Three Superfoods You May Not Have Ever Heard Of by Jane Sandwood
The global superfoods market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.7% from 2018-2022, reflecting great interest in the link between what people eat and the state of their health. The plethora of healthy restaurant openings, new product launches, and vegan alternatives reveal that just as the Bible states, the body truly is a temple; one that benefits from a sound diet comprising healthy proteins, seasonal fruits and vegetables, healthy essential fats, and, lately – superfoods. You may have already heard of the plentiful benefits of the açaí berry, wheatgrass, or flaxseed. However, the full list of superfoods is far wider than you may have imagined! In this post, we mention just a few that can help make you and your family healthier and perhaps, even happier.
Moringa oleifera may sound exotic to you, and that might be because it is! Originating in South Asia, where it is often used to prevent a plethora of diseases, it is often referred to as the ‘miracle tree’ or ‘horseradish tree’. It has an impressive nutritional content which includes Vitamin A, calcium, Vitamin C, potassium, and protein. It is also super rich in antioxidants, which help battle the free radicals that can cause cancer, premature ageing, and cardiovascular disease. Moringa has been found in various different studies to reduce blood glucose levels, stave off inflammation, and lower levels of cholesterol. Therefore, this is one superfood that will help you feel and look younger and more vital.
Chondrus crispus (or Irish Moss) is a cold water seaweed which has been used for centuries in Ireland, both as a food additive and for various practical purposes, including as a filler for mattresses! This seaweed, which varies in color from green, to dark red, purple, yellow, brown, or white, is an excellent source of healthful nutrients, including Omega-3 essential fatty acids, fiber, iodine, folate, and vitamins. Its benefits are plentiful and include better digestive health (since it is high in fiber), the improvement of eczema (it is used in ointments for many skin conditions, including psoriasis and minor burns), better bone health (owing to its selenium, calcium, magnesium and Vitamin K content), and increased production of red blood cells (since it contains Vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron, folate, copper, and chlorophyll, which are key to this process).
You may have already heard of the many beneficial effects of shiitake and reishi mushrooms, but maitake mushrooms are equally impressive in terms of their health benefits. Originally hailing from northeastern Japan, they have been the subject of many studies, with interesting findings being made. In lab research, maitake mushrooms were found to slow down tumor growth; in others, they were found to lower blood glucose levels, boost the immunity, and help reduce blood pressure. These mushrooms are also a potent source of Vitamin D. The one proviso with this superfood is to avoid taking it within two weeks of surgery, since it tends to interact with certain medications, including blood thinners.
We have mentioned just a few superfoods, but if this topic fascinates you, check out lists by health gurus such as Leslie Kenton, which include open-celled chlorella, Australian Dunaliella Salina, alaria, kombu and nori (all of which, interestingly, are algae). If you are considering adding any superfood to your diet, it is wise to consult your doctor first, to ensure your choices.
About the Author
Jane Sandwood is a freelance writer and editor. After over a decade working as a nutritionist and fitness instructor, Jane took a step back to spend more time with her family and spend more time indulging her passion for writing and all things health.