The plants below are packed with nutrients and easy to grow, as long as you position them in the right spot
These glossy green bushes are everywhere, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, and they’re a popular landscaping plant used to create security hedges. GOOD FOR: The fruit, shaped like grapes, is high in vitamin C, magnesium and phosphorus – perfect for fighting fatigue and boosting immunity. USE I T: Get creative and make jam from the raw berries or chop them up and use to flavour teas, salads or fruit salads.
Seaweed and kelp
When they’re not wrapped around your legs in the ocean, they’re downright delish. GOOD FOR: Touted as a superfood, the ocean veggies are rich in copper, calcium, iron and iodine – a key mineral in thyroid regulation. Overactive thyroid? Best avoid. USE I T: in literally everything. “You can eat the long leafy fronds or leaves as a vegetable. You cook it pretty much like a pasta,” says Gray. “You can use it for teas, in soups, in stews, to flavour rice dishes... There are so many ways.”
Although not native to SA, you’ll find it along the roadside or in gardens, where it grows wild. The stems and leaves are fine to eat, but not the root. And eat sparingly (i.e. no more than 100g a day): too much has a negative effect and can give you a stomach ache. Look for Amaranthus hybridus. GOOD FOR: It’s full of nutrients, such as carotene, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. USE I T: Simply sauté in a pan and serve as you would spinach or add to smoothies and juices.
Named after the Kei river in the Eastern Cape, this fruit grows wild in many parts of the country. It turns yellow when ripe and has a fuzzy coat, kind of like a peach, but with juicy flesh inside, like an apricot. GOOD FOR: Your immune system, since it’s got a high concentration of vitamin C, amino acids and contains 15 different antioxidants. USE I T: The softer the fruit, the sweeter it is. Chop and use in salads, iced tea, jams or desserts.