I’ve made no secret of the fact I’m trying to pursue a healthier lifestyle, integrating everything from daily supplements and smoothies to lemon water and meditation into my day. Having been diagnosed with a cows milk and gluten intolerance, I’ve had to learn to make wise choices while still treating myself. As part of this journey I rediscovered superfoods and supplements that ensure I’m getting all the goodness I need in one hit, rather than trying to force myself to eat piles of green veg or binge on berries. Creating a smoothie that’s bursting with vitamins and minerals, adding a touch of baobab, matcha and chia seeds, is a great way to start my day; making delicious energy balls that are bursting with nutty goodness, and held together with only dates and coconut oil, is a great way to treat yourself at 3pm without reaching for the chocolate. However, a lot of these wonderful ingredients can be quite tricky to get hold of – which is why I’m currently obsessed with the offering Neal’s Yard have in their Covent Garden boutique store.
I took a trip down to their little hideaway last week while overcoming a tummy bug, wanting to stock up on lots of superfood treats to aid my smoothie and snack making. They have a huge selection on offer that can be bought in little bags and measured out exactly to your requirements, offering great value for money and also a grown-up approach to the ‘pick n mix’ experience we all love so much. From bee pollen and raw cacao powder, to golden berries and coconut butter, there’s something hidden on the shelves for every need; they even suggested grapefruit extract supplements to settle my tummy and they worked an absolute treat within thirty minutes. Whether you’re after a tea to strengthen your immune system, dried berries to snack on or add to a recipe, superfood powders to mix into soups or simply a recommendation on how to ensure you have more energy, then Neal’s Yard is definitely a one-stop shop. Here are some of the things I picked up and why…
Bee-gathered pollens are rich in proteins, amino acids, vitamins and folic acid – much more so than meat or cheese. Each teaspoonful of bee pollen contains over 2.5 billion grains of flower pollen, which takes one bee working eight hours a day a month to gather! A spoonful of this over your cereal, in a smoothie or baked within a brownie will bring a huge amount of nutritional benefit.
Organic Green Complex
Containing a mix of Spirulina, Spinach, Parsley, Chloreela, Barley, Green Tea, Cherry, Seagreens Wild Wrack and Oat Grass, this is a great way of injecting much needed green stuff into your diet if you’re not a fan of munching it in its raw state. The combination of ingredients acts as an antioxidant, promotes vitality, ensures healthy function of the kidneys, supports immunity and healthy digestion, promotes breakdown of fats, is an excellent source of vitamin C and aids the body’s detoxification processes
Described as the ‘food of the gods’, endorphin-boosting cacao is an excellent source of magnesium and antioxidants. It also has a chocolatey taste, making it great for adding to nutty bars, brownies and any kind of desert you want to ensure is healthy but still tastes yummy. I love adding this into some of the recipes I’ve picked up from Deliciously Ella; the cocoa powder available in supermarkets is full of sugar, whereas this is just full of goodness.
A superfruit and natural sweetener, this fibre-packed hero helps support a healthy digestion. If you want to add a touch of sugar to something, then this is a fabulous natural alternative – I love adding it to green smoothies and juices that just need a little sweetening, as well as using in baking.
These little brown dried fruits may look a bit odd, but they taste sweet and make a great snacking alternative to nuts. Golden berries are high in fibre and iron, contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system and aid the reduction of tiredness and fatigue; I’ve started adding them to recipes and blending them up so they add a little sweetness, texture and goodness in one shot.
Inner Strength Tea
With echinacea, elderberry and astralagus to help boost the bodys
natural defences, antioxidant-rich acerola, elderflower and warming
ginger to pep up vitality, this tea is great for when you’re feeling a bit blue. After a few days of feeling a little sorry for myself, this was a great way of picking myself back up and preparing against future ailments. It doens’t taste the best (slightly like dirty water!) but it does enough good to make it drinkable.
Highly nutritious, versatile and loaded with health benefits, coconut oil can be used for all culinary purposes: baking, stir-frying or roasting vegetables, or simply used with nuts and dates to hold ingredients together. Plus, its lower in calories than most oils and tastes absolutely delicious – I love the scent as it melts in the pan and it works brilliantly with curries.
I have so much more in my kitchen than these amazing superfoods, but these make a great start if you’re looking to intregrate them into your diet. I can’t recommend Neal’s Yard enough if you want to swing by and grab some advice or ask questions – their staff know their stuff and will be able to provide you with treats to take home from as little as £2.50.
Are you a fab of superfoods? Have you been to visit the Neal’s Yard store in Covent Garden?
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