Everyone has now heard about chia, acai and goji berries and the list of superfoods that are becoming a staple in our every day diet continues to grow. But there are lots of other superfoods out there that have amazing potential benefits to your health but still seem to be a well-kept secret. Here are 5 you might not have heard of:
Moringa Oleifera (Moringa) is becoming more and more popular and with good reason. It is native to Africa and Asia but more recently grown in India, Central America and in other tropical regions. Moringa might just be one the most nutrient packed super greens you can get your hands on. An awesome source of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C, Moringa also has more iron than spinach, more potassium than bananas and gives you around 9g of protein per 100g serve.
It also has more zeatin, an anti-aging nutrient, than any other plant. But you don’t need to travel to the tropics to get your hands on some. Moringa is available in a tea or a powder in most health food shops or online around the world. Add the powder to your morning smoothie for an energy boost to start your day. Other benefits of adding Moringa to your diet include improved digestion, an immune system boost and lowered blood pressure as well as making you happier with its mood boosting properties.
This superfood seaweed can be used as a seasoning, on salads or as a tea and can help to regulate your thyroid gland and keep your skin and hair healthy and looking great. Kelp also contains chlorophyll, which includes antioxidants and amino acids that can help boost your immune system.
The addition of kelp into your diet can help with the detoxification of the body and can potentially help boost your performance during your workout and help you loose weight. Research conducted in the UK showed that the addition of kelp to British sportsmen and women found that it significantly boosted their energy and endurance levels. It’s also rich in vitamins C, B1, B2, B12, iron, calcium and magnesium. Try kelp noodles as a low calorie and raw substitute for pasta.
Umeboshi is also known as a Japanese pickled plum, although it’s actually more closely related to an apricot. It is a salty tangy superfood that you can use in dishes to replace salt or buy as a paste to spread on toast with some avocado or add to stir-fry’s.
These dried plums are highly alkalising, making them great for boosting energy, detoxing and stimulating digestion. They are also great for hang-overs, sugar cravings and to help you get over a common cold fast. They can be soaked in hot water and had as a tea and can also help with stomach upset.
This gluten-free grain is a great high protein alternative to rice or oats that you can even try for breakfast. Just one cup contains around 28 grams of protein and is an excellent source of lysine, which is an important amino acid that most grains only have in low concentrations. The high protein concentration in Amaranth helps you feel full for longer which may aid in weight loss or maintenance.
It’s also a great source of fibre, calcium and iron and contains more magnesium than other gluten-free grains. It’s also the only grain with documented vitamin C content. Adding amaranth into your diet can potentially be great for reducing inflammation, lowering your blood pressure and boosting your immune system.
Another Amazonian super fruit? Myrciaria dubia, more commonly known as camu camu, camucamu, cacari, or camocamo, is famous for it’s super high natural vitamin C density, which is about 20-50 times the vitamin C of an orange. This sour orange-purple fruit is super high in anti-oxidants and contains a range of vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene and potassium. It also has been found to improve your mood by reducing the level of your stress hormone cortisol and increasing your levels of serotonin. Other benefits of Camu Camu include; strengthening of your immune system, reduces inflammation, supports nervous system function and it may even support losing weight and building muscle tone.
It’s easiest added to your diet in powder form added to your favourite juice or smoothie but it is quite tart so make sure you have a sweeter fruit included in the mix too.
Tell us in the comments below what’s your favourite superfood?
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