Move over seaweed, quinoa and cauliflower: there are some new superfoods in town for 2016. According to Joy McCarthy, this will be the year we dig into several Canadian specialties as well as another variation of coconut. The holistic nutritionist showcased her top picks on Global’s The Morning Show on Jan. 21.
So what makes the below list of finds so super? “Superfoods have extra-large doses of vitamins and minerals that can help us ward off diseases and live a longer, healthier life,” says Despina Hyde, a registered dietitian with the weight management program at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.
According to the European Food Information Council, superfoods may also help to repair the damage we do to our bodies (by imbibing in smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or eating fatty foods) because they’re high in antioxidants.
Without further ado, here are McCarthy’s top superfood picks:
“[Birch syrup is made] from the Canadian birch tree and it has a very distinct flavour,” she said in her interview. “It’s kind of a combination of spicy, tart and sweet.” The Joyous Health author went on to say the liquid is rich in minerals, like calcium, copper and iron, and that it works great as a marinade and can be used like vanilla extract — to add flavour to a variety of dishes. McCarthy adds its health benefits are on par with those of blueberries and cranberries.
Wild Canadian mushrooms
“This time of year I recommend people eat mushrooms because they’re so great for the immune system. They’re a mineral-rich way to add that umami flavour [to meals, too]. The key thing to remember about mushrooms is to always buy them wild or certified organic; mushrooms are like a sponge, so they absorb everything from the soil, [good and bad].”
“[These] are amazingly rich in antioxidants,” says the holistic nutritionist. “What gives them that beautiful purple-blue colour are anthocyanins, which are amazingly good for heart health, so they’re very anti-inflammatory.” They’re also high in fibre.
“This is the smallest grain in the world. It can be made into a porridge, just like how you would cook oatmeal or quinoa. Teff is gluten-free and it’s very rich in minerals. It [also] has a very mild flavour.” Here’s a simple recipe to try: use two parts water to one part teff and add in mashed banana and some cinnamon; heat then enjoy.
“Coconut oil is just the fat of the [coconut, while] coconut butter is the flesh of the coconut: the fibre, the protein, the fat. You’re getting everything, and it has a very sweet flavour.” It’s fantastic for the immune system, so McCarthy suggests using it on everything from toast to crackers.
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