Who Are the Real OGs? The three new su­per­foods to try now

Goji, guava, grasshop­pers … wait. Grasshop­pers? Meet the next gen­er­a­tion of su­per foods

ZOOMER Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Lisa Ben­dall

IF YOU’RE work­ing your way through the ABCs of su­per­foods, spend some time on the let­ter G. First, there’s guava leaf tea, from the tree that grows a “su­per” in its own right, the vi­ta­min-packed guava fruit. The tea shares the ben­e­fits of other teas – it’s sooth­ing and hy­drat­ing and con­tains an­tiox­i­dants that may help fight cancer – but may also con­tain a few ex­tra good­ies for the over-45 group. These were dis­cussed in a re­search re­view pub­lished last year. For ex­am­ple, guava leaf tea ex­tract shows prom­ise for glu­cose con­trol, wel­come news for any­one fac­ing down Type 2 di­a­betes, and may help with high blood pres­sure and choles­terol. Bonus for world trav­ellers: It could fend off the gas­troin­testi­nal bac­te­ria blamed for Mon­tezuma’s re­venge. David­sTea ( david­stea.com) car­ries Gaba Guava tea, or you can find other brands on Ama­zon.ca.

An­other G is goji berry, the red fruit of the woody shrub Ly­cium bar­barum. It’s been eaten for cen­turies in China for its pur­ported health prop­er­ties. In a 2,000-yearold ref­er­ence book on medic­i­nal herbs – the an­cient equiv­a­lent of We­bMD – goji berry was said to pro­mote longevity, among other ben­e­fits. To­day, goji fruit is cred­ited for slow­ing mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion, low­er­ing blood sugar, fight­ing cancer and in­flam­ma­tion, lift­ing mood and pre­serv­ing brain cells. Ev­i­dence thus far is lim­ited, but it doesn’t mean goji isn’t good; it just means the health claims aren’t yet sup­ported by a large enough body of sci­ence. We do know the fruit is high in an­tiox­i­dants and vi­ta­mins, though, so there’s noth­ing to stop you from throw­ing a few goji berries into your gra­nola.

One more G su­per­food worth sam­pling is the grasshop­per, along with other ed­i­ble bugs like bee­tles and crick­ets. You may as­sume we use the word “ed­i­ble” loosely, but the fact is many peo­ple find grasshop­pers to be quite tasty – even a del­i­cacy. Ac­cord­ing to the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the United Na­tions, more than a quar­ter of the world’s pop­u­la­tion eats in­sects as part of their tra­di­tional diet. Grasshop­pers con­tain, by weight, as much pro­tein as a piece of fish or steak. In­sects are also high in fat, fi­bre, vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. Plus, rais­ing bugs for food is ecofriendly – they re­quire a lot less land and wa­ter than live­stock like cows and pro­duce less pol­lu­tion and green­house gas.

Maybe you can’t count on find­ing fresh grasshop­pers at your lo­cal butcher’s, but you can search web­sites like bugs­feed.com to find Cana­dian stores that do stock ed­i­ble in­sects. Depend­ing where you live, you may also be able to sam­ple bugs at avant-garde restau­rants. The Caifan restau­rant in Mon­treal serves roasted grasshop­pers with gua­camole, cheese and tomato jam over a crispy tortilla. Eat up!

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