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More "Superfood" Buzz! Quinoa, Goji, Chia!

More and more foods are making headlines due to their nutritional benefits so I’ve decided to keep you all updated on the hype. This post will focus on the three foods that can be added to the list of “Superfoods”out there and they are – Quinoa, Chia seeds & Goji Berries. Now a lot of you might’ve heard of them, but for those who are not familiar, keep reading! (Well, even if you have heard of them, keep reading anyway!) Keep in mind that I am an advocate of a Superdiet, not a single Superfood; as it all comes down to getting the right mix of nutrients!

Quinoa
Quinoa is considered an ancient grain originating in South America. The Incas considered this crop to be sacred calling it the “gold of the Incas” as they noticed it’s effect on their warriors’stamina. The following points are a summary of the facts:

* It is not a true grain but, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.
* It is an excellent source of protein – a complete protein meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids. This property makes it a great choice for vegetarians & vegans.
* It is a good source of dietary fibre which can give you the feeling of fullness after eating it.
* It is high in magnesium and is a good source of Iron & Phosphorus.
* Quinoa is gluten-free.
* It is cooked similarly to rice.

Tips: You can add Quinoa to:
Salads – Rocket, quinoa, grilled pumpkin, feta cheese
Soups – Add to a vegetable soup.
Breakfast – Small bowl of quinoa mixed with fruits and nuts.

Goji Berries

Also called “wolfberries”, goji berries have been cultivated in China for over 600 years. The reason behind their popularity is due to their antioxidant profile. As part of a healthy diet, they could aid the prevention of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease. They are a source of carbs, protein, fat & dietary fibre.
They also contain:
*Vitamins C, A, E – All which play a role in it’s antioxidant profile.
* Carotenoids (Phytonutrients with antioxidant properties)
* Essential amino acids (making them a good source of protein)
*Essential fatty acids and some Iron, Calcium, Zinc,Selenium

How to eat them? Goji berries are usually sold in the dried form so they could be included as a snack or as Goji Juice.
Side Effects? Goji berries have been said to interfere with some medications such as Warfarin and some diabetic medications.
False Marketing – There has been a few claims under scrutiny in regards to Goji berries and cancer prevention: they do not prevent cancer.

Chia Seeds

Chia crops are native to countries like Mexico, Guatemala & Bolivia. Chia seeds are a source of protein, antioxidants and both soluble & insoluble fibre. They have been on the radar due to their omega 3 fatty acid content. It is important to clarify that the plant form of omega 3 fatty acids is different to the form found in marine sources – fish & seafood (note: Our bodies are not that efficient at converting plant forms of omega3’s (alpha-linolenic acid) to DHA and EPA which are considered as the more powerful form of omega 3s, confusing?!, maybe a little.) However, omega 3s in general are beneficial for us! (See post on Omega 3)
Also, Chia seeds are an excellent source of dietary fibre which can help with weight management (due to their satiety “fullness”effect) and lowering cholesterol.
Tips: You can add Chia seeds to salads, soups, in stir fries or on breakfast cereals.
1 Comment
  1. Looks like all natural foods just the way I like it to be. Just like natural weght loss is the only way to go.

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