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Monday, September 18, 2017

Health Benefits of Australian Native Foods.

As part of a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle, bioactive constituents in foods can help in the prevention of diseases for healthy living and ageing naturally.  Adding foods with naturally high antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other active health promoting compounds can aid our health and DNA stability.

Research into native Australian foods have shown superior levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals compared to other common health promoting foods in Australia.  Yes, our own native superfoods right here in Australia.

Native foods in research contained antioxidants that were hydrophilic and lipophilic, qualities which offer more protection against oxidative stress.  Kakadu plum, Quandong, Pepperleaf, Lemon & Aniseed Myrtle were high in these type of antioxidants.

Kakadu plum has the highest vitamin C than any other known food with other nutrients for good health.  It has a high ORAC (antioxidant scavenging ability) which can provide considerable health benefits in the protection against diseases.  Desert Lime was also outstanding in Vitamin C.

Vitamin E levels were found highest in Aniseed and Lemon Myrtle, Pepperleaf, Quandong, Kakadu plum and Desert lime.

Aniseed myrtle had the richest source of Lutein (good for eye health), even compared to the avocado (a primary source of Lutein).  Lemon myrtle, Pepperleaf,  Kakadu plum, Desert lime and Davidson Plum contained good levels of lutein (higher than avocado) as well.

Desert Lime has a rich source of folate or B9, 10x more than Blueberry.  Pepperleaf, Quandong, Kakadu plum, Riberry and Lemon aspen contained folate at almost 3x higher than the blueberry.

All of the native foods tested contained 3 minerals important for genome/DNA health, like magnesium, calcium and zinc, especially in Pepperleaf and Wattleseed.  Lemon myrtle and Desert lime was very rich in Calcium and Aniseed Myrtle was rich in Magnesium.  Quandong was rich in magnesium and zinc.

Bush tomato, Pepperleaf and Wattleseed contained rich sources or iron in the herbs and spices and Quandong and Lemon Aspen showed a rich source of iron in the fruits.  Selenium, which is poorly found in foods, because many soils are deficient, was found in Bush tomato and Wattleseed.

A high potassium sodium ratio in Davidson plum, Desert Lime and Kakadu Plum was found.  This ratio factor is important in the prevention of hypertension.

(Reference: RIRDC Pub. No. 09/133 - Health Benefits of Australian Native Foods - An evaluation of health-enhancing compounds.)

So adding native foods is not only healthy for you but connects you to your environment, supports native food farmers and wild harvesters all around Australia.

Summarised by Julie @ NATIF - Australian Native Superfoods.