Five Winter Superfoods

It’s winter time again in SA and its important that one does not sink into bad habits for the sake of convenience.  Raw salads and fruits are easy to eat in the warmer months but when winter kicks in, one tends to rely on preprepared foods such as ready made meals, takeaways and freezer meals – all of which tend to be overly seasoned with salt, sugar and exceptionally high saturated fat content.  The problem with these is that they not only pile on the pounds but are usually loaded with preservatives which due to their high affinity for fats, bind and make it very difficult to shed.

More importantly, these foods offer very limited nutrient value to the body, and often deplete vital energy stores which have highly negative implications on the mental and physical state of the body.
Nourishing nutritious meals do not have to be time consuming – choose wisely, keep things simple, pay attention to labels.  Better still, start preparing your own meals so that you are in control and are not making poor dietary decisions that are compromising your health.

Coconut oil

  • speeds metabolism (acts on thyroid) – aids weight loss
  • easily digested – clears out toxins
  • antibacterial, antifungal
  • easily available energy source

Add 1 T to breakfast/snack smoothie
Or add to warm porridge (great choice for kids too)
Can be used for cooking (stable at high temperatures) and adds great flavour to baking
Use topically as nourishing skin moisturiser

Miso soup

  • a fermented soubean paste, originating in China
  • live food containing beneficial lactobacillus bacteria (same as yoghurt)
  • high % protein and minerals
  • promotes alkaline condition in body
  • balancing, calms nerves, grounding
  • aids digestion

due to salty taste, adds flavour to soups, stews, casseroles and rice/noodle dishes
add small amount to broth just before removing from heat (this will preserve live beneficial micro-organisms which are destroyed by over heating)


  • South American slightly nutty tasting grain of choice due to its concentration of nutritients
  • Closest to its wild state and least unprocessed
  • Great protein and calcium source – both easily utilised by the body
  • Gluten and wheat free
  • Low Glycemic index and balancer of blood sugar (includes diabetics)

Use and cook in the same way as cous cous/rice
Add to soups, eat as accompaniment to fish or stirfry
Can be eaten as cold salad for lunch the next day
Quinoa flakes are a wonderful gluten free substitute to porridge oats


  • chlorophyll rich foods kale, brocolli, chard, beans, parsley, celery, rocket, watercress, spinach
  • rich in magnesium – known to be nature’s tranquiliser – relax muscle cramps, spams – increase dreaming – leading to a more rested sleep
  • restores alkaline balance – important for healthy cells and body chemistry

Steamed green vegetables as accompaniment to any meal – eaten alone or with tahini (sesame seed paste), added to brown rice dishes, stirfries.
Eaten raw in sandwiches, salads or added to fresh juices.

Sweet Potato / Pumpkin / Butternut

  • follow the seasons with the perfect winter vegetables –nourishing and nutritious
  • rich in antioxidants beta carotene (skin health) and lycopene (highly beneficial for prostate health)
  • low in calories

low GI substitute for potato – mash and use to top vegetable bakes
roast with olive oil and cinnamon
or make a simple but ever so tasty sweet potato and butternut soup – always a favourite!

Warming spices


  • antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, stimulates liver,
  • nature’s internal cosmetic – beautifies complexion by purifying the blood


  • Stimulates digestion
  • Increases circulation and body heat (especially to the extremities ie hands and feet)
  • Heals heart conditions
  • Protects body against bacteria and parasites

Choose non-irradiated and organic spices wherever possible
Add to taste – to soups, stews and salad dressings


  • only nut to alkalise the body
  • rich protein source – great mid morning or mid afternoon snack to control blood sugar and appetite
  • build energy both intellectually, structurally and spiritually
  • plays effective role  in management of cholesterol and heart disease
  • high fibre content

raw almonds are a great mid morning and mid afternoon power snack – helping to control blood sugar and curb appetite
eaten with dates as great substitute for chocolate
also added to yoghurt
dry roasted plain or with a sprinkle of cayenne/sea salt

Coconut - Andrea Jenkins
Spinach - Andrea Jenkins
Chilli Pepper - Andrea Jenkins