If December is the time for mulled wine and mince pies, January is all about skinny lattes and salads. After the over indulgence of the holiday season, we’re all anxious to break bad habits and get back on track.
“Let thy food be
With that in mind, we made our way over to Eighth Day Co-op on Oxford Road to talk to their on staff nutritionist, Ursula, about what’s new in the world of Super Foods and why we should be eating them. As Hypocrates famously said, “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.”
1. Kale (or any other dense leafy green)
“Our general diets tend towards acidity, especially around the holidays,” explained Ursula, “this can lead to acid reflux, poor digestion and long term damage.” Kale alkalises the acidity in the body to boost the immune system, balances the healthy bacteria in the body and wards off cancer.
Aside from it’s health benefits, Kale is also indigenous to the UK and super affordable.
2. Goji Berries (for blood pressure)
We’ve all heard the buzz around Goji berries, but as it turns out most berries are super foods. Aside from being generally nutrient dense, they are also rich in an antioxidant called anthocyanin which can lower blood pressure and improve vein integrity.
Berries are an ultra convenient addition to the diet, as they can be purchased frozen and tossed into a bowl of porridge or a smoothie.
3. Medicinal Mushrooms (immune boosters)
That’s medicinal…not magic. According to research trials conducted by Cancer UK, certain mushrooms are immune boosters with anti-microbial properties. “Medicinal mushrooms work in a unique way in how they ward off infection,” Ursula explained. They show such promise, in fact, that Cancer UK is using them to aid in immune recovery after chemotherapy.
4. Tumeric (for your cold joints)
In Ayurvedic medicine, tumeric has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis and other joint issues. The active ingredient, curcumin has anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce swelling in the body and eliminate pain. Perfect to protect against those cold weather induced aches that are keeping us out of the gym.
5. Chia (brain power)
The health benefits of Chia are expansive and powerful. This little seed is rich in fibre, protein and omega-3 fatty acids as well as being a good source of manganese, phosphorus and calcium. Eating Chia will boost your brain power, strength your teeth and bones, stabilise your blood sugar and even help you shed that unwanted belly fat. Chia also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in satiation, helps you sleep better and boosts your mood.
6. Amaranth (alternative to rice)
Farewell quinoa, there’s a new super grain in town. Apparently, native to Central America, amaranth contains more protein than other grains. It’s likely to keep you fuller for longer and help keep calorie intake down. It’s also high in fibre, which is great for beating bloating. Have it instead of rice or cous-cous.
7. Hemp Milk (for dairy intolerance)
A creamy milk with a nutty flavour derived from the cannabis sativa plant. Don’t worry, you’re not getting the ‘drug’ part. Hemp producers use less than 0.3 percent THC. They blend seeds with water, then the mixture is filtered. Hemp seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can keep cholesterol and blood pressure in check. If you have dairy allergies, or are lactose intolerant, hemp is a great alternative.
8. Raw Spirulina (for de-bloating)
Unlike regular spirulina, the freshwater algae famous for its immune-boosting qualities, the raw version tastes better and is more powerful. It contains chlorophyll to help detoxify the body, keeping bloating at bay. It’s also got eight essential amino acids as well as digestible protein, which helps build muscle mass – great for fitness – and enables the body to burn more calories. Gourmet Spirulina Nibs, Petals and Crunchies can be sprinkled onto any dish, or eaten in a dried-fruit mix.
All of these items and more are available at Eighth Day Coop, as well as an opportunity to support one of Manchester’s oldest local businesses.
111 Oxford Road, Manchester M1 7DU
0161 273 4878