Every year there seems to a be new “superfood” that hits the market and health food stores graciously ride the wave until the next one comes out. First there was the wheatgrass rage, then goji berries, then acai berries, then kale, then…well, what the heck is a superfood anyway? And if they are really so super then why does there seem to be a new one coming out every few months that is apparently way better than anything else, ever?
There isn’t really a ‘superfood’ governing body that declares which lucky berry, seed, grain or green vegetable becomes the latest and greatest but they are loosely defined as a natural food that have an extraordinary amount of vitamins and nutritional value, more than most fruits and vegetables out there. Way more pack for the punch so to speak.
Although I greatly respect the all the high and mighty declared superfoods thus far and I regularly use them in my smoothies and home cooking with undeniable positive effects for the body and health, but maybe there is another angle to consider?
Real superfoods possess super-traits — like the ability to grow astronomically fast in some of the world’s harshest climates. Or the ability to make dirty water safe for drinking. Or the ability to feed a family of four for 50 years.
Here are some of the superfoods of the future that offer positive benefits on a much larger scale. So grab your capes, superheros, and get ready for these:
- Moringa Tree
A small serving of the humble-looking “miracle tree” moringa’s tiny leaves has seven times the amount of vitamin C of an orange, four times the calcium of milk, and four times the beta-carotene of carrots! Not only can you use all parts of the tree (leaves, pods, roots), but it is drought resistant and can grow up to 15 feet in it’s first year of growth. It’s seeds, once crushed, can actually disinfect water so that it’s clean enough for drinking! It is considered the fastest growing, most valuable plant in the world.
One cup of breadfruit has more potassium than three bananas, and it’s loaded with fiber, calcium, phosphorous, copper and other essential nutrients. It’s bland “bread” like taste makes it easy to use incorporate into any meal. Amazingly enough, one tree of this fruits bears 450 pounds in a season and could easy feed a family of four for up to 50 years! These “superfood” trees could potentially cater to more than 80% of the world’s poor and hungry living in subtropical areas.
- Prickly Pear Cactus
Known to the Middle Eastern world as “Sabr”, these fruits are high in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants, low in fat — and it all comes from some of the driest and most difficult to harvest land on the planet! It could possibly be “the next kale” and it’s succulent flesh can be described as somewhere between a watermelon and a kiwi. The prickly pear is also promising because it can be used in so many ways — for juices, jams and jellies; some studies even suggest that it’s a hangover cure.