Superfoods for 2016: Bentonite clay, maple water, Nigella sativa
Superfoods for 2016: Say goodbye to goji berries, kale chips and sipping on kombucha, because 2016 is set to introduce a new string of superfoods for 2016
Known as having a very high content of certain nutrients, our obsession with including ‘superfoods’ in to our diet has never been so prevalent.
With the main benefits ranging from regulating metabolism, to burning fat, lowering cholesterol and even blood pressure — the call for newer, better, stronger superfoods is in high demand, but are they enough for a balanced diet?
“Where people go wrong is that they think a superfood is the be all and end all — when in reality no food is complete nutrition and won’t provide all the health benefits you need,” nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan told
“Eating rubbish but adding a superfood into your day is still not a healthy diet.”
So what superfoods should be included in your daily mix?
According to some of Australia’s leading health experts, here’s what will be on your plate in 2016:
The smallest known grain in the world, the Ethiopian teff (like Swisse Wholegrain Teff or Teff Tribe) is commonly used in flatbread, but can also be used in cakes and muffins, or added to oats and smoothies.
High in iron and calcium, teff is a good additive for increased energy. It contains the type of fibre which helps blood sugar management and weight control, and packed with protein — with a 56 gram serving equivalent to an extra large egg.
“It’s also gluten free, and because being high in fibre, it keeps you fuller for longer, and with that can come weight loss,” TV host and nutritionistLola Berry said.
“You can use it like quinoa or rice. Cook it up and throw it through a salad. My favourite use is to put it through pancakes, so I’m sure you could use it in baking or as porridge as well.”
The grain has also become a favourite in Dr McMillan’s household.
“I have been playing around with this one and nutritionally it’s pretty great,” she said.
“It’s high in resistant starch which fuels good bacteria in the gut, plus it has more iron, zinc and magnesium than wheat while being gluten free, so it’s great for those who need a gluten-free diet. It’s also rich in calcium for a grain, so good for those who can’t or won’t eat dairy.”
Health conscious hydrators know the benefits of sipping on a can ofcoconut water, but they also know that many of the supermarket brands are laced with sugar. Peta Shulman, founder of GoodnessMe Box, said there will be a move to Protein Coconut water and other hydrating alternatives such as Maple and Birch water in 2016.
“Protein coconut waters are lining the shelves already in the US at the moment, and they blend protein and hydration together,” she said.
“Birch water, which comes from the sap of the Birch tree, will also be popular. It’s got a naturally sweet taste and in addition to its low calorie count, the water is naturally occurring in antioxidants and electrolytes, as well as copper, potassium, zinc and calcium. They will sell for around $4 — $5 for 350Ml, and I think it will be an alternative to coconut water.”
Our obsession with seeds and grains is set to soar in 2016, with black seeds challenging staples like quinoa and chia. Also known as ‘Nigella Sativa,’ black seeds are full of protein and antioxidants and are often seen as a ‘cure-all’, because they pack such a nutritional punch.
Some of the benefits include reduced fasting blood sugar levels, anti-cancer properties and even heart-protective qualities.
“Also known as black cumin, these seeds come from Nigella Sativa. They are high in protein and antioxidants and it has a slightly bitter aftertaste,” Ms Shulman said.
“It’s got iron zinc and other minerals and has been used for stomach wellbeing and tummy troubles. The seeds pair well with breads, soups, curries and salads. You just sprinkle it directly on your salad, or if your making bread just add it to the mixture. They do recommend to put it in shakes, porridge or muesli as well.”
But to receive the benefits, a decent amount of the seed will need to be consumed daily.
“Like most spices this has plenty of phytochemicals that might have benefits in humans, but of course you’d need to be consuming quite a lot to get the desired benefits,” Dr McMillan said.
High in protein, fibre and low GI, Dr Joanna McMillan has praised the grain as a likely superfood trend in 2016.
“I’ve been having great success with both the flour and the flakes. It’s a legume, so it’s rich in fibre, protein and low in carbohydrates.”
Containing 40 to 45 per cent protein and 25 to 30 per cent dietary fibre,Lupin is a great way to combat high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even aid weight loss.
“When people eat lupin-enriched bread they feel fuller more quickly and that fullness lasts, so people eat less at their next meal, too,” said Dr Regina Belski, lecturer at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
“You use the flakes to crumb chicken or fish (fabulous for a healthy schnitzel) or to make falafel,” Dr McMillan said.
“The flour you can use to substitute some regular flour in muffins, pancakes and baking.”
Praised for its cleansing and detoxifying qualities, Bentonite Clay is highly absorbent, negatively charged and beneficial both internally and externally.
“The clay is composed of ash made from volcanoes, which is harvested mostly in the US, France, and Italy,” Fit Foodie founder, Sally O’Neil said.
“Ancient civilisations have been using this special ingredient for thousands of years as a detoxifying agent. It traps heavy metals, radiations, mycotoxins, bacteria, antigens, reduces inflammation and alkalises the body, making it one of the most powerful detoxing ingredients available.”
Many use the clay to address symptoms of constipation, bloating and gas as well by adding the powder to a glass of water. But Dr McMillan urged consumers to use caution when ingesting the clay.
“I’d urge caution on this one as there is not much evidence behind the claims, particularly if you’re consuming it. I would want to know exactly what is in the clay — high mineral contents can impact absorption of different minerals and there could potentially be toxic levels,” she said.
Although new trends often aid in getting consumers off to a healthy new year start, sometimes simple is best when it comes to including superfoods in your diet.
“I think people can get caught up in expensive new superfoods when in reality our grocers and supermarkets are full of locally produced superfoods, like broccoli, blueberries, extra virgin olive oil and greens,” Dr McMillan said.
“Kale is terrific, but spinach has more folate — so which is healthier? The answer is neither — they are both terrific nutritious foods.”
Learn more about Superfoods for 2016 at the GoodnessMe Box Markets.