Given the hype around the supposed endless powers of superfoods, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think they could also make you a superhero, or at least some kind of superhuman.
Sure, eating a supermarket worth of kale isn’t going to give you the ability to fly, and Spiderman probably didn’t develop his skills from snacking on goji berries, but with so many health boosting properties, is it so far stretched to think superfoods like sauerkraut, matcha tea and noni juice would at least help you breathe underwater?
Maybe all that’s required to boost your own superpowers is a breakfast smoothie of maca powder, aloe vera and a cup of holy water to boost your brain cells, help you see in the dark, and strengthen your willpower around Tim Tams. To find out, we did a little research on some of the superfoods that keep popping up in magazines, health food stores and oh yeah, in Miranda Kerr’s organic skincare line.
Here is a guide to some superfoods you probably aren’t eating, but could easily incorporate into your diet:
If cabbage isn’t already the most delicious food ever, why not ferment it with various bacteria and enjoy it in all its delicious sourly goodness? Ok, so sauerkraut may not be the most appetising superfood, but it sure packs a punch of gut loving goodness in just one single serve.
Think of sauerkraut as a sort of natural probiotic. Made of finely sliced cabbage, sauerkraut has been fermented with lactobacillus bacteria and therefore encourages healthy flora in our gut, aiding our stomachs to digest foods while also providing a little ammo to our immune system, as it fights against bugs and infections.
It’s not exactly the coolest of superfoods, however Mila Kunis managed to increase sauerkraut sales ten-fold after singing its praises on The Ellen Show as one of her cravings during pregnancy!
Aloe Vera is a funky looking, stubby plant that looks a lot like this (pictured). Like us, the magic of aloe vera comes from the inside. Specifically, the gel inside the aloe vera and the juice from under the skin of the leaf are used in many ways, from lowering blood sugar levels, aiding weight loss and as a skin cleanser and protector. According to Aloe Vera Australia, the benefits of aloe vera are pretty impressive, just some of these include:
- Essential in helping the body build amino acids
- Liver and kidney cleanser
- Assists metabolism and assimilation, intestinal and digestive tract function
- Burning fat
- Brain health
- Fights herpes and simple viral infections
- For tissue maintenance and normal growth
- Tissue cleansing in lungs and bronchia
- Alertness and better memory
Despite the fact that it smells like bin juice, noni juice is actually really good for you. This ancient tropical juice is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which is why it’s been given the title of superfood.
Although, despite the fact it’s been around for thousands of years, noni juice didn’t hit the mainstream until supermodel Miranda Kerr starting giving it credit for her glowing complexion, apparently it’s because of noni juice not genetic lottery that she’s able to roll out of bed everyday looking beautiful.
The supermodel loves it so much she has even made it a core ingredient in her organic skincare line, Kora. In fact, check out the latest in the Kora organics line featuring Miranda’s Aromatherapy Body Washes with aloe vera and noni juice.
Matcha tea is a favourite amongst hipsters and health nuts. You can find this green powdered tea in everything from lattes to smoothies and even muffins!
Although it doesn’t exactly taste like a bowl of ice cream, when sweetened with a little honey, matcha tea is said to be rather palatable. So why is it a superfood? Matcha tea is bursting with health benefits like antioxidants and has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels while also containing anti-aging properties. According to this article by Health.com, matcha tea can also reduce blood pressure, boost metabolism and increase your daily intake of vitamins and minerals.
However, don’t sip this one before going to bed as matcha tea also contains caffeine. There are also concerns about lead contamination, so matcha tea is not advised for kids, and adults should have just one cup per day. This is due to how matcha is made. Traditional tea is steeped and then the leaves discarded. By doing this you are throwing away most of the lead that has remained in the leaf, but matcha tea is different. With matcha, you actually consume the leaves, which means you’re also digesting the lead from the leaves. So be careful not to have too much.
Maca powder is a superfood that is said to increase energy levels, clear skin complications like acne and restore, and supply iron levels in the body. It is also known to boost your mood (much like chocolate, although maca powder has a few more health benefits than your average Mars Bar!)
Maca powder is pretty potent, so you only need a small serve, just half a teaspoon and you’re good to go. Maca has a nutty flavour and can be used in smoothies or added to dishes like curries, stews or even sprinkled over root vegetables before baking them.
After a little more inspiration? Check out Veg Kitchen’s awesome article on cool ways to use maca. Maca powder has been around for centuries, but in the past it was a little trickier to purchase such ancient powders and potions like this one, now thanks to online shopping it’s easily available today. You can purchase it at places like iHerb.com or pick some up from your local health food store.
It’s the superfood that’s in all the salads and makes an amazing addition to a veggie stir-fry. Kale is full of goodies like Vitamin K, A and C, as well as being a great source of iron which will help stabilise energy levels and prevent fatigue.
Kale is part of the Brassica family (so basically broccoli and cauliflower are its brother and sister) and will help increase fibre intake, lower cholesterol, and has even been said to lower your risk of cancer. According to Body and Soul “just one cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories, 9 per cent of the daily value of calcium, 206 per cent of vitamin A, 134 per cent of vitamin C (twice the amount gram for gram than a medium-size orange) and 684 per cent of vitamin K.”
As a pretty hearty leaf, kale can be used as a base to many dishes. Try incorporating kale into soups, stir-fry’s and chopped finely in pasta dishes. Or try kale chips by baking or lightly stir-frying kale for just a few minutes, then sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Delish!
A little more on superfoods
If you’re interested in learning more about the superpowers of superfoods, there are some excellent resources available to get you started on your superfoods journey. Check out the following gurus for some next level superfood knowledge:
- Jason Wrobel – for hilariously awesome vegan and superfood recipes as well as cool vegan lifestyle tips
- Drew Canole of Fitlife TV – for entertaining, educational and inspiring content on living your healthiest life. Drew is an expert on superfoods
- Jessica Sepel – as a qualified nutritionist and full time blogger, Jess is the go-to-girl for any advice on the weird and wonderful world of health, nutrition and superfoods