What are Superfoods and Which Ones are Trending in 2018?
When you are striving to lead the healthiest life possible, a list of superfoods should be at your fingertips at all times. Filling your fridge and pantry with these delicious superfoods can help you with a variety of dietary goals and needs. Explore the world of superfoods with us! What is a superfood? How can superfruits benefit me? How can I use superfoods in my daily cooking? We will answer these questions and more while we provide you with a superfoods list for 2018 to start you on your journey of experimenting with the exotic.
What are Superfoods and Superfruits?Superfoods and superfruits are defined by their low-calorie, high-nutrient, high-fiber properties. Not all fruits and vegetables are created equal, and not all which are claimed to be superfoods truly are. When choosing your superfoods, you want to pay close attention to those that are high in antioxidants to help fight free radicals in your system. The other very important components that your superfruits and superfoods should have are the essential fatty acids, like omega-3, -6, -9, and the extremely critical and difficult-to-obtain omega-7.
Superfoods and Superfruits Trending in 2018The irony of creating a list of newly trending superfoods is that none of the superfoods are actually new. As a matter of fact, this list of superfoods is comprised of ancient root vegetables, fruits, and even a fungus in the form of the chaga mushroom. The sea buckthorn berry is one of the most powerful superfruits, and its use dates back to the time of Genghis Khan who used this mighty fruit to power his army of men and horses. Below are listed some of the most advantageous superfoods along with recipes and tips on how to use them.
1. Chaga MushroomsThis fungal addition to the 2018 superfoods list is found on birch trees in the colder climates of the Northern Hemisphere including Russia, Canada, and the northern United States. Its use dates back to the indigenous people of Siberia in the 12th century. The Chaga mushroom is often overlooked as a knot or burn on the bark of the tree. Once harvested, dried, and ground, chaga mushrooms are most often consumed as a tea. Try this recipe for a delicious chocolate chaga smoothie: Chocolate Chaga Superfood Smoothie:
- 1 cup cold chaga tea
- 1/2 frozen banana, sliced
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- Pinch of cinnamon (optional, but cinnamon also has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties)
2. Tiger NutsWhile the resemblance is uncanny, this superfood is definitely not harvested from tigers. In another odd twist, tiger nuts are not nuts at all. They are a root vegetable that is cultivated in Spain and West Africa, dating back to ancient Egypt. If you suffer from digestive ailments like upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, or even excessive gas, eating tiger nuts can help. It is also said to help remedy erectile dysfunction, though there is no medical proof of this. Tiger nuts can be eaten whole, but are usually consumed as a flour. Incorporating another of the superfoods on our 2018 list, cassava, the superfood ingredients in these brownies will not give you superpowers, but they may make you feel like a superhero. Tiger Nut Cassava Brownies
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons organic palm oil shortening
- 1 tablespoon natural vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup tiger nut flour
- 1/2 cup cassava flour
- 4 tablespoons carob powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 x 8-inch pan with palm shortening.
- Mix together applesauce, maple syrup, palm oil shortening, and vanilla extract.
- Add the tiger nut flour, cassava flour, carob powder, and baking powder; mix well.
- Spread evenly in prepared pan and then bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool slightly on a cooling rack, but slice before completely cooled.
3. CarambolaCarambola is another one of the excellent examples of superfruits. More commonly known as “starfruit,” this juicy pentagonal delight is high in vitamin C and loaded with antioxidants. The carambola has important enzymes such as the B-vitamins that can help to boost your metabolism. The beauty of the carambola, other than it’s physical star shape, is that a medium-sized (about 3 inches long) delicious pear-pineapple-apple-tasting starfruit is only 30 calories and very low in sugar. Carambola can be eaten raw right from the tree. They also make an excellent juice, and the pulp can be used to make jam or baked into cakes or muffins. NOTE: Consumption of carambola can create a harmful toxin in those suffering from kidney disease.
4. CassavaCassava must be included on the superfoods list for 2018. This root vegetable has been a staple for cultures dating back to the Taino Indians of the Caribbean. On islands like Puerto Rico, it is still a mainstay and one of the principal crops grown and consumed on the island. You may also know cassava as tapioca, yuca, or manioc. It is roasted, boiled, mashed, and used frequently in soups and stews. It is also the principal ingredient in the masa or dough used for alcapurrias, but consumption of these fried delights probably does not fit into a healthy way of eating. The Taino used cassava flour for bread and as a thickener, and this flour is now available in grocery stores across Puerto Rico. Cassava can be used to reduce inflammation which in turn helps to relieve arthritis. Seemingly contradictory as a starchy root vegetable, cassava has also been used to control diabetes. It is effective in treating digestive issues, and can even improve cardiovascular health.
5. GuanabanaThis strange-looking fruit has long been used in the tropical climes of the Caribbean as a superfruit. Do not let its green spiny skin scare you away. The milky white creamy flesh of the guanabana, also known as soursop, is low in calorie and high in fiber, so it is great for weight loss. It is also used to boost the immune system and reduce fever. It is an anti-inflammatory and its bacteria-fighting properties help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Guanabana is high in tryptophan, an amino acid essential to humans that has calming properties, so enjoying the coconut-kiwi-pineapple flavor of the flesh of this superfruit can help control anxiety and mellow your mood. Perhaps the greatest attribute of guanabana, and why it should be included on the 2018 super fruits list, is its cancer-fighting bioelements. Research is still being conducted, so at this time there is no solid medical evidence that the fruit can fight cancer, but many people who have used it for this reason are convinced that the consumption of guanabana kept the cancer at bay.
6. Sea Buckthorn BerryProbably the “super-est” of superfoods on the superfoods list for 2018 is the sea buckthorn berry. This amazing fruit takes the resiliency it uses to grow in the harsh climes of the Himalayan mountains and shares that resiliency with consumers through its over 190 bionutrients. The sea buckthorn berry is an amazing superfruit because nearly every part of the plant can be used: the berry, its seeds, the leaves, and even the bark. The multitudinous health benefits of the sea buckthorn berry make it the wellness champion of the 2018 superfoods list. It aids in digestion, lowers cholesterol, and improves cellular and cardiovascular health. Just as the tiger nut is not a nut, the sea buckthorn berry is technically not a berry. This berry-like fruit on the superfruits list is optimal when harvested by hand in the early morning hours before the sun comes up. SIBU employs women from local villages to pick the best sea buckthorn berries at peak ripeness, and then they are processed within 24 hours to create incredible products for healthy skin and supplements for improved health and gorgeous shiny hair. For a supercharged superfruit smoothie, try this blender recipe... Sea Buckthorn Berry Blended Breakfast
- 1/2 cup sea buckthorn berries, frozen or fresh
- 1 medium carambola, whole or trimmed with seeds removed (though the seeds add nutrients and a nice crunch)
- 1/2 cup guanabana fruit (seeds removed)
- 1 banana
- SIBU Omega-7 Pure, as needed for desired consistency
- Ice, as needed