From Atkins to alcohol free, it seems that every day brings with it yet another fad diet or detox program. With each one promising even greater results than its predecessor, the business of healthy living is highly competitive.
There is however one eureka moment that has endured the test of time and united the opinions of nutritionists across the board: the discovery of super foods. These little gems are nutritionally dense, containing very high levels of vitamins and minerals, some of which our bodies crave, but can't produce independently.
Unfortunately, these miracle foods often come with enormous price tags and can be very impractical when it comes to cooking (you try incorporating an umeboshi plum or daikon radish into breakfast). Well, once again science has done all the hard work for us and revealed that many ordinary ingredients have the same anti-oxidant power as their rather more exotic cousins, making it easy to include nutritionally rich super foods into every meal you eat.
How to be super...
Start the day with fruit and cereal. Eating more apples is one of the easiest ways to incorporate super foods into your diet. Packed with anti-oxidants and cholesterol beating pectin, one apple can provide a quarter of your daily requirement of vitamin C.
Swap your cornflakes for whole grain cereals like muesli. Whole grains are a fantastic source of fibre, proven to lower cholesterol and thought to protect against colon cancer. Whole grains like bulghar wheat and brown rice are also easily incorporated into lunch or dinner.
Beans on toast. Don't write off this simple lunch too quickly. This classic British staple, is in fact considered a super food. Baked beans are full of protein, fibre and iron, protecting against heart disease and prostate cancer. Of course many other pulses fall into this category too and can be easily added into your diet.
Your evening meal is the perfect time to go wild with super foods. Salmon is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids and promotes a healthy heart. Salmon is also a versatile ingredient and goes well with other super foods like chilli - a great anti oxidant, or broccoli - a wonderful source of vitamins A, C and K.
Dessert can also be an opportunity to partake in a spot of excellent eating. Blueberries are a brilliant way to end your meal. High in vitamin C and considered by many to be the ultimate super food, they also go very well with ice cream.
Which super foods do you swear by?