Superfood is the label given to a food which is considered especially nutritious or in some way of benefit to our health.
But I would be the first to admit that I have always been put off by such descriptions and the media attention superfoods attract. We have always thought that eating a balanced diet which includes lots of fruit and vegetables and which avoids too much sugar, salt and saturated fat is all we needed.
However, if you investigate these foods we would be silly to ignore the extra nutritional and health benefits they provide. Especially when these foods have been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and, apparently allow you live a longer life.
But what could be better than growing your own organic superfoods and eating them when they at their best or preserving them to enjoy later.
The following are 14 superfoods grow well in Cyprus and in Mediterranean area or you can consider adding them to your diet.
Like garlic, and the rest of the allium family, leeks can help the liver eliminate toxins and contain quercetin an antioxidant which protects the body against cancer. Leeks also contain sulfur compounds that may protect against heart disease and can lower blood pressure.
Leeks contain prebiotics, which are essential for probiotics to thrive in the intestines which help boost the immune system. They can also help stabilise blood sugar levels because they are high in folate, manganese, iron, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
Try to eat allium vegetables regularly and everyday if possible.
Grown throughout the Mediterranean, pomegranates are easily established and, once mature and fruiting, can be harvested between September and October.
Can be sown regularly between September and February for a continual crop between December and May.
Spinach is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E and K, magnesium, folate, iron, copper and zinc.
Another compound in spinach is lutein which aids against macular degeneration, which causes age-related vision loss.
In addition, strawberries contain anthocyanin, which has been shown in various studies to help in preventing cancer and which has anti-inflammatory properties. Strawberries are higher than most fruits in antioxidants, which give strawberries their red colour, and these help to strengthen the bodies tissue defences against oxidation and inflammation which are underlying factors in most age-related diseases.