Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the January 2016 issue of The List.
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Supercharge your diet
Five must-have superfoods to keep in your pantry
We all know bananas are good for you, Stemming from the “nice-cream” craze—replacing fat and cream with frozen bananas in the dessert—comes the banana in a new form: banana flour. Used as a starch replacement (hence perfect for paleo eaters), the flour comes with all the goodness of its original form and will aid your digestion, help combat depression and lower blood pressure… and these are just three of the infinite benefits.
How to eat: As it tastes exactly like banana, the gluten-free powder can be mixed into yoghurts or milks to create a power pudding. Use it in homemade treats as a healthy substitute for flour—it contains a high starch content so you can use up to 30 percent less than required in your recipes.
Where to buy: The Nutri-Fruit Banana Powder can be conveniently ordered online and delivered straight to your door from iherb.com
Move aside acai berries, make way for the new superstar of 2016. Baobab is derived from fruit of the African “Tree of Life” that can be cracked open and dried into a powder. Suitable for vegan and gluten-free diets, the superfood is packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
How to eat: The possibilities are endless: baobab can be sprinkled onto smoothies or other dishes for a nutritional boost, or mixed into dips and oils and even shaken into cocktails.
Where to buy: Social enterprise Baola is the force behind the growing Baobab movement throughout Hong Kong. Further information on their organization, recipes and a list of retailers of the superfood can be found on baobab.com.hk.
Instead of taking multivitamins, why not incorporate maca powder into your diet instead? A root vegetable grown in the Peruvian Andes, it’s been used as a medicine in South America for centuries by Incan warriors to strengthen strength and endurance before battles. Maca contains calcium and magnesium to support bone health and contribute to immunity, and potassium to help maintain balanced blood pressure levels.
How to eat: Mix 1-2 teaspoons of maca powder into your favorite drinks: tea and coffee as well as smoothies and more. The superfood is also a great healthy addition to desserts and condiments.
Where to buy: Find varieties of maca powder online at lifeproject.hk.
There’s a reason why the humble ginger root is so commonly used in cooking in Asian countries—it’s a powerhouse containing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Research has proven that it is ideal as a remedy for nausea and indigestion that comes with colds, flus and headaches. Recently, there have even been studies on using it to ease joint problems.
How to eat: In addition from using it in day-to-day cooking, ginger can be used to make tea, to add a spicy kick as a seasoning and as ingredients for soups. Ginger oil, made by grating ginger, can even be used during bath time as a great soak for sore muscles.
Where to buy: Ginger is available at most grocery stores and wet markets.
You may have heard of kombucha as the “immortal health elixir” and it is indeed a true superfood bursting with enzymes, probiotics and antioxidants. It is widely claimed that the consumption of kombucha tea provides detoxification effects by aiding digestion and helps with joint health. With different flavours depending on how long the fermented tea has been brewing, it can taste pleasantly earthy to acidic.
How to eat: There are multiple pre-made kombucha teas on the market or if you’re feeling up to it, ferment your own tea using a culture of bacteria and yeast.
Where to buy: Purchase pre-made kombucha teas across the city at Just Green, with multiple locations listed on justgreen.com.hk.