The term ‘superfood‘ is surely not uncommon, especially if you are to plough through non-local food related reading materials. Known as a marketing term to describe foods with supposed health benefits, it is said to have little scientific basis. To explore the topic, ‘The Complete Encyclopedia of Superfoods‘ by Audrey Deane can be a good start.
In recent years our scientific knowledge of the health-enhancing properties of a wide range of nutritious ingredients has increased ten-fold. And with the ever-increasing stresses and demands of daily living, it has never been more important to take responsibility for the food that we consume.
Our dietary choices can impact on our energy levels, moods, libido, mental performance and overall well-being. A balanced, healthy diet can help starve off heart and bone disease, promote brain activity and eye health, reduce cholesterol levels, increase metabolism and protect against cell damage.
This comprehensive encyclopedia is packed with fascinating information on sourcing, preparing, cooking and storing more than 180 of the top superfoods, ranging from the humble carrot and apple to the more exotic goji berry and edamame bean. You will also learn about the health-promoting nutrients and properties of the top superfoods, including iron, mineral, calcium, vitamin and flavonoid content.
Each of the 150 mouth-watering recipes features at least one of the superfoods discussed in the directory section. Deliciously tempting dishes include Minted Pomegranate Yogurt and Grapefruit, Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Soup, Tuna and Wasabi, Red Pepper Risotto, Beef Stew with Oysters, and Vanilla, Honey and Saffron Pears.
With so many enticing dishes to choose from, you’ll find it easy to include a rainbow of nutritious, health-enhancing foods in your diet.
Structurally the content is marshaled into three main categories – (1) introduction to balancing good health and lifestyle, healthy cooking, good health through life and essential vitamins and minerals; (2) superfoods directory – with over 180 types of fruits, vegetables, herbs, sea vegetables, sprouted seeds, grains and pulses, nuts, seeds, spices, oils, coffee, teas, tisanes and sweeteners, dairy produces, meat and poultry, fish and shellfish; (3) 150 practical recipes involving superfoods as ingredients for breakfast, soups, dips and appetizers, salads, salsas, sides and dressings, main dishes, desserts and drinks, cakes, bakes and breads.
Surprisingly so the book did not derive a clear definition of the term ‘superfood’ while acknowledging the fact that the term ‘superfood’ is not a legally recognized term. However in a bird’s eye view perspective, the book shares the secrets of eating healthy and invites readers to a systematic approach on the subject matter.
It’s a colourful book with lots of pictures as there are over 750 vibrant photographs to indulge in. With over 180 types of superfoods, it’s an informative directory that describes special properties, the dietary benefits of a wide range of food groups and the importance of having a vibrant rainbow of foods in your diet. In between there are helpful hints on buying, preparing and storing health foods, as well as the best equipment and cooking techniques to choose for optimum nutrition.
In conclusion, it’s a wonderful introductory book to superfoods with a comprehensive coverage on the topic. The flow of the content is easy to follow, however do note that there are many hard to crunch terminologies relating to vitamins and minerals charts.
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Eat a rainbow – Include as many food colours in your diet from yellow/orange, orange/red, red/purple/blue to green and white.
Useful equipment for healthy cooking – steamer, liquidizer/blender, griddle pan and food processor.
Audrey Deane. The Complete Encyclopedia of Superfoods with 150 High-Impact Power-Packed Recipes (Leicestershire: Anness Publishing Ltd, 2011)