This is the year of sustainable consumerism, of looking back to our traditional roots and following the example of our resourceful ancestors and indigenous cultures and their use of plants as food and medicine.
This has to be the way forward. Our aim is to protect ourselves in an increasingly toxic world and become mindful of the importance of gut health. So lets look at some of the best foods that will set us on this path.
My top new superfoods of 2016 are:
1. Sprouted grains
If I eat porridge, I make it with sprouted oats. Why? Because when a grain starts to sprout, it digests some of the starch inside the seed to use as fuel in order to break down the seed’s outer shell.
This makes the grain higher in protein and other nutrients but lower in starch, making it far easier to digest and removes the phytic acid layer around the wholegrain which inhibits nutrient absorption.
Sprouted rather than regular grains should be a vegetarian or vegan’s staple for a higher protein intake and a more complete amino acid profile. You can buy sprouted flour in a good health shop and make your own bread,
2. Insect flour and edible insects
Did you know that cricket flour could be the answer for fuelling workouts while staying lean? Cricket boasts up to 12g of protein per 100g. They are also low in carbohydrate.
You might not realise it but eating insects is good for the environment to boot. It takes a lot less carbon footprint to cultivate insects over livestock and insects are already popular in other countries, such as:
– Thailand,where they eat fried locusts
– South Africa, where caterpillars are commonly eaten
– Mexico, where stink bugs, gusano worms (the worm at the bottom of the mescal bottle), giant winged ants, dragonflies, beetles, cricket and water-fly eggs fuelled Aztec warriors for hundreds of years.
Add to smoothies or in baking.
3. Medicinal mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine and by indigenous cultures around the world for thousands of years. You can easily buy Ganoderma, Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps and Shiitake mushroom extracts from health shops to add to hot drinks or smoothies.
You can also grow your own. Mushrooms have a rich polysaccharide content. Polysaccharides have immunomodulatory activity and have positive effects against both chronic disease, and nervous system health.
Moringa oleifera is found throughout the tropics and native to South Asia. It’s been used in Ayurveda for centuries. The leaves are naturally high in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium, potassium.
High in antioxidants such as quecertin, a potent anti-inflammatory and chlorogenic acid, which helps to lower blood sugar levels.
It’s a highly nutrient dense food and an amazing addition to your daily regime. I add it to soups and smoothies and sprinkle it onto salads and it’s a great addition to pesto. And in more recent times it has started to gain popularity as a super healthy tea.
So there is a new list for you and one that will fill you with fabulous nutrients!
Connect with Expert Carolina Brooks.