While there's no standard definition of a super seed or fruit, it's agreed that they pack a punch of nutrients and health benefits in one package.
So which super seeds and fruits should you add to your diet?
A recent study published in Food Technology, which was conducted by the Institute of Food Technologies (IFT), revealed the top nine super seeds and fruits that fit the bill for natural, minimally processed foods. Here they are...
Top nine super seeds and fruits
#1: Chia seeds
Chia seeds are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. They’re delicious in smoothies, yoghurt, snacks, baked goods and homemade trail mixes.
Flaxseeds are an excellent source of fibre, protein, antioxidants and phytoestrogens in the form of omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. One study published in 2014 linked eating ground whole flaxseed to lower blood cholesterol
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If you hate to cook, you'll love SanVia Gold. Just stir SanVia Gold into your favourite hot or cold cereal, and you're done. Or you can whip it up with your morning shake, add it to fruit-flavoured yoghurt, or sprinkle it onto salads or into your brownie mixture. No cooking skills of any kind are required...
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#3: Sunflower seeds
Sunflowers seeds, often considered a traditional ballpark snack, pack a healthy dose of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, fibre, protein, vitamin E and phytochemicals like phenolic acids, choline, lignin and betaine.
#4: Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are brimming with fibre, protein and essential minerals like magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
Blueberries are packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fructose. The antioxidants in these berries are associated with preventing chronic diseases like cancer
, heart disease
and the ageing
process. What’s more, one study published in 2015 found that eating blueberries daily may reduce blood pressure
and arterial stiffness.
#6: Acai berries
Acai berries are filled with anthocyanin and have a fatty acid ratio similar to olive oil. They also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Cherries – especially tart cherries – are high in anthocyanin and have super antioxidant activity. Their health benefits include anti-inflammation in gout and arthritis
, muscle recovery and enhanced sleep
Avocados have beneficial effects on cardio-metabolic risk factors that go way beyond their heart-healthy acid profile, according to a study published in 2015. In this study, researchers found that of 45 obese or overweight
subjects who ate a moderate-fat
diet including an avocado daily had lower bad cholesterol
compared with those who ate a similar diet without the avocado, or those on a lower fat
are well-known for their ability to prevent urinary tract infections, but have also been proven to benefit cancer
prevention, heart health, glycaemic response and oral health.
Make sure you add these nine super seeds and fruits to your trolley the next time you go shopping!