In terms of nutritional value, there are no ‘superfoods’.
It is a marketing term and tactic used to promote food trends and sales.
A superfood is a normal food with high nutritional value, simple as that.
But bear in mind that you shouldn’t be obsessed with one single superfood, like what you learned in primary school, you need balanced nutrition to maintain a healthy body and prevent diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.
Since we are on this topic, here are the 13 nutrition-rich foods that are worth the “Superfood” label and can easily be bought in Malaysia.
This is one of my favorite superfoods.
It’s tasty and nutrient-rich, suitable to eat daily to maintain good body health and fight aging.
Berries offer a high amount of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting nutrients, making them an ideal fruit for kids, adults, and elders.
Antioxidants can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other inflammatory conditions.
Some of the popular berries are:
Where to buy: The berries that can be found easily are strawberries and blueberries, while cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries are mostly available at premium supermarkets like Cold Storages.
How to eat: There are two types of berries available – fresh and frozen. The fresh ones are mostly for direct consumption and the frozen ones are used to blend with yogurt, smoothies, or cereals.
Berries are among the healthiest foods on earth.
2. Dark and Leafy Greens
Dark and leafy greens contain a rich amount of fiber, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phytochemicals.
These superfoods help in reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes and prevent cancers thanks to their high levels of carotenoids (anti-inflammatory compounds).
Some of them are:
- Spinach (Bayam)
- Collard greens
- Swiss chard
- Turnip greens
How to eat: Some of them are not tasty when eaten alone, so try mixing them into salads, stir-fry with spices, or adding into soups.
Where to buy: Hypermarkets and wet markets.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains are a good source of fiber (soluble and insoluble), minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamin B, which helps in reducing cholesterol levels and protect against diabetes and heart disease.
A bowl of oatmeal with some dried fruits are ideal for a light dinner.
Some of the healthy whole grains are:
- Brown rice
How to eat: Cook with hot water and add in some dried fruits and nuts to eat.
If you are a bread lover, pick the one with 100% whole wheat flour or Massimo whole wheat.
Seeds are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
They also contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to protect you against heart disease.
Some of the healthy seeds are:
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
How to eat: Eat as snacks between meals or mix into salads, you an also air-fry the raw seeds.
Where to buy: Hypermarkets, supermarkets, pharmacies, organic shops.
5. Legumes (Beans)
Legumes contain a rich amount of plant-based protein, B vitamins, minerals, fiber, and folate, which help in reducing the risk of heart disease and lower down blood pressure and cholesterol.
Besides, these superfoods help in your weight loss diet because of their ability to improve fullness.
Some of the legumes (beans) are:
- Black bean
- Read bean
How to eat: Sprinkle on salads or eat directly, or cook as bean paste.
Where to buy: Major hypermarkets and mini markets.
Nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats and plant protein, great for snacks but don’t eat too much a day as they contain high amounts of calories.
Some of the healthiest nuts are:
- Cashew nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
How to eat: Buy a few types of nuts and sprinkle them into yogurt, salad, oatmeal, or eat as a snack for filling.
Where to buy: They are available in all types of hypermarkets and online marketplaces.
Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that can prevent heart disease.
Besides, it also offers a good amount of protein to the body.
Some of the fishes that are rich in omega-3 are:
How to eat: You can grill, pan-fry, or steam.
Where to buy: You can easily buy these fish from the wet market and hypermarket in fresh and frozen.
Believe it or not, eggs are one of the healthiest foods in the world.
They are a good source of protein, choline, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B, phosphorus, and iron.
Eggs also contain antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which can protect eye and vision.
Yes, all these nutrients are packed into one small little egg.
Some said they are the superfoods for the poor, due to their cheap prices and can easily be found in the market.
They are also the favorite food for bodybuilders like they always said – maximum 2 egg yolks, egg whites eat as many as possible, no problem one!
How to eat: Stir-fry, hard boil, half-boil, and steam, there are just so many to cook and eat this superfood!
Where to buy: Hypermarkets, supermarkets, mini markets, wet markets, dry markets.
Eggs are tasty, cheap, and widely available, which makes them a popular choice in family dishes.
Yogurt contains live cultures (probiotics), which are the good bacteria that enhance your body digestive system and protect you from harmful bacteria.
Some of the live cultures are:
- L. bulgaricus
- L. acidophilus
- S. thermophilus
It is also rich in protein and calcium, which are essential nutrition for your body to stay healthy.
Yogurt is one of my favorite dairy superfoods, the taste and texture are unique and I loved it so much.
The original is the healthiest option as flavored yogurts tend to contain lots of sugar.
If you need the ‘fruity taste’, just buy the original flavor and eat it with real fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and mango
How to eat: You can eat directly in the morning, after a meal, between-meal, and as a snack.
Where to buy: All hypermarkets, supermarkets like 99Speedmart (only small packet).
10. Cruciferous Vegetables
They are a good source of fiber, phytochemicals, and vitamins.
Some of them are:
- Broccoli (Best!)
- Bok Choy
- Brussels sprouts
How to eat: You can stir-fry, steam, or microwave them and then add some olive oils for a healthy dish!
Where to buy: Major hypermarkets and wet market.
11. Olive Oil
Olive oil is the healthiest oil that contains monounsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols, and vitamin E which reduce the risk of heart disease.
There are few variations in the market, which are extra light, light, virgin, and the extra virgin:
- The light versions are suitable for cooking as they can withstand high temperatures and have a less olive taste.
- The virgin versions are suitable for salad dressing to consume directly.
Olive oils are expensive but worth it for your health.
How to eat: Add on the salads and meats.
Where to buy: Hypermarkets and supermarkets.
12. Green Tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds, which help in reducing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and prevent aging.
How to drink: Simply mix the green tea bag with hot water and enjoy!
Where to buy: Hypermarkets and organic shops.
Tomatoes are a source of lycopene and vitamin C, which helps in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
How to eat: You can mix them into salads and sandwiches and eat raw, or stir-fry with eggs or chickens, or add them to the soup.
Where to buy: Hypermarkets and wet markets.
Superfoods are good, but eating them alone is not enough for a balanced and healthy diet.
So mix them into your weekly diet together with other types of foods to improve your health and prevent diseases.