One Naturopath's Top 5 Underrated Superfoods
Superfoods can be lurking in the most unexpected places and believe it or not, you don’t need to hand over wads of cash to access some of the best. I’m here to show you 5 of my favorite underrated superfoods, some of them might even be in your kitchen (or garden) right now!
With a perfect score of 100, humble watercress came out on top in a study of powerhouse fruits and vegetables, making it the highest-ranking vegetable for nutrient density, who knew! In the powerhouse fruits and vegetable study, forty-seven fruits and vegetables were tested in order to find out which ones had the highest bioavailability of nutrients. Watercress is high in Vitamin A, C, and E, as well as folate, calcium, and iron. Move over kale, watercress has arrived.
Back when I was a naturopathy student, I remember doing an assignment where we had to look up the amounts of specific nutrients in different foods. I was astonished by how highly parsley ranked across the board - it is high in Vitamin A, C, and K, and is a good source of folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium. I never looked at parsley the same after that and have been stacking my plate high with tabbouleh ever since. Parsley shall no longer be restricted to garnish status!
3. Beet Greens
Beetroot leaves have been overlooked in the world of green leafy vegetables, but they certainly can (and should!) be used as salad greens. They are packed full of vitamin A, have more iron than spinach, and are actually more nutritious than the beetroot itself! Not too shabby for something that's often thrown into the compost.
Seaweed is super high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, and can be a great vegan alternative to bone broth. It is one of the few foods high in iodine, which can increase thyroid function. There are so many seaweeds to choose from and if you don’t know where to start, give wakame, dulse flakes, or kelp a try -just be aware of where it is sourced from as seaweeds can easily absorb chemicals and heavy metals in contaminated waters.
Garlic, a well-loved staple ingredient in so many dishes but it’s not just good for the tongue, it also does the body a whole world of good. Garlic is amazing for fighting illnesses and infections due to its antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Garlic is also a popular supplement used for heart and cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Top tip: make sure to crush the garlic before cooking or eating in order to activate the allicin compound and reap all the benefits.
If you're looking to top up on some favorite superfoods or pantry staples, check out the Food Matters' must-have's on the store.