Health food trends come and go. One thing that is true is that nutrients from food are superior in their absorption and function compared with synthetic forms from supplements. So if you’re looking to maximise your nutrient intake, super foods are there for the rescue!

Super foods are of course just FOODS. They are particularly dense in essential goodies and give you more bang for your buck. Here are 5 favs to include in your weekly shop:

Kale: High in minerals calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium as well as vitamins A, K, C, B6. It’s also incredibly high in antioxidants and other compounds know to prevent cancer (sulforophane and indole-3-carbinol) and nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin which protect eye health. How to’s: Use kale exactly how you would silver beet or spinach- in soups/casseroles/stir frys or steamed. Also raw in salads or add a handful to your smoothie in the morning.

Raw Cocoa: What if I were to tell you that you could eat chocolate and never feel guilty? Raw cocoa -the unroasted cocoa bean- is perhaps the densest source of magnesium around.  It’s also jam packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and chemicals known to promote happiness and relaxation. How to’s: Add a tablespoon of the powder to your morning smoothie, plain yoghurt, porridge, or bake in to cookies/muffins/cakes and raw treats.

Chia seeds: High in protein, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, and soluble fibre helps support digestive function and promotes satiety and metabolism. How to’s: Soak chia seeds over night to allow them to form a jelly type consistency. Add to smoothies, porridge/muesli, yogurt or make a chia pudding by soaking in coconut cream (add raw cocoa and honey) or bake in to muffins, cookies, or muesli bars.

Spirulina: Now this food is SUPER. High in protein, fatty acids, iron, calcium, magnesium, numerous vitamins, carotenoids and antioxidants galore. It boasts many health benefits including heavy metal detoxification, cardio protective, blood sugar regulating and improving physical endurance- if you want a food source “multivitamin” this is it. How to’s: You can add spirulina to juice and smoothies, or if you just want to get it over and done with- tablets is the way to go. 1 tablespoon or 6-10 tablets is an adult daily dose.

Coconut oil: Saturated fat has gotten a bad name over the years, but now it seems we may have had it wrong- especially when it comes to coconut oil. Made up of mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), it is easier to digest than other oils, gets converted to energy NOT fat, and has a host of health benefits including boosting the immune system, supporting the gut, cardiovascular health, balancing metabolism, and treating skin condition. In fact you’d be hard pressed to find a condition coconut oil WOULDN’T benefit. How to’s: As always with oils, opt for cold pressed and extra virgin. If you don’t love the coconut flavour in your cooking, go for a “refined” one which is more subtle. Replace it with all cooking oils and use in baking and raw food treats. Also apply to the skin as a moisturiser.