Today, we’re embarking on an exciting tour of foods that help us maintain a beautiful healthy glow and a body in balance. Come join the Moondust Cosmetics® team as they trail Dr. Moondust through the aisles of a local Mediterranean supermarket. We’ll explore the world of superfoods and superherbs found ready for our enjoyment and use in home cooking for health. Before we dive in, let’s take a moment to understand what these extraordinary ingredients are all about.
Superfoods and Superherbs Shopping Tour
Superfoods are like nature’s powerhouses, packed with amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re often referred to as concentrated nutrition packages that offer an array of health benefits. From beans and nuts to seeds, these superfoods provide us with the building blocks of a healthy life.
Let’s let Dr. Moondust take it away in her words…
What are superfoods and superherbs, exactly?
Well, if you ask me, superfoods are generally rich in amino acids, sugars, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – all the basic nutrients required by our bodies. The reason for this is that, frequently, superfoods like beans, nuts, and seeds are “starter kits” for life on Earth and they often have energizing, anti-ageing, and anti-cancer qualities as a result of being concentrated nutrition packages.
Let’s take a look at some examples…
Soy beans and soya products like tempeh, tofu, and miso with protective properties against radiation toxicity are usually found in Asian supermarkets; nevertheless, navy beans which are also legumes share some of the same features as high protein content, fibre, an array of vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants like apigenin, which is anti-inflammatory and enhances cognitive function. [Kidney beans, garbanzo beans, mung beans are all healthy alternatives]
Peanuts and other nuts are high in protein, important lipids (like omega-3 fatty acids), fibre, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants like resveratrol which is both anti-ageing and anti-cancer.
Sunflower seeds have a high proportion of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals especially selenium with strong anti-cancer potential for lung, colorectal, brain and prostate cancers and the antioxidant zinc which functions in detoxifying enzymes and protecting against cancer.
Superherbs contain high concentrations of various plant antioxidants.
Oregano is particularly known for containing antioxidants called terpenes with a broad range of beneficial effects. Essential oils of oregano have been demonstrated to display antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Basil is commonly used in Italian, Iranian, Indian, and Chinese cuisines and serves as an ingredient in traditional medicines. It has shown positive results against some viral, fungal, and bacterial infections. One of the most important antioxidant compounds it contains is caffeic acid with potent anti-cancer and neuroprotective effects.
Garlic is definitely one of the most impressive superherbs that has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. It was prized for its antibiotic properties during epidemics due to the antibacterial agent allicin that can be derived from crushed garlic. It is also known for its cardioprotective properties.
So, besides being highly nutritious and health-protective, superfoods and superherbs are remarkably economical and often more resilient to price fluctuations than other staple foods in your diet.
Now, at some point a nice cup of tea greeted the team who sat down to inhale all the aromas of the fresh produce and herbs aisle. Dr. Moondust added that important antioxidants like polyphenols are found in both black and green teas. Phenolic compounds are found in Greek “beauty” herb teas reminding us again at how nutrients that are practically invisible to us, help our health and our outlook, and even, apparently, our good looks!
Making Food Fun at Home with Superfoods and Superherbs
Now that we’ve explored the wonders of superfoods and superherbs, let’s just have a look at the before and after of our food choices. You can make the most of your bounty, fresh and almost free. You can also add fun to your culinary adventures. Think about these delicious ideas:
Benefits of Home Gardening:
- Freshness and Quality: Homegrown herbs and vegetables offer unmatched freshness, better taste, higher nutrient content, and the joy of avoiding pesticides.
- Sustainability and Cost-Effectiveness: Home gardening reduces your carbon footprint, promotes sustainability, and can save you money on fresh produce.
Get up close and personal with the soil and the delicious foods it yields.
Recipe Ideas: Keep the Fun Going:
- Seasonal Salads: Create hearty salads using autumn ingredients like roasted squash, nuts, and dried fruits. Experiment with dressings and toppings for a burst of flavors.
- Warm and Comforting Soups: Whip up nourishing soups with seasonal vegetables, herbs, and spices to stay cozy and boost your immunity during fall.
Try something new each week. Add to your food repertoire and also gut microbiome diversity for your health and keep it all fresh!
Smart and Practical Shopping Tips for Superfoods and Superherbs:
- Opt for Local Produce: Support local farmers and explore nearby farmers’ markets for the freshest, seasonal ingredients while strengthening your community.
- Read Labels! Make informed choices by reading product labels carefully, ensuring you select the highest quality ingredients for your kitchen creations.
So there you have it, a delightful journey through superfoods and superherbs, and some tips to infuse your culinary endeavors with fun and flavor. Happy cooking. May your kitchen adventures be as vibrant as your life with Moondust Cosmetics!