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Superfoods: Food to save the day

Rich in nutrients, superfoods are the heavy lifters of the food universe. We uncover the best neighbourhood joints to sample these much-lauded ingredients.

What makes superfoods super? While there’s no strict definition, superfoods are so labelled because they contain components that fortify our health and make us feel fit, refreshed and alert. Not only do they provide essential vitamins and minerals, they also contain important antioxidants, such as flavonoids, that protect us against disease and inflammation. Some superfoods are also a great source of plant protein, which is associated with better cardiovascular health and lower mortality compared with animal protein. Identifying and eating superfoods is a great way to eat smart, feel good and live longer.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat

It sounds like a cereal but buckwheat is actually a fruit seed with a strong, nutty flavour. This gluten-free ingredient is high in magnesium and B vitamins, and it’s packed with flavonoids that protect against heart disease. It’s also been shown to lower blood sugar and help manage diabetes. Try the buckwheat ravioli at Grassroots Pantry, a filling dish topped with local greens, cherry tomatoes and walnut parmesan. 108 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, 2873 3353; grassrootspantry.com

Chia

Chia

These versatile little black seeds are perfect for sprinkling on puddings and pancakes or blending into smoothies. A high source of dietary fibre and protein, chia is also packed full of antioxidants that do wonders for your skin. For a healthy snack, try one of the chia puddings available from the appropriately named Supafood, which are made with almond milk, maple syrup and granola. Other yummy varieties include matcha, coconut and banana. 1 Jervois St, Sheung Wan, 2812 6088; supafood.co

Chickpeas

You might be surprised to learn that the humble chickpea provides a host of incredible health benefits. Low in fat and high in protein, chickpeas will boost your thyroid functions and immune system, as well as reduce food cravings to aid weight loss. They also contain high levels of molybdenum, a mineral that protects against stomach and esophageal cancer. We love the Quagga bowl from Home – Eat to Live, which mixes chickpeas with cranberries, walnuts and herb aioli. 

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Sheung Wan
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Kale

Kale

Nutritionists rave about kale for good reason. This nutrient-dense vegetable is packed chock full of vitamin C and contains more than 45 different flavonoids, providing numerous anti-inflammatory and detoxifying benefits. Studies have even linked eating kale with cancer prevention. To get your fill, one tasty option is Locafama’s organic kale salad, which includes avocado, walnuts and balsamic dressing. 9-13 Fuk Sau Ln,
Sai Ying Pun, 2547 7668; locofama.com

Quinoa

Also known as the ‘gold of the Incas’, this delicately sweet and somewhat creamy seed has been cultivated in South America for thousands for years. It’s got twice the protein content of rice and is full of anti-inflammatory compounds. And unlike a lot of foods, the act of boiling or steaming quinoa doesn’t compromise its nutrient content. Check out the top-notch salads at 3/3rds – they change their menu every week but maintain quinoa as a staple ingredient.

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Central

Za'atar

Za’atar isn’t a typical superfood ingredient but a spice mix that’s been used in Mediterranean cuisine for millennia. Consisting of dried thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and salt, this flavonoid-rich mixture contains acids that fight microbes and viruses. Za’atar also enjoys a reputation as a ‘brain food’ that improves mood and cognition. Find this tangy, aromatic blend in the oven-baked flatbreads and croissants at Mana’s café in Sheung Wan. 

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Sheung Wan
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