How super is your food?

Foods that have lots of healthy properties have been termed ‘superfoods’. 

So what about all these foods that have so called ‘superfood’ properties? Here is our A-Z guide to some of these- how to say them for a start- and some of the health benefits they can offer 

Acai

What is it? A deep-purple Amazonian berry that’s bursting with disease-fighting antioxidants. It’s sold as a powder and used in smoothies and breakfast bowls.

How do you say it? Ah-sah-ee

Amaranth

What is it? A gluten free wholegrain that is particularly high healthy fats. You’ll usually find it in a ‘puffed’ form in breakfast cereals and mueslis.

How do you say it? A-muh-ranth

Baobab

What is it? African and Australian superfood of the fruit variety. Baobab powder is renowned for its high vitamin C content, it also contributes minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium as well as certain B vitamins, fibre and protein.

How do you say it? Bay-oh-bab

Cacao

What is it? The fresh seed of the cacao bean. It is rich in a group of antioxidants that support heart health. The best part? It gives a delicious chocolate flavour, without all of the added sugar.

How do you say it? Kah-kow

Chia

What is it? A nutrient-dense seed that’s packed with healthy fats, including omega-3s to support heart and brain health.

How do you say it? Chee-ahh

Edamame

What is it? Baby soybeans. Soft and edible, they’re often served in the pod as a starter or side dish, or mixed through salads and stir fries. They provide muscle-building protein and gut-loving fibre.

How do you say it? Eh-duh-maa-mei

Freekah

What is it? A nutrient-dense ancient grain that contains impressive levels of protein, fibre, iron and zinc. It works well either hot or cold in salads.

How do you say it? Free-kuh

Goji

What is it? An antioxidant-rich berry that is sold either dried or as juice. Goji berries can be added to salads, smoothies and baked goods, and can even be used to make tea.

How do you say it? Go-gee

Hummus

What is it? A dip made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic and oil. Homemade varieties can be a very healthy snack, but some store-bought brands contain excessive levels of sodium.

How do you say it? Hu-muhs

Kefir

What is it? A fermented milk drink that offers gut-loving probiotics, as well as protein for muscle maintenance and calcium for strong bones and teeth. It has a thin yoghurt consistency.

How do you say it? Keh-feer

Kimchi

What is it? A Korean side dish made of fermented vegetables, usually cabbage. Due to the fermentation process, it offers probiotics to support gut health.

How do you say it? Kim-chee

Kombucha

What is it? A fermented drink made of tea, a SCOBY (AKA symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and sugar. It offers probiotics to support a healthy gut.

How do you say it? Kom-boo-cha

Pepitas

What are they? Like all seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), are nutrient powerhouses. These are ones without a hull and arre packed with essential fatty acids, plus vitamins A, B and K and minerals such as iron and calcium.

How do you say it? Peh-pee-ta-s

Quinoa

What is it? A gluten free wholegrain that offers gut-loving fibre and energising b-group vitamins. It’s often used cooked and cooled in salads, or as flakes in cereal and muesli.

How do you say it? Keen-wah

Rooibos

What is it? A type of herbal tea that is caffeine-free. Also known as ‘red’ or ‘red bush’ tea.

How do you say it? Roy-boss

Skyr

What is it? An Icelandic-style yoghurt with a mild flavour. Most varieties are very high in muscle-building protein and bone-strengthening calcium.

How do you say it? Skee-er

Theanine

What is it? This compound is found in green tea and also in some types of mushrooms. This is available as a supplement and can be beneficial to the brain.

How do you say it? Thee-ah-nine

Turmeric

What is it? A bright-yellow spice that has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. Turmeric is often used in curries and as a food colouring.

How do you say it? Ter-mer-ick

Zucchini

What is it? Also known as a courgette, this green veg is delicious raw, steamed or roasted, zucchini is very low calorie and a good source of folate (essential during pregnancy), vitamin C and potassium.

How do you say it? Zoo-kee-nee

But, food doesn’t have to have a complicated name to be super from a nutritional point of view. 

If we are looking for foods rich in nutrients and health benefits we often don’t have to look too far to find something- the humble Apple is packed with fibre to help our gut, vitamins A,C,K and B as well as lots of anti oxidants to protect our cells from free radicals.

Dr Clara Russell