Ukrainian Superfoods

Superfoods are super-healthy natural additives to foods that make us healthier. And every year they are becoming more and more popular among followers of special diets, healthy lifestyles, and athletes. These are roots, seeds, and berries that have a high concentration of nutrients that are unique in their properties.

Healthy supplements are available in online stores, pharmacies, and health food stores in the form of powders, juices, shakes, gels, and extracts.
A few years ago, the so-called “superfood” fashion was introduced by raw foodists and vegans who are health-conscious but refuse to benefit from concentrated vitamins and minerals from dietary supplements developed in laboratories. They have opted for superfoods that have been growing on the planet for thousands of years, having carefully studied and selected the best of them.

However, in Ukraine, the prices for superfoods are off the charts and it is not known exactly how exotic products will affect your body, so we bring to your attention budget Ukrainian “superfoods”.

Chia seeds and flax seeds

Chia (or Spanish sage) is one of the best-known plant-based superfood sources of healthy fatty acids, which make up almost two-thirds of the seeds. The seeds also contain a lot of easily digestible vegetable protein, fiber, and calcium. Chia stimulates the brain and cardiovascular system and maintains healthy skin and hair. And when soaked, they form a mucous membrane around them, which has an enveloping and slightly softening effect. It is useful for people with disorders of the joints, urinary system, and gastrointestinal tract.

Flaxseed contains all the same fatty oils and acids (beneficial Omega-3), vitamin A, and enzymes. This complex is an excellent enveloping and anti-inflammatory agent. And the same mucous membrane. To explain it as simply as possible, mucus forms around the seeds when they get into a humid environment, and is transferred to the stomach, covering it with a thin protective layer. This helps to normalize the functioning of the tract, eliminate toxins, and lower blood sugar levels. Flax is also an excellent source of vegetable protein.

Acai berries and rose hips

Rare in our area, but sung by nutritionists, the acai berry is a powerful antioxidant. Tropical berries are recognized as the world’s best in the fight against aging and cell damage. Like a vitamin pill, a few berries will saturate the body with calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and E. As a rule, a berry, juice or extract can be ordered in most online health food stores, but if you can’t find it, we remove oxidative processes, inflammation and remove toxins with the help of our berries.

Of course, in season, it is better to eat more of other berries: fresh blueberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and pomegranates. But rose hips are year-round, versatile, and as close as possible to acai, and in some ways even superior to it. Rose hips have an extremely high vitamin value. The fruits contain vitamin C (10 times more than in black currant and 50 times more than in lemon), vitamin B1, B2, K, P, E, tannins and pectin, potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. In folk medicine, rosehip broth is used to treat liver, gallbladder, and kidney diseases. Perhaps the removal of stones and sand is one of its most powerful properties. Due to its high iron content, rosehip is useful for anemia, as it improves blood formation. It is an excellent antioxidant.

Goji berries and dried cranberries

In the first herbal encyclopedia of China, Shen Nong Materia Medica, in the 1st century BC, goji berries were classified as a top-class tonic herb, and it was also written that people should consume them on a regular basis to maintain youthfulness and health. The tonic goji berries have stood the test of time. They are still consumed for the same reasons. And also because they contain a concentrated vitamin first aid kit. Goji berries are rich in antioxidants and contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, betaine, polysaccharides (LBPs), trace elements, and vitamins.

Cranberries are one of the healthiest wild berries in our latitudes. It is rich in vitamins C, PP, K, and vitamin B group, contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, iodine, iron, copper, silver, barium, lead, manganese, a large number of organic acids, sugars, pectin, tannins, and phytoncides. It tones up better than other berries due to the combination of vitamins and microelements. It normalizes cholesterol levels, and binds, and removes toxins from the body. However, when buying, make sure that the healthy cranberries are simply dried or dried, without pre-soaking in sugar syrup.

Another great goji substitute is viburnum. It boosts the immune system and helps the body effectively fight infections. And thanks to the presence of pectin compounds and tannins in viburnum, the berries improve digestion and help cleanse the body of dangerous salts of heavy metals, toxic substances, decay products, and “bad” cholesterol. The P-active compounds (rutin) present in viburnum berries normalize the elasticity and permeability of capillaries and also stimulate oxidative processes in tissues. Viburnum is much cooler than goji, it is a berry of youth, beauty, and health!

Quinoa and millet

We value quinoa for its high content of folic acid, fiber, and especially vegetable protein: 10 to 15 g per glass. This product is almost completely absorbed by the body. It is easy to cook, satiates for a long time, and has a low glycemic index.

It is a Slavic alternative to the currently fashionable quinoa. The coarse hull contains the same healthy fiber, and the amount of vegetable protein in millet is only 1-2 g less than in quinoa.

Another alternative to quinoa is chickpeas. Chickpeas, just like quinoa, do not contain gluten, but they are high in fiber, slow carbohydrates (which do not increase sugar levels but provide maximum energy throughout the day), and vegetable protein. For comparison, 50 grams of cooked quinoa contains 20 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. And the same amount of chickpeas contains only 17 g of carbohydrates, 5 g of fiber, and 5 g of protein, plus a decent set of minerals and antioxidants. Chickpeas can be used to make many delicious dishes, including soups, salads, and side dishes, and are baked in the oven with olive oil and salt. And how wonderful is chickpea hummus!

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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