Sprinkled on smoothies, salads, or soups, vitality boosters are the latest way to upgrade your diet.
Maca: A small root from Peru,also known as Peruvian ginseng. Its famed as an aphrodisiac.and in fertility forums on-line, maca’s got a reputation for helping to boost sperm count and female fertility, although only a hand full of small studies have backed this up. It’s also said to boost your energy and decrease menopause symptoms.
Baobab: An African fruit that grows in large pods. It’s crammed with nutrients – six times more vitamin c than oranges, more potassium than bananas, a higher antioxidant count than blueberries and double the level of calcium found in milk.Add it to juices, smoothies, porridge and yoghurt. With a sharp, sweet flavour, you can even use it in deserts such as cheesecakes, and as it’s a natural thickener,fans say its it’s great mixed into jam and chutney.
Matcha: A powdered green tea, which contains 137 times more antioxidants than green tea, partly because when you drink green tea, you’re mainly drinking the water its been brewed in, whereas with matcha you get the whole leaf. Matcha also contains an ameno acid called l-theanine, which has been shown to have a calming effect on you body and may help you with stress. You can whisk it into hot water and drink it as a tea, or make a matcha latte with warm almond milk. Matcha also works brilliantly sprinkled on a breakfast of plain Greek yoghurt, berries and seeds, or added to smoothies. It’s pricey, but you only need to use it sparingly.
Bee Pollen: Which is collected by honeybees, and then harvested from their hives. Its claimed to be one of nature’s most complete foods, with very high levels of B vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, enzymes and ameno acids, the building blocks of protein. It may have anti-inflammatory effects and some studies it might help ease PMS. But stear clear if you have allergies, such as hay fever of allergic asthma, as it might cause a reaction.
Camu camu: One of the newer super supplement’s around, this is a powder made of berries from the Amazon rainforest. The camu camu berry contains a whole range of nutrients, including antioxidants flavonoids. But its main health selling point is as a vitamin C power house-its said to be one of the world’s richest sources of the vitamin, which is essential for skin and immunity. Camu camu is quite bitter, so works best added to fruity smoothies or juices.
Algaes: Chiorella and spirulina are both algaes, often combined in green food supplements, counting towards your 5-a-day. Both are high in protein and vitamins.They have pro-biotic properties, encouraging the growth of friendly gut bacteria, which may help with digestive problems like IBS, Chlorella and spirulina are also high in healthy omega-3-fats. Find them in green powder blends – like supermodel Elle Macpherson’s pricy Super Elixir – which you can add to juice’s and smoothies.
Whey Protein: Proteins isolated from whey, the liquid by-product of cheese making. Protein is essential for your body’s repair processes – which is why whey protein is often used after exercise. Whey protein powders deliver pure protein to muscles that have to stretched during your workout, helping to repair them and build lean tissue. Shake a couple of scoops with water for a handy protein hit after exercise. You could also blend with milk and banana for a more filling option.
Acai: The Brazilian acai berry ground into powder. Acai’s main claim to fame is that it contains high concentration’s of antioxidants, more than double the amount found in blueberries which can fight day-to-day damage in the body. The antioxidants in acai are anthocyanins, which are known to have particular benefits for heart health, plus, the ground-up berries are a rich source of fibre, which aids healthy digestion, and has more omega-3 fats than some fish. Unlike some powders, acai powders is tasty, so you can mix it in to a glass of water and drink it neat, alternatively, sprinkle onto cereals or desserts.