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The New Superfoods: Seaweed, Teff, Maca Powder and Black Pudding to replace Coconut Oil and Kale as 2016’s trendiest ingredients

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MailOnline US - news, sport, celebrity, science and health stories

1 January 2016


  • Number of items on the list can already be found in the average kitchen 
  • Avocado oil, teff grains and birch water will continue to grow in popularity  
  • We will be cooking with sweet potato flour and making more soups  


Each year brings its fair share of dietary fads, especially in the world of health and nutrition but 2016’s new buzzed-about foods are weirder than ever.

While 2015 saw the clean-eating Instagram brigade fuss over coconut oil, avocados, kale, acai and agave, 2016 will see tree water replace coconut water and an obscure South American root be added to smoothies and bakes.

But alongside the exotic ingredients tipped to be added to supermarket shelves this year are some old favourites that are now being touted for their long under-sung nutritional benefits.



‘It’s been interesting to note how people are changing their habits depending on the new buzz words in clean eating.

‘Some of the foods have been on the up for a while like avocado oil and maca root, but others like mushrooms and black pudding have been a total surprise to us.

‘It’s great to have this new research available to find out the hidden qualities in food and we can’t wait to see how these new trends take off.’

Here are the 16 superfoods set to be huge next year.


These powerful beans, which are staples in much Latin American cuisine, are crammed full of minerals and vitamins, and also pack a punch of protein. They can be used to make anything from burritos to brownies.


This superfood of the deep contains more vitamin C than an orange and packs in plenty of calcium. It also boasts anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Jamie Oliver has also sung the praises of the green stuff, saying: ‘I thought seaweed was hippy, globetrotting stuff but our ancestors ate seaweed. It’s got a load of iodine and it’s the most nutritious vegetable in the world… It’s like dynamite – fibre, nutrients, all the minerals, aids digestion – unbelievable.’


Juicing is set to be replaced by souping as the liquid fad of the year. Fitness fans have caught onto the trend to create clean, protein packed versions of some of the nation’s favourite broths.

Speaking about the trend, Jo Travers BSc RD, an expert in nutrition and dietetics, said: ‘Pre-packed soups are often loaded with salt or preservatives, or heated to very high temperatures, which can destroy some of the nutritional content, turning a healthy food into something much less so.

‘When you make soup yourself, you are in control of what goes in and what stays out.’

Madeleine Shaw, a nutritionist who works with Millie Mackintosh, said: ‘Soup is so nice this time of year, warming, nourishing and tasty.’


Coconut oil is set to be replaced with avocado oil as our favourite healthy fat. The oil is high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a heart healthy fatty acid.

The oleic acid is also resistant to oxidation, unlike some other healthy oils, so can be stored for longer periods of time.

Keri Gans, the author of The Small Change Diet says the vitamin E in avocado oil can help strengthen the skin and the immune system when you ingest it and you can use it in food as you would olive oil.

She says: ‘There’s no denying when looking at nutritional content, [coconut oil] has a big question mark and avocado oil doesn’t.’

Souping (left) will replace juicing as 2016’s healthy buzzword whilst coconut oil will be replaced by avocado oil (right) which is high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a heart healthy fatty acid


Last year, sugar was deemed public enemy number one, so many people trying to maintain a clean lifestyle opted to get their sweetness from artificial sweeteners instead.

Experts claim we’d be better to get our sweetness from natural sources like honey and agave. But even then focusing on unprocessed options are still preferable and the health conscious should hunt for raw honey, pure stevia, lucuma or monk fruit which need less processing.

Some of these alternatives may be hard to track down at first but keep your eyes peeled at your local health food store for ingredients including Yacon syrup, a low glycemic, low calorie sweetener extracted from the Andean yacon root.

Monk fruit sweetener is a natural sugar substitute made from the super sweet luo han guo fruit, native to parts of Southern China and originally named after Buddhist monk populations who have used it in these regions since the 13th century.

Coconut nectar is made from tapping the stems of the coconut blossoms while lucuma is native to Peru, Chile and Ecuador and is the fruit of the lucuma tree.


This humble fungi is about the step into the limelight. Mushrooms are rich in vitamin D,  and are being praised as a way of adding flavour to food without cholesterol-raising salt.

They are also a good source of B vitamins, which help provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and play a key role in the nervous system.

Betaglucans in mushrooms appear to boost immunity and help resistance against allergies. The selenium and ergothioneine may help protect our cells from damage that causes chronic disease.

Shitake mushrooms are popular for their rich flavour and meaty texture and contain compounds such as AHCC, eritadenine and lentinan are beneficial for boosting immunity and lowering cholesterol.

Those who are trying to maintain a clean lifestyle will opt for natural sweeteners such as agave (left). Mushrooms (right)  are rich in vitamin D and add tonnes of flavour to food



Good news for veggies looking for their protein kick, lentils, mung beans and peanuts are quickly becoming a popular cheap alternatives to keep protein levels topped up in 2016.


Blood sausage is going to become a superstar in 2016 as it’s packed with protein and practically carb free.

It’s also a great source of protein, potassium, calcium and magnesium.

It’s also rich in iron and zinc – two minerals frequently missing from modern diets. Iron is needed to make healthy blood cells and prevent anaemia. Iron deficiency also leads to fatigue and poor concentration.

Plant-based proteins such as peanut and mung beans (left) are becoming popular cheap alternatives to keeping protein levels topped up. Black sausage (right) is packed with iron and zinc

Sprouted grains (left) are packed with key nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, fibre, and essential amino acids. Maca root (right) is also known as Peruvian ginseng and is most commonly available in a powder


Sprouted grains, unlike whole grains, have begun germination so they are easier to digest.

They are packed with key nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, fibre, and essential amino acids. Sprouted grains may also be less allergenic to those with grain protein sensitivities.

The sprouted grain is available in certain forms of breads, breakfast cereals and flours.


Also known as Peruvian ginseng, it is the latest addition to the ‘superfood’ group. The root is most commonly available in a powder. It has taken the fitness world by storm and can be added to smoothies, juices and puddings.

Sold powdered, maca tastes like malted like Horlicks and contains vitamins including B1, B2, C and E as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur and iron, and contains trace minerals, including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, bismuth, manganese and silica.

Maca. which is a favourite of Miranda Kerr, also contains nearly 60 phytochemicals.

Kohlrabi is an exceptionally rich source of vitamin C. Teff (right), an Ethiopian gluten-free crop, has tiny seeds high in calcium, iron, protein and amino acids


This ‘turnip cabbage’ is fast becoming the new kale of 2016. Kohlrabi is an exceptionally rich source of vitamin C which is vital for healthy connective tissue, teeth and gums and boosts immunity.

While the leaves and stems taste cabbagey, the star is the base with its sweet radish flavour. Rich in vitamin C and fibre, its superfood status comes from its beauty properties.

Kimberly Snyder, author of The Beauty Detox Foods, whose clients include Drew Barrymore and Hilary Duff, says: ‘Kohlrabi is high in potassium which helps regulate fluid levels,’ says Kimberly. ‘Too much sodium and too little potassium results in puffiness, especially in the under-eye area.’

Cut the base into chunky chip shapes and eat raw as a snack or in salads. It can also be roasted, steamed or stir-fried.


Destined to become the new ‘it’ grain surpassing quinoa, this Ethiopian gluten-free crop has tiny seeds they are high in calcium, iron, protein and amino acids.

The grain can substitute any wheat flour based recipe to make anything from pizza bases to waffles.

Cultivated for between three and six thousand years, teff grains are the size of a poppy seed and is the most nutritionally impressive of all the gluten-free grains with far more calcium, copper, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, thiamin, vitamin K, and zinc than quinoa.

It’s high resistant starch content is also good for blood sugar management, weight control and colon health and it also contains albumins, the primary protein in blood plasma, making it a good alternative to eggs for vegetarians and vegans.

Black rice is crammed with antioxidants, vitamin B1 and 30 times more fibre than white rice. Tree water, such as birch water,  is a fantastic natural source of electrolytes and extremely thirst quenching


Black rice is crammed with antioxidants, vitamin B1 and 30 times more fibre than white rice. Fans are praising its nutty flavour and unique texture.

Cy Lee, PhD, a professor of food chemistry at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, said: ‘Black foods have more antioxidants than light-coloured foods because of their high pigment content.’

A recent study led by Japanese researchers, analysed the genome of 21 black rice varieties and found that black rice originates from Japanese rice,but a specific gene went haywire in black rice, triggering the plant to produce large amounts of the antioxidant anthocyanin.


Tree water is a fantastic natural source of electrolytes and extremely thirst quenching. It is harvested during certain points in spring when nutrient-rich sap travels up from the roots of the tree to the branches providing life to the budding leaves.

Joanne Reid Rodrigues, a nutritionist and the author of two books, Slim, Happy & Free and Life Transformation Diet, says: ‘Birch tree water contains vitamin C and phytonutrients saponin and glutathione – these antioxidants protect our cells by inhibiting oxidation which leads to cell damage.

Sweet potato flour is gluten-free and incredibly versatile. Shoulder of beef (right) is super lean and has the same texture as fillet but for a fraction of the price


Gluten free, paleo friendly and packed with all the goodness of a sweet potato, the spud’s flour holds moisture well, brings a richness of flavour, and adds a slight sweetness to any baked good.

Sweet potato flour is incredibly versatile and can be used for baked goods, such as breads, cookies, muffins, pancakes and crepes, cakes, and doughnuts. It can also be used in soups, as a thickener for sauces and gravies, and in breading for fish.

The flour is high in fibre, vitamin A, iron, and calcium and can also stabilise blood sugar levels.


This relatively unknown cut of beef shoulder is destined for big things in 2016 with chefs all over the UK falling head over heels for it.

The meat from this area is super lean and has the same texture as fillet but for a fraction of the price.

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