Kale and quinoa – it’s time to move over and make way for five new superfoods with outstanding health benefits.
These ancient Middle Eastern currants are also known as zereshk, and for centuries have been used for their powerful medicinal qualities such as reducing urinary, respiratory, and gastrointestinal inflammation. Rich in vitamin C, thiamine, zinc and antioxidants, barberries also contain berberine, an antibiotic substance known to kill bacteria. Natural medicine practitioners often use barberries as a liver tonic and to treat conditions such as psoriasis, anemia, stomach upsets, heartburn, gastritis, ulcers, and conjunctivitis. You can buy them online, at nut stores and health food stores.
2. Hemp seeds
Hemp seeds are a great source of animal-free protein, and are comprised of 30% good fats – linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). They don’t really have any taste so you can fling them into your smoothies, yoghurt, cereal, salads, and baking. Hemp seeds will also give you a generous dose of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc, as well as the amino acid arginine, which is has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. If you’re worried about the fact they come from the marijuana plant – don’t be. Hemp seeds contain only the slightest trace elements of THC, the active ingredient in the that makes you feel a bit funny.
3. Banana flour
Banana flour has a lovely nutty flavor and is an ideal gluten-free replacement for wheat flour. And it can be used in the same ways, too. Dense in nutrients such as potassium, it will leave you feeling full for longer – even though it’s recommended you use 30 percent less than regular flour. It’s great for coeliac diets, and is often recommended for diabetics as it can reduce sugar cravings for those with a perpetual sweet tooth.
Meet your newest low GI supergrain and start using it as an alternative to stodgy rice or pasta. It’s pronounced free-kar and is bursting with fibre, protein, and calcium and also has prebiotic properties. Serve it as a side dish, add to soups and salads to make them more filling, use it to make vegetarian burger patties, or to bake bread. If you’ve converted to quinoa in recent years, you may want to end the love affair as freekah has more fibre and double the protein.
5. Oat milk
Low in fat, lactose free and high in soluble fibre, oat milk has a mild, sweet flavor and is said to soothe the nervous system. A tasty option for the dairy intolerant, it also contains 10 percent of your daily iron intake and more calcium and vitamin a than cow’s milk. As it is made from grains and is not an animal product – it’s completely free of cholesterol, and actually helps lower it. If that’s not super enough for you, consider that your oat milk latte can also provide you with a source of phytochemicals, folic acid, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins B, E and A, as well as boost your immune system and lower your blood sugar.