If you're over kale, you may be excited to hear about the new Superfoods on the block!
'Superfood' is a term for those foods that are, quite simply, super! They are nutrient-rich foods that are top-notch for your health.
Perhaps you've heard of these...
- Acai: Sourced from the Amazon, Acai is loaded with antioxidants and calcium. It boosts emery levels and the immune system and allegedly helps keep off the kilos.
- Aloe Vera: This is an oldie but a goodie, admits nutritionist and naturopath Emma Sutherland. Even so, its power shouldn’t be overlooked. “It rejuvenates and moisturizes the skin by supplying oxygen to your skins cells,” she explains. “It also detoxifies your digestion system by removing bad bacteria from your stomach.”
- Cami Camu: This is another popular choice for winter as it is loaded with Vitamin C, so it is great for the immune system and healthy skin.
- Maqui Berry: This reduces inflammation, is high in antioxidants, provides oxygen to your blood, aids weight loss and is great for your heart, Emma explains.
Which brings us to 2016... What are the superfood picks of this year?
- Tiger Nut: Although it’s not an actual nut – but rather a small root vegetable - Tiger Nut is known as a type of tuber. “They are the #1 source of Resistant Starch, a prebiotic fibre that makes a healthy digestion system and becomes fuel for our Probiotic bacteria,” explains Emma. Tiger Nuts actually played a key nutritional role in our evolution from pre-human to human, so they are about as Paleo as you can get, she adds. “They are allergen free and excellent for your digestive system.”
- “Mesquite is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids,” Emma says. “It is also high in calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc so it is an excellent ingredient to add to your smoothies.”
- Aloe Vera - as above – is making another comeback, Emma assures!
- Baobab comes from a Baobab Tree in Africa, “which is also known as ‘The Tree of Life,'” Emma notes. “It is loaded with Vitamin C, minerals and fibre so it is good for your immune system and energy levels.”
- “Yerba Mate Tea has long been used as a stimulant, overall tonic, and digestive aid, weight loss ingredient and relief from nerve pain, fatigue, and allergies,” Emma says. “It is rich in many vitamin and minerals including vitamins A, C, B, E as well as calcium, iron, magnesium and more.”
How To Prepare The Superfoods of 2016:
- “My favourite way to use these superfoods is to blend them into a smoothie as I find that you can easily consume more nutritious ingredients that way,” she says. “One of my favourites is actually a combination by Mick Gay, the founder of O Superfood and it contains: blueberries, kiwi, green apple, cucumber, ginger, coconut water, lemon, aloe vera, chia seeds and Camu Camu. It tastes amazing and is very nutritious!”
- You can also sprinkle some of these superfoods onto your muesli and brekkie bowls, Emma suggests. “Acai and Baobab, in particular, work well in breakfast bowls.”
- Some ingredients can also be used in other ways too. “Tiger Nut, for example, can be ground into a flour and used in some baking and also used as milk.”
What Not To Do With Superfoods:
- “As with anything, it is not great to over eat certain superfoods, particularly if they are strong detoxifiers,” Emma cautions. “Have them in moderation and if they have a strong effect on your body, take a break from them for a while.”
- Beware of pre-packaged snacks as they may have additives, especially Acai. "It often comes in frozen or powdered form, and some brands add sugar to it making it not so super anymore," Emma claims. "Furthermore, there are some snacks that have ‘superfoods’ in them more as a flavor than for its value. They then add lots of additives and preservatives, and it is no longer good for you.”
- Remember that true superfoods are high-potency foods that you only really need a little of, Emma advises. "For example, with chlorella, you only need a quarter of a teaspoon. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can have enormous portions of superfoods and won’t put on weight because as with anything if you consume too much of certain things you do run the risk of weight gain."