From humble spinach and exotic goldenberries, to curly Kale and the hard-to-pronounce Acai berry, super foods boast an incredible amount of health benefits.
You’ll try an incorporate them into your diet, always on the lookout for the next vitamin-packed, immune system-boosting, fat-burning super ingredient. The one you can try before anyone else.
Are these on your shopping list?
Lupin – the luscious legume
When you think of a legume, you’re probably imagining a pea or a bean. Try lupin instead. It packs a powerful punch, with a low GI index, low in carbs, high in protein and high in fibre!
You can pick it up either in flour form, as flakes, or as beans/kernals, making it versatile to use in the kitchen. It’s great for substituting breadcrumbs (e.g on breaded chicken), or for adding to regular flour for baking bread, muffins or pancakes.
It’s made up of about 45% protein, and 30% dietary fibre, which means when you add it into bread, it makes you feel fuller quicker and for longer, so you can avoid those cravings for snacks.
That makes it a great weight loss ingredient, as well as helping with high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Teff - the super small grain
A member of the grain family, Teff holds the claim as the world’s smallest grain. It comes from Ethiopia and Eritrea, and is traditionally used in flatbreads, but you could add it to any baked goods, oats or smoothies.
It’s gaining in popularity because it’s great for those on specific types of diets. It’s gluten free, and contains more iron, zinc and magnesium than wheat, so is ideal if you’re avoiding gluten and needing a good source of fibre in your diet to help you feel full and stop snacking!
For a grain, it’s also full of protein (a 56g serving is equivalent to a large egg) and full of calcium – idea if you have dairy intolerances. High in iron, it will also give you plenty of additional energy.
Nigella Sativa – the magical black seeds
These black seeds - similar to quinoa and chia - are full to bursting with both protein and antioxidants. They’re more like a spice and are often called black cumin - and you’d need to consume them daily for the full effects.
But the benefits are huge, as they are full of minerals and chemicals that could reduce blood sugar levels, fight cancer, protect your heart, and help reduce stomach upsets.
They do have a little bitter aftertaste but can be added to pretty much anything - from soups and breads to salads, curries and even on top of your porridge!
Super Water - drinking from trees
Finally, there’s the superfoods you can drink. Coconut water has been mainstream for a while now, but the problem is that many supermarket brands put too much sugar in their coconut waters.
Instead, protein coconut waters are rising in popularity, adding the boost of protein to re-hydration.
Beyond that, there could even be a shift to water that comes from the tree itself, rather than the fruit on it. Don’t be surprised if you see Birch water or Maple water for sale, from the sap of these trees.
They’re naturally sweet and low in calories, and pack a load of naturally occurring minerals, antioxidants and electrolytes, including potassium, zinc, copper and calcium!
Don’t forget your staples
While newer superfoods may be all the rage, don’t forget those easily available, local super ingredients, like broccoli and blueberries - they’re still just as nutritious!