What is it? A seed that has even more brain-boosting omega 3 oil than flaxseed/linseed, is higher in fibre than wheat bran (a favourite with people on the Dukan diet) and also contains a powerhouse of antioxidants. Chia seeds contain tryptophan from which serotonin (your brain's own natural antidepressant) is derived.
How to use it: Officially we can only sell it as a bread ingredient! Which we do here. The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes is poised to allow chia seeds in a wide variety of products including breakfast cereals and nut & seed mixes in the UK shortly.
Until then you can try Biona’s Chia and Flaxseed Bread, Chia and Flax Dippers from Raw Health, Raw Sprouted Chia Bread from Pura Vida and even Cold Pressed Chia Oil from Mychia. Or try adding a tablespoon to your favourite smoothie.
What is it? A powder made from a South American root, it is said to improve endurance, mental focus and energy. It is also known as ‘Nature’s Viagra’ as it’s purported to boost your sex drive! Maca is a very densely nutritious food that contains high amounts of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and all the essential amino acids.
How to use it: Traditionally, Maca is taken in powdered form, a little like flour. Make muffins or bread and replace a couple of tablespoons of flour with Maca. Maca can be sprinkled over cereal, porridge or muesli, mixed into yoghurts and smoothies or simply try stirring it into soups or drinks. Three or more grams of Maca per day are usually recommended.
Or try Raspberry and Maca Kale Chips from Inspiral, Chocengorroch bar with Guarana and Maca from The Chocolate Tree or Maca's Secrets Muesli from Alara.
What is it? An African fruit that is sustainably produced, then pulped and dried into a powder. It has more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk and contains magnesium, iron, B vitamins and prebiotic fibres (which boost friendly gut bacteria).
How to use it: Mix a few teaspoonfuls into yoghurt, porridge or a smoothie. It's a fruit powder so it can be used in baking and ice-creams to add a flavoursome and healthy boost to recipes. It's also very popular simply added to water (some folk like to sweeten it with agave or similar), it makes an almost sherbet-like drink that is brilliant for vitamin C and iron intake.
Try Organic Burst Baobab supplement or one of Aduna's new range. You can find smoothie recipes here. Or try the new range of Wow!bab cereal bars with added baobab.
What is it? A bitter tasting cabbage, Kale is a nutritional standout in three basic areas; antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, much-needed macronutrients, and cancer-preventive nutrients called glucosinolates. In addition to conventional antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese, Kale also provides us with at least 45 different recently discovered flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin.
How to use it: Throw some raw kale leaves into salads or juicers. Or for a tasty snack try the Inspiral Kale Chips, dehydrated slowly to retain all the nutrients.
Kale Chips come in a range of flavours, Cacao and Cinnamon, Baobab and Onion, Wasabi and Wheatgrass, Raspberry and Maca and Cheesie Purple Corn. They’re all vegan, raw and incredibly moreish!
What is it? A sweet-tasting South American root that's high in inulin, a sugar that the body can't absorb (good for those watching their weight!) Inulin is a prebiotic, so it can help with bloating. It's also high in potassium and antioxidants.
How to use it: Try adding the powdered root to smoothies or yoghurt, or use the Yacon Flour in cakes and cookie making for a sweet guilt free treat.
What is it? Ambrosia! That's the original name for Bee Pollen, it's a mass of pollen packed into granules by worker bees - it's the primary source of protein for a hive. It contains all of the essential amino acids, 18 vitamins, 11 enzymes and is a good source of protein.
How to use it: Simply sprinkle over cereal, muesli or porridge for a sweet, yet healthy energy boost. Most people use around a tablespoon a day, but build up to it slowly if you aren't used to it. It is not recommended for use by pregnant women, whilst breastfeeding or people with allergies to bees or pollen.
Try our Real Vitality Superfoods bee pollen which comes in a great range of sizes, from 25 grams up to 25kgs!
By Kim Betney