Sweet potatoes – a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Picture: Pexels

Increased awareness of healthier living has seen a noticeable shift on the foodie front with a heightened awareness of what we put into our bodies.

Group Executive Chef at Capital Hotel School, Debby Laatz, said eating healthy, exercising regularly and monitoring health has become a lifestyle choice that more people are opting for.

“A super food can be defined as a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being, 100% edible, unrefined, unprocessed and preferably organic. You can take less manufactured vitamin supplements on a daily basis and simultaneously receive greater benefits from “food state” wholefoods.”

For example, she said, you can enjoy a daily mouthful of 80-90% dark chocolate after supper to enrich your diet with magnesium or eat frozen berries blended in double thick Greek yoghurt to meet your fibre, phytonutrient and Vitamin C intake or add a dash of cinnamon for insulin regulation.

“A lot of “superfood speak”  is bringing back the need for following a balanced healthy diet. Use nature as it was intended – to nourish, develop and maintain us,” she said.

Basic superfoods you can include in your diet:

  1. Pecan nuts - offer a variety of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
  2. Apples - are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. The antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
  3. Wheatgrass – consist of several important antioxidants, including glutathione and vitamins C and E 3.
  4. Cinnamon - loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
  5. Avocados - contain a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and over 20 vitamins and minerals.
  6. Sweet potatoes – a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.
  7. Goji berries – low in calories, fat-free, a good source of fibre and a high-antioxidant.
  8. Kale   – is among one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Not only is Kale loaded with antioxidant, but is an excellent source of Vitamin C and helps reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
  9. Umami flavours or savoury tastes is one of the five basic tastes (together with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness) and powders such as hemp, chia and acai are equally beneficial and healthy.