From matcha lattes and bone broth, to kimchi and seaweed soups, traditional Asian superfoods have influenced the health food markets massively over the last few years. Now more than ever, we’re seeing a rise in letting ‘food be thy medicine’, but which ones should we keep an eye out for in 2021?
Here are nine nutrition-packed superfoods to try from East Asian countries to keep you healthy, happy, and your immune system strong.
10 Asian Superfoods To Try in 2021
Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. There are many types of this herb, but the most popular are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). Due to the high levels of antioxidants, it can help with inflammation, cognitive function, and fight off disease. You can try this superfood steeping it into tea.
Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd, originated in China but is considered a staple in many types of Asian cuisine. It is used to boost immunity, regulate blood sugar levels, and decrease cholesterol levels with its nutritionally diverse and unique punch. Why not try this Asian superfood in your next stir-fry to give it an additional nutrition boost?
Ulam Raja, also known as Cosmos caudatus, is widely used as a traditional medicine in Southeast Asia. If you’re looking for a herb to add into your diet that will boost your immunity and fight off infections, make sure you get this one in. This herb's high antioxidant components makes it a useful anti-inflammatory to add to your diet this year.
Traditionally, Ulam Raja is eaten as a salad with spicy chilli shrimp paste. Go on and give it a try!
Soursop, also known as sasalapa, is a fruit tasting of a mix between strawberries and pineapple that originated in the Samoa Islands. Known for its high antioxidant contents, it helps to fight off bad bacteria, kill cancer properties, and boost immunity. Soursop is typically enjoyed raw, by cutting the fruit in half and eating the flesh.
Feeling bloated and sluggish? The juice of the soursop fruit can be used to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract and remove excess toxins from the body!
Miso is a thick paste traditionally made from fermented soybeans, although soy alternatives now exist for those who cannot consume soy. It is rich in minerals and vitamins with a naturally salty flavor. Due to it being fermented, it has enzymes and probiotics to help aid in digestion.
You can try miso in soups, mixed into sauces, or tossed into a salad dressing.
Seaweed is a great ingredient containing iodine, B-12, iron and rich in antioxidants all of which support healthy thyroid function. Since your thyroid is the body's internal thermostat, it’s important to nourish it well.
On top of this, this Asian superfood is rich in unique forms of vitamins and minerals only available through sea vegetables. Sprinkling some dried seaweed on your food or using it as a wrap not only adds taste, texture and flavor to your meal, but it’s an easy way to boost your intake of minerals and vitamins.
Pegaga, also known at Gotu Kola, is considered the “herb for longevity”. This herb is a staple in traditional Chinese, Indonesian, and Ayurvedic medicine to boost brainpower, improve digestion, heal skin issues, and strengthen immunity.
Containing some of nature's most powerful herbs and fruits, such as turmeric leaf, papaya leaf, green apples and dates, it has been used for centuries in Asia for healing, beauty and longevity. Organically harvested in remote rural villages, these elite tonics have gained their reputations for beauty and medicinal purposes over hundreds of years.
Our Pegaga Herbal Superfood Blend is a great way to experience the benefits of this Asian superfood for yourself.
Goji berries are an oldie but goodie. These small red berries date back to Ancient Chinese times and have been used over the years for anti-ageing, digestive aid, and as an immune booster.
Although commonly found on top of smoothies and juices, traditional Chinese cooking uses goji berries for savoury dishes such as soups.
This is basically the Marmite of Japan. Natto are soybeans soaked, steamed, fermented, and aged for a week or so (the same way you’d ferment your sauerkraut!).
Due to this process, natto aids in digestion and is a breakfast staple in Japan. Usually scooped on top of steamed white rice with raw egg and miso soup, or spread on toast.
Umeboshi are dried, pickled plums, though the fruit is technically a Chinese-Japanese. This plum-apricot is loaded with polyphenols which helps to lower blood pressure, aid digestion and cure hangovers and nausea.
These are quite salty, which is why you’ll see this traditional superfood added inside of rice balls or added on top of rice bowls. A real treat!
Where to start:
Food can be our medicine when used intentionally. What I teach my students inside of my gut-healing programs is that it doesn’t need to be complicated, you just have to start by boosting up the dishes you’re already eating.
Having a morning green smoothie? Top it with some goji berries! Want to supercharge your snack game? Try out this Anti-inflammatory Hummus.
Remember, some of these ingredients are very potent, and can have significant effects on your body. As with all things health and wellness, check with a doctor or nutritionist before implementing them into your diet.
Would you like to experience nature's most powerful healing herbs used for centuries in Asia for improved immunity, digestion, gut and skin health?
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