Everyone has heard of superfoods. Thousands of them exist, though not always known to all. With nutritional goodness packed in some form or another in these foods, those of you who take your diets very seriously may follow superfood trends and may be quite familiar with whats already out there. For the rest of us who’d much prefer give in to our hunger pangs with little regard to nutritional value, don’t fret. Though we have entered the second quarter of 2017, it’s not too late for you to catch on with trending health foods to start a new habit of healthier eating. With so many to choose from, we’ve found some exotic and healthy foods you can begin to incorporate in your diet in the long run:
Goji berries, or “Wolfberries” is one helluva trending superfood that can keep you healthy starting today. Commonly known as Gai Chee to the local Chinese, these tiny, bright red, dried berries are packed with several types of nutrition and even top some of the highest antioxidant-containing fruits that have grazed the earth, such as prunes. Usually found in herbal soups, traditional Chinese medication, and even in your favourite Bak Kut Teh, these little seeds contains 18 amino acids, Vitamin C, iron, fibre and 5 essential fatty acids. Goji berries, if not enjoyed with local Chinese delights, can be used in cereals, smoothies and to be made as teas. It is said that the fruit is good for improving circulation, and even enhancing libido.
Where to buy: Most Tesco outlets, wet markets and your local Chinese sundry shop
Approximate price: RM20 – RM30 per 100g
Chia seeds are often confused for Flax seeds due to their close resemblance to one another. Chia seeds are actually tiny black seeds that is derived from the plant Salvia Hispanica and grows naturally in South America. Having existed since the days of the Mayans, who used to utilize them in their diets, chia seeds are rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and many minerals. In fact, the word “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength”, as it was prized for its ability to provide sustainable energy. Chia seeds have gained explosive popularity in the last few years, with many health conscious people implementing the seeds in their every day meal preparation. Easy to prepare are the chia seeds, as people not only eat them raw as a healthy snack, but use them for baking, juicing them in smoothies, and just whatever one might think of. Because chia seeds become gel-like when left in liquid, it can even be used as a thickening agent for some meals.
Where to buy: Most organic food shops
Approximate price: Price differs depending on place and level of quality
Known as the “miracle tree”, the Moringa plant can be found countries in South East Asia and Africa. Also referred to as Horseradish tree, Ben tree, or Drumstick tree, the plant has gained its reputation for being a powerful superfood due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and tissue-protective properties. The Moringa has been used for generation in Eastern countries to treat and prevent a multitude of illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, anemia, arthritis, liver disease, and respiratory, skin, and digestive disorders. The more traditional usage is plucking the leaves and pounding them to a powder form to be added in beverages and food. All parts of the tree can be consumed – all the way from pods to roots and there is no specific way to eat it, much like most fruits that we know.
**Moringa is not a medicine, it’s food. You can eat, use it with empty or full stomach. Before, during or after meals.
Where to buy: my.iherb.com (Organic powder and capsule)
Approximate price: RM20 – RM70, depending on product
Us Malaysians love spreads. Peanut butter, Kaya, Nutella, jams – what’s there not to like? These days, there’s always that go-to sandwich spread to for days we don’t get our hands on the usual Roti Canai or Nasi Lemak. Odds are however, you’ve been overlooking the healthiest option there is: Tahini. What it is essentially is a thick paste made up of finely ground sesame seeds, with about the same consistency of peanut butter. What makes tahini super cool is the fact that its sesame flavour blends well with both sweet and savory dishes and most brands do not have added preservatives, which makes is also a bonus. Like most nut and seed butters, tahini is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is safe to use for those who have nut allergies.
Where to buy : Click here to purchase
Approximate price: RM40 for 450g
Visit this link for some interesting recipes to incorporate tahini.
Maca has been growing in the Andes for centuries and is a root plant that can be consumed as food and for medical purposes as a means to increase stamina. This powerful plant surpasses both carrots and potatoes as a source of iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iodine. This plant is said to reduce cramping and PMS symptoms, regulate hormones and increase bone strength. Note however, that if you have an iodine deficiency, do consult with a medical health practitioner before long-term consumption.
Where to buy: Visit Maca Powder Malaysia here
Approximate price: RM120
This exotic fruit is produced in Chile, Peru and Ecuador and is regarded as a healthy sweetener because it is made from a fruit that packs a tonne of nutrients including B vitamins, fiber, calcium, niacin, and iron. Good for incorporating in deserts and baking, lucuma can powder can be added to your morning juices and hot drinks, and can also be added to your dessert recipes as a natural sweetener. Many natural herbal supplements contain lucuma combined with other important herbs.
Where to buy: my.iherb.com
Approximate price : RM46
Though all these foods are packed with enormous health benefits, too much of everything is still a bad thing however including these into your diet is a great way to spice up your daily routine and try something a little exotic. Enjoy!