We live in the era of super foods and with so many new and exciting products being introduced to us at once, it’s hard to know what is best for us. Super food trends seem to come in waves, and the next best thing be gone tomorrow. Fiona Tuck Nutritional Medicine Expert, shares her views on superfood trends and what is really beneficial for our bodies. Here is her predictions for the major trends in 2017.
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Avocado oil vs coconut oil
We have all been going loco for coco but now avocado oil is destined to be the next big player in the healthy oil arena. Avocado oil contains high levels of health promoting oleic acid, carotenoids, lutein, vitamin E and phytosterols. This wonder oil also boasts high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) helping to reduce damaging levels of inflammation in the body thought to help protect against heart disease, dementia and stroke. The added bonus of avocado oil is that not only does it taste delicious when used as a salad dressing it can also be used for cooking due to its high smoke point plus it can be used topically as a nutrient rich skin smoothing oil.
Inulin Prebiotic vs probiotic
Move over probiotics, prebiotics are the latest thing. Probiotics have been plugged as a cure all for the majority of health conditions however we first need prebiotics to provide the right environment for the good gut bacteria (probiotics) to be able to thrive. Inulin, a soluble fibre, is a gut prebiotic and boasts an array of wonderful health benefits. Inulin is a fructan which is indigestible by our body, but the good bacteria in our gut flora flourishes in its presence. As our body cannot digest the fructans, inulin has little or no impact on blood sugar or insulin making it ideal for those with blood sugar imbalances. Health benefits include enhanced immune system function, heart health and improved absorption of minerals in the body. Inulin helps satiate the appetite aiding weight loss and aids digestion. Inulin is most often sourced from chicory and Jerusalem artichokes.
Activated charcoal vs detox lemon water
Forget lemon detox drinks and diets, charcoal is the new black! Activated charcoal is regular charcoal that has been treated with gas to create to multiple tiny internal spaces within the charcoal. These tiny spaces within the activated charcoal “trap” toxins and chemicals almost like a sponge.
Activated charcoal is used in medicine primarily to treat poisonings such as alcohol poisoning but is also used in water filters to purify water, and in tablet or powder form to help reduce flatulence, and alleviate symptoms of traveller’s tummy bugs and dysentery. 2017 is set to see activated charcoal becoming a huge trend and we will see it being added to a variety of health foods, smoothies, juices and skincare for its detoxifying benefits. Beware however as activated charcoal is so good at trapping chemicals it does this with the majority of substances it comes into contact with not just poisons. This means that the current detox trend of adding activated charcoal to juices, smoothies or food negates the nutrient content of the food!
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Sacha Inchi Inca nut vs almonds
Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) is a native Peruvian plant. The plant contains nutrient rich edible star shaped seeds rich in essential fatty acids sure to push the humble almond off its super food perch. Sacha inchi is also known as the Inca peanut, the seeds are often eaten whole like peanuts or the nutrients extracted and used as a superfood powder as a rich source of natural vitamin E, vitamin A, protein and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Sacha Inchi is thought to be the richest plant source of alpha linolenic acid available. What a star studded nutrient profile!