What are Exotic Superfoods? Some of these superfoods originate from distant countries, which inspires with its exoticism and its wealth of vital substances. It has often been used as a food by traditional peoples many centuries ago. Today, this extraordinary superfood also enriches our menu.
A little food guide for all those who only understand Baobab, Lucuma and Spirulina.
Exotic superfood list
The chokeberry is about the size of a pea and black in color. It originated in North America, but came to us from Eastern Europe, where it has been used as a medicinal remedy for decades. Its flavor is sweet and tart, similar to our native blueberry.
What’s good in it?
The berry contains minerals and fiber, is rich in vitamins, folic acid and secondary plant compounds that act as antioxidants.
How to eat it?
Aronia berries can be eaten fresh, but the taste takes some getting used to at first, so it is best to combine them with other berries. In dried form, the fruit is suitable for cooking and baking; frozen, as juice or powder, it can be used in smoothies.
Flower pollen is “manufactured” by bees: In search of nectar, they fly from flower to flower and scrape off the microscopic pollen, which they moisten and push into the pollen sacs of their hind legs. In this way, a golden granulate is gradually formed. Beekeepers use special pollen traps to collect the tiny pellets and dry them.
What’s good in it?
Pollen contains more than 20 amino acids, which means it is rich in proteins, as well as more than 100 active enzymes, many vitamins (including vitamin B12, which is otherwise found almost exclusively in milk and meat), minerals, fats and antioxidants. They have antibacterial and antiviral effects. They are even said to have an energy-boosting effect, which is why they are popular among athletes.
Chlorella is a widely used freshwater algae.
What’s good in it?
In naturopathy, the plant is considered to be very rich in nutrients: it contains several essential amino acids, i.e. protein, as well as minerals and fiber, essential fatty acids and vitamins.
Especially the B vitamins are abundant in the alga. Because it can bind harmful substances, naturopaths use it for detoxification. They also praise its high content of chlorophyll, which is responsible for the plant’s vibrant green color.
Scientists, however, are less enthusiastic about the alga: chlorophyll is of no importance at all for the human organism. And since the algae are only consumed in small quantities, the remaining ingredients have virtually no effect on the body.
Chlorella is dried and then sold as a green powder, which is used in juices and smoothies or for baking. The algae is also available in tablet form.
Psyllium husks are the outer seed coats of the Indian psyllium. They can be bought as a food and medicinal product.
What’s good in them?
In combination with liquids, the small seed husks can swell up to 50 times their original size. This property can be used especially in gastrointestinal diseases, because they also increase in size in the body and promote digestion. They are also said to be beneficial for diabetes and high blood lipid levels.
You can buy the whole and the crushed seed shells. The latter is stirred into water and the mixture is drunk or used in baking.
Barley grass is the young leaves of the barley plant. They are harvested early, dried and processed into powder.
What’s good in it?
Barley grass contains a lot of vitamins B and C, as well as many minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. The nutrient composition is considered particularly balanced. Since barley grass is very alkaline, it is said to have an acid-regulating effect on the body.
Barley grass powder is drunk dissolved in a glass of water. The grass is also available in capsule form.
Hemp has been cultivated for over 10,000 years and was already appreciated by the Egyptians and Chinese. On the hemp plant grow the hemp seeds – which are actually not seeds, but small nuts.
What’s good in them?
Hemp seeds contain all essential amino acids, so they are a good source of protein. They also contain vitamins B1, B2 and E, lots of calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. And no: they don’t get you high.
The seeds taste slightly sweet and nutty. As hemp seed protein powder, you can drink them mixed with water. You can get the whole seeds hulled and unhulled and sprinkle them on muesli, yogurt and salad.
Lucuma is a fruit from Peru, also known as the “gold of the Incas”. You can eat its floury, sweet pulp.
The pulp has a very low glycemic index, which means that blood sugar levels rise only minimally after consumption. In addition, lucuma contains many B vitamins, minerals, fiber, and secondary plant compounds.
How to eat it.
The whole fruits are rarely available, instead you can get a powder from the pulp here. Because of its sweet taste and low glycemic index, it works well as a healthy sugar substitute. It can also be used in smoothies, curds, yogurts, mueslis or as an ingredient in baking.
Moringa Oleifera is a plant from the Himalayan region, there also known as the tree of life or horseradish tree, because it gives off a horseradish-like smell. All parts of the tree are edible.
The individual parts of the tree are characterized by different properties: From the seeds one presses oil, which can be used in the kitchen, but also for the production of soaps and creams.
Above all, the crushed seeds purify polluted drinking water: the powder binds toxic substances and sinks to the bottom, leaving clean water. The roots of Moringa taste similar to horseradish, its fruits resemble beans.
However, the leaves of the Moringa tree are the most nutritious: they contain 18 out of 20 essential amino acids, numerous antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.
The composition of these nutrients is considered optimal for the human body. Thanks to its leaves, Moringa is considered the most nutritious plant in the world.
One can buy a green powder made from the leaves, which you stir into water or smoothies. Capsules for ingestion are also available.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae. It is cultivated in aquacultures.
The algae consists of almost 60% protein – no other food has such a high protein content. Spirulina also contains many minerals and vitamins, including vitamin B12, which is otherwise found almost exclusively in animal products and makes the algae interesting for vegans. However, most of this vitamin in the algae is not usable by the human body.
Scientists also criticize that spirulina is consumed in such small quantities that even the high protein content and the minerals it contains have little effect on the body.
Spirulina is available in powder form, as capsules and pressed as tablets. Capsules and tablets are swallowed as a dietary supplement, while the powder is stirred into water, juices and smoothies. Many organic food manufacturers also use spirulina as a nutritional ingredient in their products.
Wheatgrass is the still green stalk of wheat that you harvest after about a week. When pressed, the result is wheatgrass juice.
Wheatgrass and its juice are rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes and antioxidants. The juice in particular is said to have a de-acidifying effect, strengthen the body’s immune system and detoxify it.
Besides the juice, you can buy ground wheatgrass in powder form and an extract from the stalks. The powder is stirred into juices, smoothies and yogurt. The juice is drunk pure.
Are you a fan of superfoods? Want to try some exotic superfoods in the market?
– When a food is exotic, it can easily be accessed since most stores have a lot of it stocked.
– Exotic superfoods are cheap and have a lot of nutritional benefits.
– In the United States, there are 3 not-so-known exotic superfoods.
When you hear the word “superfoods”, the first few foods that will pop out of your mind are avocado, chia seeds, ginger, and even turmeric.
We have to admit, there are the more common and popular ones, but did you know that here in the United States, we actually have three exotic superfoods that offer so much health benefit, less expensive, and at the same time tastes good.
These three not-so-known superfoods deserve a spotlight once in a while:
- 1. The purple sweet potato.
- 2. Black radishes.
- 3. Beluga lentils.
Read Brooklyn Culinary Arts founder, Mia Stern’s, full article here – https://www.mindbodygreen.com.