrition Love) tell us more.
What is power food?
Just as with superfoods, there is no medical, dietary or legal definition for the term power foods. When we speak of “superfoods”, we mean foods that supply us with particular ingredients, or particularly large amounts of them. They are considered to be highly beneficial to overall health and well-being.
Certain fruits or vegetables, nuts and seeds are often considered to be superfoods. Basically, there are three important points that make a food a proper power food:
High-quality composition of fatty acids: Polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids, are extremely beneficial for the body. They protect the cardiovascular system and keep our brain cells working.
Concentrated vitamins and phytochemicals: These micronutrients strengthen our immune system, protect against diseases and have an “anti-aging” effect. It is especially important in the spring to recharge your body with plenty of vitamins and phytochemicals.
High fibre content: Fibre is a true all-rounder: it gets the digestion going, helps to eliminate harmful substances, slows down the rise in blood sugar after eating, and thus prevents cravings. Dietary fibre also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer and diabetes.
So, where´s the power?
High-quality fatty acids come mainly from nuts and seeds. Use high-quality oils for cold foods e.g. walnut or linseed oil; improve soups and salads by adding seeds e.g. chia, hemp or basil seeds; when buying bread and rolls, check for nuts and seeds in the list of ingredients e.g. chia bread rolls or walnut bread.
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and phytochemicals. Aronia berries, peppers, rose hips, currants and broccoli are vitamin C bombs. Blueberries are the secret when it comes to antioxidants – they are a true fountain of youth!
Dietary fibre is found in wholegrain cereal products, legumes and seeds. Reach for oatmeal, chickpeas, lentils, psyllium husks or flax seeds. Try a chia bread roll that combines high-quality fatty acids and fibre.
It is important to remember that a single food can never combine all the important ingredients, so variety is necessary. Bring colour to your plate – the more colourful the better – true to the motto #eattherainbow.
Exotic foods or familiar fare?
Superfoods from exotic countries often find their way to us. They have to be transported far to end up on our plates. This sometimes results in high nutrient losses, and the ecological aspect is also significant.
When possible, it is better to make better use of local options. Especially in spring, there is a regionally wide selection of fresh foods that are bursting with nutrients. The shorter the distance from the field to the plate, the more the important nutrients are retained.
Moreover, local foods can compete quite well with exotic varieties. Flaxseed keeps up with chia seeds in terms of dietary fibre, and blueberries just as good for vitamin C as acai berries.
Power foods can certainly enrich your diet and support a conscious start to spring. No food is an all-rounder and the bottom line is that a balanced, varied diet is the foundation of a health-conscious lifestyle. One or two superfoods are the perfect add-on to start springtime full of power!
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