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Noticed there's a whole range of new supplements on the market? Nutritionist Amanda Powell found out everything you need to know about Acai berries, Krill Oil, Spriulina and more.
The health benefits of acai berry have made headlines, with astronomical antioxidants attracting health-o-philes. A five gram serving of acai berry powder provides 4,695 ORAC units (antioxidant potential), compared to the 890 to 25,000 ORAC units from fresh fruits or vegetables. The bonus, says Chevalley Hedge, that acai berry “tastes good too”.
Need to know: The powder form of Acai berry makes a great addition to smoothies and juices, and as a salad addition. Seek out an organic freeze dried acai berry powder, which should be 100 per cent natural, with no added sugars or preservatives.
RAW CACAO AND MACA POWDERS
A dietary staple among ancient Mayans, who prized its nutritional kudos, raw cacao comes with the blessing of the heart foundation. The powder is high in polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties and may ward off degenerative diseases including certain cancers.
Need to know: You may be shocked by the bitter taste - raw cacao tastes nothing like that 12-serve box of drinking choccie. But it also doesn’t have emulsifiers, saturated fats or sugars and is chockers with antioxidants. Try sweetening a raw cacao hot chocolate with mashed banana for sweetness and stick with it beyond the first mug – adherents say the taste for raw is quickly acquired. Add raw cacao or maca powders to smoothies or use in baking instead of processed cocoa powders.
Often praised for its exterior healing capacity, for burns and other skin complaints, aloe vera can also be of benefit when taken orally. Chief among its merits is aiding digestive health, with its anti-inflammatory properties boosting gut hygiene.
Need to know: “Outstanding for digestive issues and for those who are constipated,” says Chevalley Hedge.
The ‘brain food’ tag is just the beginning for krill oil and fish oil. While their hero nutrient, omega-3 essential fatty acids, are enjoying a moment in the mental and cognitive health sun, they are also strongly linked to joint health, nerves, and cholesterol control.
Need to know: EPA and DHA levels can be wildly different between brands and sub-types. Look for a minimum 400 milligrams of EPA and at least 200 milligrams of DHA.
SPIRULINA AND BARLEY GRASS
The heroes of those visibly healthy green shakes everybody seems to be sipping, these verdant powders contain protein, iron, and all manner of useful minerals. The science fraternity is focusing on their potential to minimise inflammation and viral infections, with immunity among the probable perks.
Need to know: Look for a naturally sweet-tasting spirulina supplement and give added sweeteners a wide berth.
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