Out with the old, in with the new. Move over, algae lattes, there are new superfoods in town. From plant seeds in the Peruvian rainforest to grocery shop mushrooms, these superfoods are hot on the lips (and tummies) of the health-conscious.

For all the goodness that superfoods has been raved about, give these a try the next time you feel like snacking or have them in your diet together with its other superfood siblings.

1. Sacha inchi

Adding chia seeds to your diet is nice but it has become a thing of the past, as sacha inchi seeds are slowly climbing the superfood perch. The Incas first discovered them some 3,000 years ago and apart from being a pleasant, nutty snack, these seeds are high in protein, omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin E and fibre. In fact, it has the highest plant-based omega-3 oils out there, promoting good heart health, brain and memory functions.

Though it was originally harvested in the highlands of Peru, this superfood is now grown in our parts of the world. Enjoy the goodness of sacha inchi though oil, powder or nut form.

2. Lupin

What started off as sheep feed, is now trending on the superfood list. The founders of The Lupin Co in Western Australia believe that these dhal-like grains should also benefit humans as much as it benefits the sheep, and therefore have taken a leap at producing this superfood in flake form for the growing health-conscious market.

Just like any legume, it is rich in fibre, protein and low in carbohydrates. Lupin contains 40% to 45% protein and 25% to 30% dietary fibre with little starch and low in oil. This is a recipe for keeping blood pressure, cholesterol and weight issues at bay.

Lupin is marketed in flake form, used like quinoa in place of oats and rice. It is also available as flour, where lupin breads make great gluten-free alternatives.

3. Hemp

Hemp is not just the stuff you make sturdy bags out of. Its plant is part of the cannabis family and the seeds are proving to be another popular superfood.

With a high protein content of about 35 grams per tablespoon, hemp seeds are a good protein source for vegetarians and vegans. While for the meat-loving population, hemp seeds can provide high omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for heart health, lowering cholesterol and better brain functions.

This superfood it also helps with our magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and iron intake, and high fibre content makes hemp worth consuming regularly for those with bowel irregularities. Just sprinkle some in salads, cereals and smoothies to enjoy this earthy goodness.

4. Kefir

If you love yoghurt, you are going to love kefir. With a tart but refreshing taste, kefir is a thick fermented milk drink that has a wide range of beneficial bacteria.

Kefir and its properties supports growth of good bacteria in the intestinal tract, which in turn is good for the immune and digestive health and function, as well as production of neurotransmitters and vitamins B12 and K2 in the intestines. Apart from that, look for this superfood for a boost of calcium, vitamin D and K2 for bone health.

Those who are lactose-intolerant, will also rejoice as kefir has lactase to aid in breaking down lactose. Enjoy it on its own, or dash it over cereals and mueslis.

5. Mushrooms

The next time you are in the fruit and vegetable aisle, pile on the mushrooms. These parasitic beings absorb everything from where they grow, usually trees that have stored up the valuable nutrients for a long time. All the vitamins, minerals and nutrients the earth has to offer are absorbed by the mushrooms, making it a natural powerhouse.

Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and high in fibre, with a slew of other goodies like iron, selenium and B vitamins. Mushrooms are known for its immune-loving properties and has been said to increase longevity. Recent studies have also been done to ascertain their natural anti-cancer effects.

Try cooking a blend of different mushroom species like the trio of reishi, shitake and cordyceps mushrooms for a powerpacked meal. MIMS

Read more:
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