No, we’re not talking quinoa and kale, we promise! Instead, we’ve made a list of some top food items that you might have heard of or seen around, but were never sure what to do with them or why they might be important for you. Make them part of your regular diet in 2016 to get the extra benefits you didn’t even know you could.
We’ve all heard about the benefits of spinach and kale, but have you heard of bok choy? One cup of shredded bok choy has 34% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and more than a full day’s intake of vitamin A. Bok choy also has unique sulphur containing compounds, which can help the body eliminate carcinogens, prevent cells from turning into cancer or alter metabolism to stop the development of hormone-sensitive cancers.
Think of bone broth as a nutritional powerhouse drink that provides your body with a concentrated dose of nutrients. The surprisingly delicious drink has been shown to decrease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and decrease bone pain and discomfort. It has been shown to help with digestion because it is so rich in glycine, which stimulates the production of stomach acid and helps food get digested more efficiently. Make your own bone broth today.
The Egyptian quinoa, freekeh, is set to become an internationally renowned wholegrain in 2016. Freekeh is high in protein and contains 4 times the fiber content of brown rice. It is also rich in lutein, a substance which is extremely important for eye health. Get freekeh-licious and use it in soups, salads, or as a pasta alternative.
Made from dried green tea leaves, the antioxidant levels in matcha are unrivaled. One cup of matcha has 10 times the antioxidants in normal green tea, 20 times the antioxidants of blueberries, and 60 times the antioxidant levels of spinach. Most regular matcha drinkers will swear by the boost in energy levels they feel after their morning shot. matcha contains one third of the caffeine levels in a cup of coffee, but it won’t leave you feeling dazed because of a unique amino acid called L-theanine, which will slow the release of caffeine to your body and give you more sustained energy throughout the day.
Seaweed, the sea vegetable, draws an incredible amount of minerals from the sea. It is high in iodine, calcium, magnesium, iron, and EPA. In addition to this, seaweed is very high in lignans. These are plant substances that become phytoestrogens in the body, which help to block the chemical oestrogens that can predispose people to cancers, such as breast cancer.
Where to find it: Gourmet, or at your local supermarket’s sushi section (sometimes labeled as Nori).
Bored of snacking on traditional nuts? Sunflower seeds are a great way to keep your hunger pangs at bay while nourishing your body with healthy fatty acids, B-vitamins, Vitamin E and copper. The magnesium in sunflower seeds is reputed for soothing the nerves, thus easing away stress, migraines and helping you relax. Tip: Buy unsalted seeds.
Kefir is a ‘live’ fermented milk drink that is incredibly high in probiotics. Kefir contains 30 different microorganisms, making it the most powerful source of probiotics out of all dairy products, and this explains why better digestion is on top of the list of health benefits of the drink. Buy Kefir grains and make your own kefir with this recipe.
Kombucha is tea fermented with the kombucha culture, creating a carbonated, effervescent drink. It’s an ancient Chinese creation full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and acids. Glucoronic acid is what makes kombucha known for its detoxifying properties, while glucosamines promote joint health and the bacteria and yeasts from the fermenting process make it a substantial probiotic option for gut health.
Though they are small and delicate, they pack a major punch of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Sprouts come from beans or a variety of grains and are high in iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium, and vitamins A, C and E. Bean sprouts are great additions for stir-fry or sauteed dishes and fresh sprouts are an extra nutritious addition to any sandwich, salad or dish that calls for fresh greens.
Where to find it: Makar Farms
Bee Pollen is the powdery substance bees collect from the stamens of flowers, which are then stored in their beehive. It’s incredibly easy to incorporate into you diet through smoothies, coconut oil or juices. The purported benefits of bee pollen are many, but immune system booster, anti-ageing, detoxifier and hormonal balance are just a few. To find out all the benefitst and if bee pollen is the right supplement for you, read more here.