Thursday, August 25, 2016

New wave of trendy superfoods that will revolutionize your diet

The benefits of 'superfoods' such as blueberries, kale and pomegranate have become so popularized that they are readily available in any grocery store.

But experts claim a new generation of superfoods - many of which are found in exotic locations such as the Amazon rainforest, the Andes or the freshwater lakes of China - are set to push healthy eating to a 'whole other level'.


Taken from the male spore of a pine tree, pine pollen has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. 

Its benefits are said to include strengthening the immune system, energizing, hormonal support and an aphrodisiac.  

Los Angeles-based raw food chef Sophie Jaffe says it is good for 'longevity' as well as 'whole body function, metabolism and immunity.'

She said she also uses it as an aphrodisiac, admitting: 'Sometimes I'll drug my husband by making him an amazing pine pollen smoothie.' 


The pods, found on mesquite trees found in Mexico and parts of the US, are ground into a powder to form a rich source of calcium, zinc, iron, fiber and potassium. 

'It's high in protein and high in iron which is pretty rare when it comes to vegetables,' said Sophie. 

The pods, which were traditionally used by Native Americans, can be mixed into smoothies, stews or porridge, used in baking or added to desserts. 


Fresh water pearls, most often found in China, are more commonly thought of as a luxury jewel than a food. 

But fans of pearl powder claim it also has superfood benefits including reducing wrinkles, blemishes and scarring and restoring skin and nails. It has also been linked to helping treet anxiety.

Sophie said it is a 'really strong amazing mineral' and that it is popular in Los Angeles at the moment. 

'A lot of people are using it now in my world for beauty, skin, nails to rebuild,' she said.

To use it, Sophie said the pearl is ground up and then can be 'pinched' into a potion or a smoothie. Alternatively, it is also sold as capsules. 


Made from deactivated yeast and non-leavening, nutritional yeast is said to be a 'great source of protein and fiber'. 

Dr Silverman said it is also one of the only vegan-friendly sources of vitamin B12.

Also known as 'nooch', its cheese-like flavor has made it a popular substitute for those who do not or cannot eat dairy.

Most people sprinkle it onto savory foods or into sauces.

Nutritionist Dr Silverman said: 'Not to be confused with brewer's yeast, it's a great source of protein, B12, especially for vegans, no gluten. 

'Some people cook with it but the best way is to sprinkle it over, like people do with cinnamon.'  


Found on shrubs in the Amazon rainforest, these berries are said to boost immunity and contain more vitamin C than any other individual food on Earth - making it a 'big' superfood according to Sophie. 

It also contains amino acids - helpful for recovery and muscles - vitamin B and minerals.  

The powder can be blended into a smoothie or served with fruit or sprinkled onto yogurt or salads.


The black fungus, known as the 'king of medicinal mushrooms', grows on birch trees. It is said to enhance the immune system and can be drunk as a tea.

It is popular in Russia and in some parts of Europe, but the mushroom has only recently started getting attention in the US.

Sophie said its medicinal properties are 'catching on' in the US and that it has been 'used for years for building immunity.' 

It grows in northern Asia, Canada, northern and eastern Europe and in some parts of the US. 


The Ethiopian 'supergrain' has been hailed as the 'new quinoa' and celebrity fans are said to include actress and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow. 

The ingredient has a nutty flavor and can be ground into a flour to make gluten-free bread, eaten as a porridge or stew and is a great source of iron, fiber and protein. 

Dr Silverman said: 'It's high in iron, tastes really great and believe it or not it's been called Hollywood's new superfood...  

'It's great for celiac support, good for bone health, fabulous for diabetes control, good for heart health.

'It's probably the best gluten-free grain out there. Without any doubt it's the new quinoa.'   


Maca comes from a root grown in the Andes, Peru, where it is a centuries-old food and medicine. 

It contains antioxidants, amino acids and fiber and it can be drunk as a coffee-alternative or consumed in a smoothie or in food.

Dr Silverman said: 'It boosts energy, endurance and libido.'  

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