Ever get the feeling that the health rules are constantly changing, that once you have just got a handle on the latest superfood trend, another suddenly emerges?
Follow the G4AS guide for navigating the newest wellness fads this season.
Remember not everyone reacts to ? in the same way, so what works for one person may not always work for another. Consume superfoods in moderation and listen to your body!
Activated Charcoal is the new Coconut Water
The isotonic properties of coconut water have made it a favourite among green gym bunnies, but warm on its heels this season are drinks containing activated charcoal. Why? It is no secret that charcoal has detoxifying qualities, and now it has been given a glitzy rebrand. Instead of festering at the back of health food stores, the charcoal tablet is now a sacred ingredient in juices and drinks designed to unload us of toxins. The idea is it binds other substances to its surface and absorbs nasties before moving through your system – genius! It is made by gently heating coconut shells in an air vacuum which are then granulated to make a safe, vegetable form of carbon. Want to clean your body out from the pitfalls of city life? Reach for a bottle of the dark stuff!
Moringa is the new Wheatgrass
Health hipsters already know the enormous benefits of Wheatgrass but what about its new cousin, Moringa? Made from the naturally-dried leaves of the Moringa tree found in rural Africa, this superfood contains four-times the amount of the blood-cleansing ingredient chlorophyll, than wheatgrass. This nutrient dense option boasts properties that can reduce stress levels, raise your immunity and is an anti-aging tonic for your skin, hair and nails. It hasn’t been nicknamed “the miracle juice” for nothing.
Bee Pollen is the new Manuka Honey
While we will never tire of listing the anti-bacterial properties of manuka honey, a new bee product has us all abuzz. Bee pollen has already been praised by wellness warrior Gwyneth Paltrow and it looks as if it is here to stay. Nutrient dense and with high levels of B-vitamins, iron and zinc it is no surprise that it has been firmly added onto the superfood powerhouse list. If you are worried about being kind to the bees make sure you pick a brand whose pollen is ethically collected – using only fallen pollen in the hives which does not disturb their daily routine. Add cold to juice, salads or use to top desserts.
Acai bowls are the new Green Juice
The new darlings of Instagram, acai bowls appear to have taken over our green juice mania this season. In a competition of what can pack in the most superfoods, these beautiful breakfast bowls are filled with a thick concoction of a nut milk of your choice blended with some frozen banana, a handful of antioxidant-rich acai berries and topped off with nuts, cacao nibs, seeds, goji berries and shredded coconut – this is about as creative as you can with your food get first thing in the morning. Who wouldn’t want to eat ice-cream for breakfast? To make these wonder bowls search for powdered acai berries or frozen puree. Expect spectacular results more impressive than an ordered Jackson Pollack painting.
Banana Flour is the new Coconut Flour
Adored by Paleo fans, coconut flour was the coolest flour of last season – lovers of this secret ingredient could keep their indulgent recipes low-carb – and a packet of the stuff could last a long time – it’s highly absorbent qualities mean you only need a small amount to bake with. Now, the health trend has graduated to banana flour (made from green bananas) – flown over from Africa and South America where it is already a staple ingredient. The magic is in the resistant starch which is a kind of carbohydrate that is packed with fibre and makes you feel fuller for longer. It is also claimed this resistant starch is a prebiotic which promotes the growth of good bacteria making for a happy colon. Fans find they need to use less in their recipes (the rule is 25 per cent less) and it has a pleasing nutty flavour.
Bulletproof Coffee is the new Soya Latte
In some fitness circles, eating fat in the morning is considered a quick way to boost your metabolism. Now, instead of ordering your soy latte every morning, this seasons’s coffee fix is bulletproof and high in fat. The phrase was coined by a bloke called David Asprey to essentially describe a breakfast smoothie of coffee, water and oil/butter. The idea is to train your body to use oil and protein as a food source. While evangelists of this coffee trend swear by it, other health experts aren’t so sure – keep it as a treat. For a healthy version use virgin coconut oil or organic goats butter and use organically brewed coffee beans.
Maple Water is the new Kale
The jury is out on the long term scientific research on this one as it is still a relatively new, hip product. But avid lovers of maple water – the sap which comes directly from the tree – claim that it contains at least 46 different vitamins and minerals. In fact it is supposed to contain more manganese (a brain-protecting mineral) than one cup of kale and half the amount of sugar of coconut water. A big favourite among bike-riders and fitness buffs.
Millet is the new Quinoa
Move over quinoa, there’s a new supergrain in town. Only it is actually a rather ancient grain. It was used in China as a staple grain before rice – it has very incidences of allergic reactions making it a cool alternative to gluten-heavy grains like cous cous. A low glycemic index – which means it releases energy slowly – a high fibre content and heart-protecting properties are all high on advocates lists. Combine with a dash of coconut milk to make a creamy breakfast porridge or add to your lunchtime salads.