So-called ‘superfoods’ are everywhere. While their claims may be too good to be true, those of us with an interest in living long, healthy lives might like to add some of these into our diets. Or you could just keep eating your good old fruit and veg! We’ll let you choose…
Here's a run-down of five of the more interesting superfoods.
Australia pretty much corners the market in lupin, but most of it has been used, and still is, as stock-feed.
Lupin is a legume that is generally best consumed as a wheat substitute – that is, as a pasta or in bread – rather than in its raw form. This little yellow bean is almost half protein, is high in fibre and is low in oil and in starch.
Those with heart problems might be interested to know that including lupin in your diet might lower blood pressure.
But don’t get too excited about this legume just yet… Lupin for human consumption is only slowly coming onto the market.
Quark is actually a dairy product from northern Europe, which is probably best described as a fermented milk or a yoghurt.
It’s high in vitamin K2 which can help ensure calcium gets to your bones and doesn't clog up your blood vessels. This could be good news for those concerned about brittle bones or arthritis.
Quark is also very high in protein which helps build and maintain healthy muscles.
With a substance a bit like cottage cheese, quark works well on pizzas, lasagne and in salads. Not sure if we’d swap it for the mozzarella on your Hawaiian just yet!
Most people have probably heard of quinoa by now. Pronounced “kin-wa”, this grain is known for its easy digestion, even for those with tummy problems such as celiacs. Protein-rich quinoa also carries a bunch of useful vitamins and a range of helpful minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous.
It can be used as a rice replacement in stir fries, soups or bakes, or with curries and casseroles. It's lovely warm, or cold in a salad with pumpkin, spinach and fetta.
Less a superfood in itself, more a substance found in other foods, it’s thought that resveratrol might play a role in helping to protect the body against diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, as well as aid in general well-being.
It’s found mainly in berries, like grapes, blueberries and mulberries. So, a standard bottle of red wine will likely contain a bit of resveratrol. Excellent!
Its main quality is that it acts as an antioxidant, which means it can potentially help fight disease and slow the aging process.
5. Essential Oils
We’re not quite sold on this one. You would think that eating essential oils from substances we would consume anyway are probably safe to ingest, but that’s not always the case.
Pure essential oils from citrus plants, for instance (usually from the rind, not the flesh), such as orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit have antioxidant properties, so some people suggest using them in cakes, muffins or juices etc.
However, you should always check each product to see if it has been approved for dietary use by the relevant food safety authority in Australia. Even if it is a ‘superfood’.
We might just stick to our fruit and veg for now… with a bit of quinoa on the side.