“Superfood” is a popular term for any nutrient-heavy food which has documented health-associated benefits, long or short term, for those who consume it. With more research and discoveries constantly coming to public awareness, new exotic superfoods are popping up all the time. Acai berries? Avocado? Goji berries? They’re so 2014. Here are the newest superfoods you’re about to hear about everywhere:
The baobab tree (famously mentioned by author Antoine Saint Exupery in “The Little Prince”), native to Asia and Africa, is known for living for hundreds of years. Its fruit, leaves and seeds are all edible. Baobab, in numbers, far outweighs the nutritional power of most superfoods: it contains more vitamin C than Goji berries, more potassium than a banana and more calcium than milk! It also works as an anti-oxidant and fights fatigue. You’ll find it in health food stores as a powder.
Kelp is basically seaweed, and has for many years been a popular food in Japanese cuisine. Kelp contains high levels of iodine and 70 different vitamins, minerals and enzymes that enrich the body. You can find it in pill form as well as dried, for cooking.
This drink has its roots in ancient China, where it’s known as “The Longevity Drink.” You’ll find it as green or black tea that is fermented with a culture of yeast and bacteria, with a pinch of sugar. Kombucha’s enzymes, probiotics and polyphenols have strong detoxifying and diuretic powers – cleaning out your body’s various systems of all impurities. Health food shops will offer commercially packaged kombucha drinks.
The moringa tree has been used for nutritional and medicinal purposes for thousands of years in the Indian Subcontinent, and as part of the Ayurvedic tradition. The fruit of the moringa has unrivalled nutritional content with 24% more iron than spinach and 21% more calcium than milk as well as vitamins A, E, K, B1, B3, B6, and B12, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and zinc. It is used in products that revitalize the skin, hair and nails. You’ll most likely find it as a supplement pill or powder.
The hemp plant is a variety of cannabis and related to the plants smoked as marijuana. Hemp is chock-full of omega 3 and omega 6 – shown to help prevent heart disease and skin problems. It also contains very high levels of protein. You can easily buy hemp seeds or oil in a health food store, which can then be added to food.