Do you get bored with the food you eat? There’s a whole range of food available these days that is not only likely to be new to your diet but is also very good for you. Check these out!
These gluten-free seeds are one of the richest sources of omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain function and for heart and skin health. They are also full of fibre, which is good for digestive health and lowering cholesterol. They contain lots of nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc and iron. They can help to suppress appetite because when they get wet they gel together, making you feel full and slowing down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar in the blood.
How to eat them: Chia seeds can be added to soups and smoothies, sprinkled on salad, used in place of breadcrumbs to thicken meatballs or coat fish or chicken, or eaten plain.
They taste like... poppy seeds when eaten in their natural state, but take on the taste of the food they are cooked with.
These berries pack a healthy punch. They have the highest protein content of any fruit, are rich in antioxidants and are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, zinc and selenium. They also contain natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Goji berries can interact with some medications, including the blood thinner warfarin.
How to eat them: The berries are usually dried but can be eaten raw. They make a tasty snack when mixed with almonds. They can be used in herbal teas and juices or added to porridge or smoothies.
They taste like... a slightly tart cross between a cranberry and a cherry.
A gluten-free grain that hails from Ethiopia, teff is becoming recognised for its nutritional qualities. High in protein, a good source of vitamin C and full of minerals, it is ideal for people with coeliac disease. Teff is considered a resistant starch, which was recently found to help prevent irritable bowel syndrome and colorectal cancer.
How to eat it: Teff is usually ground into flour to make bread and pasta. It can also be steamed, boiled or baked and served as a side dish, much like rice.
It tastes like... almonds and walnuts.
This is not milk from the coconut meat, but the water from inside a green coconut. It not only tastes good, but has more potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium than most juices. It is cholesterol and fat free.
How to drink it: As it is
It tastes like... coconuts!
This root vegetable, which looks a little like a parsnip, is known for its unusual seafood flavour – hence the fact that it is also called oyster plant or vegetable oyster. It is low in calories but high in fibre, which means it can help with weight-loss. It also contains vitamins C and B6, and potassium.
How to eat it: Salsify can be used in the same way as parsnip – mashed, roasted or sauteed, or in soups and stews.
It tastes like... oysters!
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Image of goji berries: Rob Shaw/ bauersyndication.com.au