When it comes to superfoods, many believe that only the finest, freshest foods provide the best amount of nutritional value to our bodies and boost immunity. Planning a healthy diet around a busy schedule is difficult, and fresh foods often end up wasted.
However, many popular foods known as ‘superfoods’ maintain their nutritional value even through processes like freezing, drying, and cooking. For those considering how they can make the most of the nutrients our body needs and keep their store cupboards stocked in case of emergencies, here are six of the best-regarded superfoods that do well in storage.
Boost immunity with blueberries – raw and frozen
Blueberries have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any fruit available. Vitamin C is the nutrient that people first go to in helping fight off colds. This is because it helps to produce white blood cells which are necessary to fight infections. Any citrus fruits will have good levels of vitamin C. Some studies have shown that blueberries have higher levels gram for gram, which is what makes them a superfood.
Additionally, Vitamin C is generously in both fresh and frozen blueberries. Whether you can find them fresh or want to keep them for storage, you can still get the same nutritional benefit and keep your immune system at its best.
Boost immunity with spinach – raw and cooked
Spinach is another classic superfood packed full of vitamins and minerals. Spinach supports functions throughout the body. It has thiamine, which is essential in all parts of the body. A thiamine deficiency can affect the nervous system and the muscles of the body. Getting a lot of this mineral in your diet can keep these essential functions working even throughout bouts of illness.
Sauteed or cooked spinach is still a good source of thiamine, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients protect the body against harmful free radicals.
Green tea – stored dry
Tea is the perfect superfood product to keep in storage. It already comes dry meaning its lifetime is much longer than fresh produce. Green tea is a good source of L-theanine. L-theanine is a nutrient helpful in the production of infection-fighting compounds in your T-cells. Green tea is steamed and not fermented like black tea. It retains its levels of the powerful antioxidant EGCG which is believed to support the functioning of the immune system.
Peanuts – long-lasting
Another one for the store cupboard, peanuts are filled with vital nutrients. They help round out your diet and can give your immune system a little kick. Niacin, or vitamin B-3, found in peanuts can help fight fatigue and boost brain function. This can be useful in fighting off an infection. Another B vitamin, biotin, may also support the immune system, as well as protecting the nervous system.
You can store peanuts easily and can use them as a garnish. You can easily incorporate them into your regular diet to ensure you don’t eat too many, but still get all those essential benefits.
Chia seeds – stored dry
The chia seed is a nutritional powerhouse that has been growing in popularity for the last few years. Just two tablespoons provide 30% of your daily manganese, 30% of your magnesium and 27% of your phosphorous needs. Your body uses magnesium in over 300 biochemical reactions. A number of these are related to the maintenance of your immune system. Manganese has strong antioxidant abilities which help defend your body against infections.
You can use chia seeds in smoothie bowls and other breakfast recipes. Chia seeds make a healthful change from wheat-based or sugary cereals.
Almonds – long-lasting
Many consider Vitamin C to be the best immune-boosting vitamin. But vitamin E found in almonds is essential in maintaining a healthy immune system. They are a strong antioxidant and protect the body against free radicals. This helps to maintain the health of cells throughout your body for longer. You can get your entire recommended daily allowance of vitamin E in 46 almonds, but since Vitamin E is in multiple sources, you don’t have to eat 46 every day!
Remember, it’s not only fresh fruit and vegetables which give us our most essential vitamins and minerals!