We’ve long been told that nutrient rich ‘superfoods’ such as broccoli, avocado and walnuts hold the key to a longer, happier life. Yet every year more foods get added, whether goji berries, kale or chia. It’s hard to keep track of all the new superfood discoveries, so here’s a round up of some of the ones making waves at the moment.
Aronia berry – blueberry v2.0
Aronia berries are Poland’s secret superfruit. Also known as chokeberries, they’re native to the US but have been grown as a crop in Eastern Europe since the 1950s. They’re high in vitamins, minerals, folic acid and antioxidants. Sweet but very astringent, aronia mixes well with other fruits.
Cupuaçu – chocolate alternative
Cupuaçu is a caffeine-free energy booster, related to cocoa. Grown throughout the Amazon basin, its fragrant white pulp tastes like chocolate and pineapple. It’s very high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and amino acids, and market research firm Mintel picked it as the next big thing in superfruits.
Kañiwa – quinoa’s cousin
As quinoa’s less bitter, higher protein cousin, kañiwa comes from the Andes. It’s smaller and fluffier than quinoa, but is also a great source of fibre, iron, calcium and zinc. Serve it like couscous as a side dish or mix in a salad.
Maca is a Peruvian root that’s claimed to help fertility.
Maca – Peru’s “ginseng”
Maca is a Peruvian root that’s claimed to help fertility. Clinical trials also suggest that it may be an aphrodisiac, boosting male libido! Maca comes in a wide range of colours from red and green to purple and gold. It’s rich in calcium and potassium, essential trace elements, and fatty acids.
Maqui – purple power
Maqui berries are a deep purple superfruit from Patagonia in Chile, rich in anti-oxidants. The Mapuche Indians used them in a fermented beverage to give warriors strength and stamina. You can add the sweet, tangy maqui powder to a smoothie or sprinkle on muesli.
Moringa – spinach on speed
Moringa leaves is know as the “miracle tree” as its leaves are very rich in protein and Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C and minerals. Native to Africa and Asia, its seeds are also very high in protein and oleic acid. You can cook it like spinach or add the raw leaves to a salad.
Teff – gluten-free grain
Teff is one of the world’s smallest and most nutrient-packed grains that’s also suitable for celiacs. Coming from northern Ethiopia, it’s high in fibre and iron and provides protein and calcium. You can use the grain like quinoa, or if ground it can be used as a replacement for regular flour.
It might be hard tracking some of these down initially, but a good health food store will probably be the first place to find them. Those that catch on should make their way into mainstream supermarkets eventually.
Chloe Quin is wellness expert with online health insurance provider Health.com.au, whose mission is to help Australians access affordable healthcare that’s easy to understand. Also a qualified yoga instructor, Chloe is passionate about empowering women to boost their health and fitness in fun, family-friendly ways. www.health.com.au