There are many foods that spring to mind when you say the word ‘superfood’, such as kale, spirulina and Manuka honey.
But there are many foods out there that are much lesser known that may even match or exceed the nutritional qualities of commonly known superfoods.
Below are 6 of these lesser known superfoods that you should look into purchasing to help you on your path to achieving amazing health.
1. Moringa Oleifera
Slowly, moringa is making its way up the charts in the popular superfoods list through some extensive marketing. Initially found growing in Africa, Indonesia and the Philippines, Moringa trees are rich in over 90 trace minerals.
Just one serving of cooked moringa leaves will provide you with 272 percent of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin A, 125 percent of your RDI of calcium, 71 percent of your RDI of iron, 61 percent of your RDI of magnesium, 41 percent of your RDI of potassium, and 22 percent of your RDI of vitamin C.
Moringa comes in several options, from tea form, powdered loose form to powdered filled capsules. The capsule form has been linked to helping to suppress appetite, causing weight loss, and helping to improve mood and digestion, regulating blood sugar and helping to protect the stomach lining.
Natto is a fermented food derived from soybean that originates from Japan. This superfood is rich in vitamin K which is vital for keeping bone density and preventing serious diseases like osteoporosis developing. Natto is also rich in the immune strengthening nutrient polyamine, and selenium that is an antioxidant that can help prevent cancer. Natto is available in a soup, paste or capsule form.
3. Aronia Berries
Aroinia berries, otherwise known as ‘chokeberries’ are extremely rich in antioxidants. In fact they contain three times as many antioxidants as blueberries, blackberries and acai berries, and one and a half times as many antioxidants as cranberries and blackcurrants – no wonder they are often referred to as the world’s most nutritious fruit!
You will commonly find aronia berry jam and juices as they are so sharp in taste due to their high antioxidant levels, that they just taste to bitter to be able to eat raw.
4. Camu Camu
This sour lemon-sized fruit contains a wide variety of phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene and potassium. It also has 20-50 times more natural vitamin C than your average orange. The coolest part about this purple cherry-like fruit is that it naturally reduces cortisol levels (stress hormone) while improving the absorption of serotonin. In other words, eating camu camu will make you happy.
5. Bacopa Monnieri
‘Brahmi’ also referred to bacopa monnieri, is a herb that originates from the wetlands of Asia, Australia and the United States. Popular in Ayurvedica medicine for its brain boosting capabilities believed to be due to this superfood being rich in bacosides. Bacosides are chemical compounds that are capable of repairing damaged neurons which can help to then improve nerve impulse transmission as a result.
Studies have reported that when bacopa powder is taken long-term, test participants have noted their memory improved, as did recall abilities, mood, attention spans and verbal information processing. This tiny herb also helped to improve protection against Alzheimer’s disease, and has demonstrated the ability to boost digestive and respiratory health.
The final food to make it on our lesser known superfood list is a mushroom called ‘maitake’. This mushroom is extremely popular in Chinese medicine and has been for centuries, and is ultra-nutrient rich.
Just some of the nutrients they contain are, amino acids, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, and many B-vitamins such as niacin, and some studies have linked the maitake with being able to help fight cancer due to some of the properties it contains.
This fungi is so loaded with nutrients it overtakes many vegetables out there and usually considered necessary for good health.
-  http://region3.dost.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=415:the-efficacy-of-moringa-oleifera-malunggay-leaf-extracts-in-lowering-blood-glucose-in-swiss-mice&catid=16:animal-science&Itemid=4
-  http://www.nhs.uk/news/2009/11november/pages/anti-cancer-mushroom-research.aspx