the new superfoods
Every year sees a flurry of hip new health foods filtering down into our everyday diets. Here's what's happening in 2015...
Following hot on the heels of the acai berry, this South American fruit is hailed as the next big thing. A serving of camu camu powder has 30-60 times more Vitamin C than an orange. It has powerful antioxidant properties too and can help reduce inflammation, reduce free radical damage and aid digestion. Available in powder form, it tastes pretty sour, so it'd best to add it to a smoothie or glass of juice. (Camu camu powder, £7.50 for 50g, Neal's Yard Remedies)
Another superfood from South America, this time loaded with carotene and B Vitamins. This fibre-rich powder can be used as a food or drink sweetener and unlike sugar it won't cause a spike in blood sugar levels. With a slightly malty flavour it would make an ideal addition to your morning porridge, yogurt or even pancakes. Look out for ice cream flavoured with lucuma in health food shops - it's darn tasty! (Lucuma powder, £3.50 for 50g, Neal's Yard Remedies)
We've all heard of wheatgrass, the unfortunate few may even have been subjected to a shot of the green stuff in a juice bar. Barleygrass is similar, in it's native state it looks like a patch of lawn in need of a trim, but once dried and powdered, it makes a much more user-friendly food supplement. High in fibre, chromium, folic acid, riboflavin, and natural enzymes, a daily dose can help you feel more energised. It doesn't taste too offensive too, a bit like spinach, but it's still best added to a smoothie or flavoursome juice. (Bioglan Barleygrass Powder, £5.99 for 100g)
No, we haven't mixed up our vowels, cacao is the raw powdered form of the cacao bean, whereas cocoa has usually been roasted at high temperatures before being ground which reduces the nutritional value. Raw cacao has a high enyzme and antioxidant content, but still has a rich chocolatey flavour. Health benefits include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and hypertension. Add a spoonful to a banana or blueberry smoothie, sprinkle onto cereal or stir into hot milk. (Bioglan Organic Cacao, £6.99 for 100g)
Winning the competition for coolest-named-grain is freekeh, a roasted green wheat. With three times as much fibre as brown rice, this low GI grain will keep you feeling fuller for longer and will avoid any sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. With a light smokiness the chewy grains make a great addition to salads, or add to tomatoey soups and casseroles. (Ready to eat Freekeh, £1.99 for 250g, Merchant Gourmet)
Not to be confused with whacky-baccy, this hallucinogen-free seed can help boost immunity and promote healthy metabolism. It's packed with omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids which can help prevent heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. Just a handful a day sprinkles onto cereal, added to smoothies, or used as a crunchy crust for meat or fish could have a positive effect. (Carun Peeled Hemp Seed, £13.99 for 500g)