Supercharged, Super Healthy

10 Jul 2014
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Forget kale, quinoa and spirulina. They’ve been superseded by a new list of ‘in’ foods that promise to take your health to a whole new level, writes Felicity Glover 

Remember when kale was all the rage and every health nut worth their salt was going ga-ga over goji berries? You may recall the time when blueberries had their time in the spotlight, or even acai berries and black garlic, just to name a few.

And who can forget wheatgrass shots and oxygen bars? They are so, like, 1990s. 

It seems that each year, there’s a new list of fad superfoods that have foodies the world over rushing out to buy. Of course, they all promise a range of health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cancer, boosting your immune system, increasing heart health, brainpower and just general good well-being. 

This year’s line-up of superfoods is just as wacky as the previous year. And the one before that (if you can remember it).  

But at the heart of each year’s list is that they all have a shelf life similar to next season’s catwalk trends. Once you see them on the High Street, they’re out and a new superfood is “suddenly” discovered, one that is difficult to find and inevitably sees a celebrity chef rolled out to create newfangled recipe for it. 

But we’ll let you be the judge of this year’s list. 

Salsify: Thanks to MasterChef, I had heard of salsify before. But I didn’t know this high-fibre root vegetable could help you to maintain healthy weight levels, or at least that’s what the experts say. 

Beluga lentils: Beluga what? Are they related to the Beluga whale? No, they are part of the lentil family, but are black in colour, which could explains the connection. Rich in anthocyanins, they are believed to help a range of health problems, such as inflammation, heart disease and cancer. According to the experts, the darker the colour, the more beneficial it is. 

Sesame seeds: The only surprise here is that it took the experts so long to add it to a superfood list. Rich with essential minerals, nutritionists say eating sesame seeds can help stress, hypertension and cholesterol. Tahini, anyone?  

Shichimi togarashi: A spice blend from Japan that features the likes of orange peel, chilli powder, seaweed and black and white sesame seeds. The Japanese have been using it for years to spice up all manner of dishes as it is rich in anti-oxidents, helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Coffee: One year it’s good for you, the next it can play havoc on your health. Coffee has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years, but it seems that it’s found favour again. This year, it has been ruled that a moderate intake of java can help a range of health issues, such as diabetes and liver disease, and can even boost heart health.    

Teff: No superfood list would be complete with out the odd addition and teff, a gluten-free grain that is used as flour, takes this year’s prize. It is believed that its health boosting properties can help the maintenance of blood sugar levels and weight, not to mention being good for your colon. 

Avocado oil: One of the few good oils available commercially, it is high in lecithin, vitamins and protein. The experts believe avocado oil can lower cholesterol, the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.  

Canary seeds: So this one’s for the birds – and should probably remain that way. If you are tempted, it is gluten-free and protein rich. But don’t forget that humans need to buy the de-hulled kind, as opposed to the ones preferred by our feathered friends. 

Beet juice: I’m not sure about beet juice. In fact, I’d argue that fresh beets taste better roasted – and would have the same effect as the juiced-up version. Apparently, though, the antioxidant powers found in beet juice can boost brainpower and energy, while also lowering blood pressure.  

Za’atar: Yep, za’atar, a traditional spice blend from the Middle East that contains a range of herbs, such as thyme, salt, sesame seeds and sumac, has made it on to this year’s list of superfoods. Clearly, this is not new for the region, more so as it is believed to have been used since ancient Egyptian times. But here’s what you may not have known: experts claim that za’atar can reduce the risk of food poisoning.  

Source: Mama Natural

Za’atar Pita Chips with Yogurt Dip 



  • 4 tbsp za’atar 
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large pitas or flatbread
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated or minced
  • 1/8 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine za’atar and olive oil in a small bowl to form a paste. Cut one pita open around the edge to create two rounds. Repeat with remaining pita. Place pita rounds on a baking sheet. Spread za’atar mixture over rough sides of pita rounds using the back of a spoon. Bake until edges are golden, about five to seven minutes. Allow to cool slightly and cut into wedges. Combine yogurt, mint, garlic and salt. Serve with pita chips. 


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