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New superfoods on the chopping block: What will trend in 2015?

Let’s take a look at what 2015 has in store for us in the world of superfoods

Racha Adib

Published: Updated:

Superfoods continue to steal the spotlight in 2015. Packed with a variety of disease-fighting nutrients while relatively low in calories, they can promote both wellness and weight control – and they’re so easy to include in your everyday meals.

Ultimately, when it comes to being healthy, you shouldn’t concentrate on any one superfood hoping it will work miracles. After all, the best dietary pattern is one that includes a number of nutritious foods. But eaten regularly, these superfoods could support your diet and help you reach your daily dietary needs for vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Luckily, there are a lot of superfoods out there. 2014’s favorites were chia seeds, quinoa, sweet potatoes, salmon, kale and goji berries among others. While you should keep these superfoods handy, let’s take a look at what 2015 has in store for us.

Amaranth

A staple food of the Aztecs and Mayans, Amaranth is an ancient grain that has been cultivated for over 8,000 years.

Why it’s trending? It’s packed with protein of unusually high quality and it’s gluten-free – a great option for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerances.

How it’s eaten? Cook amaranth in water, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Enjoy it as a breakfast cereal, combine it with other grains or use it to thicken soups.

Coconut sugar

Also known as coco sugar, coconut sugar is produced from the sap of flower buds of the coconut palm and has been used as a sweetener for thousands of years in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Why it’s trending? According to the Philippine Coconut Authority, coconut sugar has a lower Glycemic Index (35) compared to table sugar (60), making it a healthier alternative especially for Diabetics, but more studies are needed before making any conclusions. Coconut sugar does, however, have more nutrients than white and brown sugar, and contains a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc, Iron and a range of B vitamins.

How it’s eaten? Coconut sugar can be used spoon for spoon as a substitute for sugar in hot and cold beverages, baking and cooking.

Black rice

Also knows as forbidden rice in ancient Chinese legends, it is said that black rice was so rare, tasty, and nutritious that only the emperors were allowed to eat it. It has a nutty taste, soft texture and a deep purple color.

Why it’s trending? Black rice contains anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant, which gives black rice its dramatic hue. 10 spoonfuls of cooked black rice contains the same amount of anthocyanin as a spoonful of fresh blueberries. It’s also high in iron.

How it’s eaten? Black rice is cooked like traditional rice but takes a bit longer than traditional rice to cook. Cooking time is around 1 hour, but soaking and rinsing the rice beforehand will help save 30 min. It can be used in stir fries, sides and even in salad toppings.

Dandelion Greens

Just like kale and spinach, dandelion greens are green leafy vegetables with a bitter taste and may just become your preferred green this year.

Why it’s trending? Like other greens, they’re a great source of antioxidants and a wide array of vitamins – a great way to support your diet as opposed to vitamin supplements. They also contain a lot of iron and fiber.

How it’s eaten? You can eat them fresh mixed in a salad or sauté them with olive oil followed by a squeeze of lemon juice for increased iron absorption.

Baobab

Baobab has recently made it to the mainstream market although it has been used for centuries in Southern Africa for its medicinal properties. It’s a greenish pod that, once cracked open, reveals a powdery white fruit with a sweet, tangy flavor.

Why it’s trending? Baobab contains six times as much vitamin C as oranges, twice as much calcium as milk, and it’s also high in magnesium, iron, fiber, and antioxidants. Moreover, it has prebiotic qualities that can stimulate the “good bacteria” in your gut and helps you maintain a healthy digestive system.

How it’s eaten? Traditionally, the baobab is eaten fresh from the shell. Outside of Africa, you’ll probably find it in powder form and you can simply stir it into smoothies or yogurt. You can also use it to replace sugar in jams and baking.