It seems that “superfoods”, foods, known for their very high content of essential nutrients, are here to stay. With benefits ranging from regulating metabolism and aiding digestion to burning fat, beating stress, boosting energy and lowering cholesterol, the search for new, even greater superfoods is always on. Last year’s big new hits included bee pollen, maca, tiger nuts, matcha powder and chicken broth, so what will this year bring?
Let’s take a look…
The humble banana is vying to steal the cookery crown, offering a delicious nutty flavour and highly absorbent properties. Because it’s so absorbent you don’t need much, and other benefits include protection against colon cancer, diabetes and poor blood-sugar levels. Banana flour, made from green bananas, is gluten-free and can be added to smoothies, salad dressings and cakes.
Bone broth has taken over last year’s chicken broth and is being hailed as the forgotten superfood. Protein-rich and containing calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium and potassium, bone broth can protect against insomnia, fatigue and anxiety while aiding your digestive system. Its collagen and gelatine will also give a boost to your skin, hair and nails.
Prebiotic fibre sweeteners
Sugar-free diets are all the rage and to help you along we’ll be seeing lots of healthy prebiotic fibre sweeteners. Gone are the days of stevia, rice malt syrup, monk fruit extract and xylitol, and instead we welcome isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO) and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). IMO’s occur naturally in some fermented foods such as miso and soy sauce, while FOS’ occur naturally in plants such as onions, garlic and asparagus. Used as an alternative sweetener, they exhibit sweetness levels between 30 and 50 percent of sugar, and several studies have found FOS to promote calcium absorption in the gut.
This little black power food will be at the forefront of legumes and lentils in 2016 and, from black bean flour to mixed legume spaghetti and pasta, they’ll be providing ample amounts of protein, fibre, vitamin B6 and slow-releasing carbohydrates. Black beans are shown to provide special support for digestive tracts (in particular the colon), and when eaten frequently, black beans can regulate the body’s blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Maple water Soylent
The purest form of the sap that runs through maple trees is a natural, sweet, hydrating drink that could be doing you a lot of good. Maple water contains more than 46 bioactive nutrients essential to health, including phytonutrients, minerals, active antioxidants, electrolytes and amino acids. These nutrients help boost immune health, aid in the prevention of degenerative diseases, and act as a prebiotic to support digestive health.
Soylent is a food substitute shake designed to supply all of the human body’s nutritional needs. The mixture, created by software engineer Rob Rhinehart, is composed of lots of vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, zinc and vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K.
Superfood lovers are turning their backs on kombucha and kimchi and instead turning their attention towards a new elixir - kefir. Rich in probiotics, kefir has a consistency that sits somewhere between milk and yoghurt and packs high levels of calcium and phosphorus. Kefir excels at helping with digestive issues and is low in lactose, however it does have quite an overpowering taste.
The smallest known grain in the world, Ethiopian teff is commonly used in flatbread, cakes and muffins, or added to oats and smoothies. High in iron and calcium, teff is good for boosting energy, contains fibre to manage blood sugar levels, and is packed full of protein. Teff is also high in resistant starch, making it good for digestive health, and is high in iron, zinc and magnesium. Gluten-free, it can be used in just about anything.
Lupin is a legume that’s rich in fibre and protein and low in carbohydrates. Coming in flakes or flour form, lupin can help combat high blood pressure and high cholesterol and is known to aid weight loss. People eating lupin-enriched bread feel fuller faster and for longer, reducing the frequency of meal times.
In the barren regions of Africa where the Baobab tree grows, the tree’s water is known to the locals as a valuable life resource. So much so, they call it the “tree of life”. The Baobab fruit is said to have excellent nutritional and probiotic properties, and can be used as a soluble fibre to stimulate your gut.
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