When we are busy juggling work, the daily commute, running a home and family life, our bodies use up a lot of nutrients. It is essential, therefore, to put nutrients back so we remain in balance.
These five super foods are highly nutritious, easy and quick to make or cook and, what’s more, won’t break the bank.
1. Liver from grass-fed animals
Liver from grass-fed animals is the most nutrient dense food on the planet. It outperforms all other super foods, with many functions such as providing energy and helping with detoxification. It is also extremely kind on the pocket. If you make paté, your liver will last over several meals (see this beef liver paté recipe).
If you’re new to organ meat, start with chicken livers, which are the mildest, then move on to beef liver, which has more nutrients but is stronger in flavour. If you’re still not a fan, it’s easily hidden amongst other foods. For example, when you blitz liver in the food processor until it has completely broken down, you can add it to meat sauces along with a generous pinch of dried herbs to mask the flavour.
Beets are your gallbladder’s best friend, as they help keep bile thin and free-flowing. Bile is necessary to digest fats and remove toxins from the body, so indulge whenever you get the chance. Grated, raw beets are wonderful in salads. They are also delicious when roasted in coconut oil or mashed with cauliflower.
You can also make beet kvass, a beverage that contains beneficial probiotics. Once fermented and tangy, you can strain the liquid into a separate bottle and top the beets with more water. Keep doing this until the liquid goes pale, at which time eat the beets and start the process over again.
Blueberries (especially wild) contain very high levels of antioxidants, which protect against inflammation and enable us to handle stress better. Stocking up in the summer time when they come down in price, then storing in the freezer gives you a nutritious bounty for the cooler months ahead. Better still, pick your own in the wild and all that goodness costs nothing. Here are five ideas for adding more blueberries to your diet.
We rely on bowel flora to make nutrients for our physical and mental health. Beneficial bacteria in fermented foods and drinks repopulate the gut and if you vary them, you’ll have different strains of good bacteria. Sauerkraut is fairly pricey to buy in the grocery store, but thankfully cheap, as well as quick and easy, to make at home. Sauerkraut-making can be a highly social event when you ask friends to visit with a jar and cabbage! After you’ve done your first batch, get creative and add different flavourings, such as other veggies, herbs, spices or garlic. Once fermented, sauerkraut will keep in the fridge for months.
5. Bone broth
Bone broth is the best way of getting minerals into the body. High levels of glycine reduce inflammation and improve skin, hair and nails. They also help to heal the gut lining. Save the bones from your roast dinners and your broth will cost nothing. You can buy good quality grass-fed bones (try your farmers’ market if your local butcher doesn’t carry them), which don’t cost the earth. And you can keep re-using bones until they begin to soften. Drink the broth out of your favourite mug, or add it to soups, stews and sauces.
Finally, don’t forget to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and transfer those nutrients around the body.