Chia seeds? Kale? Acai berry? So last year. There are some new names on the superfood block for 2015:
What is it? A plant native to Asia and South America, known for its high concentration of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. It also contains 18 amino acids and is high in vitamin C. A 2009 studyshowed that moringa’s levels of antioxidants were comparable to pharmaceutical-grade antioxidant supplements.
What it’s (allegedly) good for: Digestion, blood sugar regulation, liver protection.
How it’s used: One tablespoon of seeds per day, added to tea, smoothie, or food.
Reported celebrity fans: Lily Cole, Livia Firth (eco-fashion entrepreneur and wife of Colin Firth).
What is it? A hard mushroom that grows on birch trees in cold Northern climates, especially Siberia.
What it’s (allegedly) good for: A highly potent natural antioxidant, chaga, it’s claimed, can strengthen the immune system, ward off viruses and bacteria, and benefit the digestive system.
How it’s used: A tea can be made by steeping the actual mushroom in hot water for 30 minutes, but this can stain the teeth. An alternative is consuming commercially-prepared chaga mushroom tea, powder, pills, or liquid drops.
What is it? A single-cell green algae found in freshwater, chlorella is 65 percent protein, packed with vitamins, and contains more chlorophyll than any other food, with 40 times more chlorophyll than wheatgrass juice. It also contains a high concentration of iron, and is big in Japan (more Japanese reportedly take it than vitamin C).
What it’s (allegedly) good for: Detoxing, especially the liver. General system cleansing, with results for the complexion.
How it’s used: 1/2 to 1 tablespoon per day, added to juice or a smoothie.
Reported celebrity fans: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Victoria Beckham, Miranda Kerr, Jennifer Aniston.
What is it? An Ethiopian staple, this gluten-free wholegrain is rich in protein, fibre, and minerals like silica and iron, and contains more calcium than any other grain.
What it’s (allegedly) good for: Strengthens bones and connective tissue.
How it’s used: Boiled as a white rice substitute or added to breakfast muesli.
Reported celebrity fans: Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham.
By Ellin Stein
photos: Getty Images; Stepan Popov/Getty Images; Westend61/Getty Images; Kristin Duvall/Getty Images