Why look to exotic locations to find the latest superfoods when our own backyard is home to some of the most nutrient dense, antioxidant-rich foods on the planet?
Yes! Native Australian foods are the original superfoods. They’ve sustained the Aboriginal people for over tens of thousands of years, and science is finally starting to reveal just how powerful their health benefits are for you.
But what’s so super about them? And why should you add them to your pantry?
Here’s a look at five of our home grown heroes—the original superfoods:
1 Davidson Plum
Native to the rainforests of Northern NSW and Queensland, the Davidson Plum’s deep purple colour is due to its high levels of the antioxidants known as anthocyanins; compounds believed to improve brain function, and protect against heart diseases and certain cancers. Davidson Plums also contain potassium, Vitamin E, lutein, folate, magnesium and calcium, which are beneficial for the heart, nervous system, skin, eyes, and bones.
The Kakadu Plum is the reigning queen of Australia’s home grown superfoods. Native to the Top End of Australia, the Kakadu Plum boasts the highest Vitamin C concentration of any fruit on earth, with almost one hundred times more Vitamin C than oranges and five times more antioxidants than blueberries. Skin care companies everywhere are adding it to their products thanks to its ability to moisturise, brighten skin and protect against the effects of ageing. As a food, Kakadu Plum is most commonly consumed as a dried fruit powder, which can be added to smoothies, desserts or breakfast bowls for a Vitamin C super boost.
With a fresh clean lemony flavour and fragrance, Lemon Myrtle is delicious as well as nutritious. It is known for its anti viral, anti bacterial and anti fungal qualities, and may help to boost the immune system and fight off cold and flu. Often enjoyed as a tea, it has a calming and uplifting effect. It is also a vegan source of calcium and is high in Vitamin E, calcium, zinc and magnesium.
Mountain pepper packs a serious punch, both in its flavour and its nutrient content. Also known as native pepper or Tasmanian pepper, it has a fruity taste with a hot and spicy chilli kick. Mountain pepper’s impressive nutritional credentials include: an antioxidant capacity superior to blueberries, high levels of vitamin E, lutein, zinc (essential to metabolic function and immunity), magnesium, calcium and iron. Mountain pepper also contains the ‘hot’ compound known as polygodial, which has antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Highly nutritious, wattleseeds have been part of the diet of Indigenous Australians for tens of thousands of years, When roasted, they have a delicious nutty, coffee aroma and a chocolate hazelnut flavour that can be used in breads, muffins, desserts, and muesli. Wattleseeds are also a caffeine-free alternative to coffee. They are a rich source of protein, have a low GI and contain magnesium, zinc and calcium, and selenium – a mineral that is deficient in many soils and therefore foods.