5 surprising new superfoods
Food has never been more fashionable. In fact, the only place that reflects your lifestyle as well as your workout wardrobe is your kitchen pantry. From kale to blueberries, quinoa to wheatgrass, superfoods are the nutrient and mineral packed ingredients we consider most essential to our journey of wellness.
To rank as a superfood, the product in question needs to offer health benefits above and beyond your average carrot. To be really ‘super’, a food must deliver advantages for the present and the future, protecting our cells against ageing and disease. So what does the future hold, and what new superfoods should you be stocking in your kitchen cupboards to stay ahead of the curve? You heard it here first. These are the five superfoods tipped to take over health food stores (and healthy Instagram accounts) in 2016.
Photo Credit: Ayse Ozyilmazel, Instagram
While Matcha may already be on your radar, it’s not yet gone mainstream. The green leaves of tea are ground into a fine powder, and added to hot water to make a potent drink. Instead of drawing nutrients from tea leaves, we drink the entire leaf, increasing both the variety and quantity of nutrients we can absorb. A super powerful source of antioxidants, vitamin C, zinc and fibre (unusual for a drink), Matcha is about to have a major moment. Look out for it in your local coffee shops (matcha latte anyone?), and stay tuned for more cakes and smoothies featuring the green stuff.
Somewhere at the back of your spice rack you may find a dusty jar of this golden powder. It is one of the main spices traditionally used in curries and mustards, but in the Western world it is gaining respect for a whole host of health-enhancing properties. In China and India turmeric has been celebrated as an anti-inflammatory agent for hundreds of years, aiding stomach complaints, bloating, digestive issues and arthritis. An awesome antioxidant, watch the rise of turmeric over 2016 as more supplement versions become available and smoothie menus finally give it the pride of place it deserves.
The regular consumption of fermented foods is nothing new for several territories, such as the side dish of Kimchi that you’ll find served with most meals in Korea. By late 2016 the rest of us will have caught up. A healthy gut flora is a solid foundation for a healthy, lean, disease-free body. Fermented foods are excellent detoxifiers, reducing the inflammation caused by sugar, processed foods, and chemicals. Loaded with probiotics to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, fermented foods have a big role to play in strengthening our immune system and reducing the risk of disease, obesity and some cancers. You’ll see fermented foods in numerous forms: live yogurt (100 million active cultures per gram), fermented beans (tempeh), fermented soup paste (miso), fermented cabbage (Sauerkraut) and fermented drinking yogurt (kefir) to name just a few. These nutritious and healing superfoods are going to become household names and regulars on shopping lists over the next 12 months.
Last year it was quinoa, next year it’s the turn of teff. The world’s smallest grain is not to be underestimated as it delivers one of the biggest nutritional profiles. The staple food of Ethiopia, this minute superstar is gluten free and rich in fibre, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and the B vitamins which are vital for metabolising energy. Watch this space as teff becomes our new favourite breakfast base (the porridge of the future) and a ubiquitous ingredient in baking.
There has been a growing buzz about this next superfood, and in 2016 it is expected to hit the mainstream market in a big way. The tiny golden granules are one of the single most nutritious foods in the world, containing almost every nutrient required to sustain life. It is rich in amino acids and antioxidant properties, and powerful enough to heal inflammation and assist in promoting great gut health. Make space now for the addition of pollen in your breakfast bowls and daily smoothies.
Contributor: Hannah Coleman, forkinthetreadmill.com.