Pork scratchings, garlic and seaweed have been named as three of the surprising superfoods predicted to take 2019 by storm.
Online healthy food retailer Musclefood.com has revealed the 19 foods which they expect to be flying off the shelves next year, ranging from the exotic lucuma and baobab fruits to fridge essentials like sardines and cottage cheese.
The list includes one of the most popular crops in the world as well as other plant-based foods full of essential nutrients and vitamins, plus some unexpected products that are in fact packing a surprising number of health benefits, like dark chocolate.
Pork scratchings have also made the cut. Despite previously getting a bad rep, two thirds of all their fat is made up of mono and polyunsaturated fats that are in fact beneficial for heart health.
And because pork scratchings are effectively concentrated collagen from skin, they have a high protein content to keep you feeling full and benefit muscle and bone health – however, their high salt content means you should moderate how often you eat them.
Darren Beale of Musclefood.com said: “Every year we’re surprised by what new and exciting foods people are eating, and 2019 looks to be no exception.
“This year, we expect watermelon seeds and Swiss chard to become a firm favourite, and whilst sauerkraut might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of superfoods, it does in fact benefit digestion by introducing good bacteria into the stomach.
“Customers are becoming far more adventurous with their eating habits, and we’re expecting that trend to continue in 2019 with the introduction of kefir and sumac into our everyday diets.
“And whilst some items listed like sardines and garlic have been cupboard staples for a while, it’s also good to see some new exciting items on the list like the cassava flour and freekeh.”
Here are the predictions for which superfoods will be a hit in 2019:
1. Watermelon Seeds: The seeds of watermelon are in fact more nutritious than the flesh we typically eat – packing an impressive 34g of protein in every 100g serving and a host of nutrients. No more spitting them out!
2. Sardines: The humble sardine has long been overlooked in favour of canned staples such as tuna and salmon. But sardines are a powerhouse of B vitamins and essential nutrients and are an important source of Omega 3 fatty acids.
3. Sorghum: One of the most popular crops in the world, Sorghum has been largely unknown in the UK, until now. It is as versatile as wheat and can be prepared like rice, ground flour for baking and even popcorn. It is gluten free and is a vegan source of protein.
4. Cassava Flour: Cassava Flour is paleo and vegan friendly in addition to being gluten and nut free. Made from the root vegetable cassava, it’s a new substitute for wheat for 2019!
5. Lucuma: Originating from Peru, the lucuma fruit is packed full of nutrients including sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, along with anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Swiss Chard: This dark, leafy-green is an excellent source of vitamins, K, A and C along with magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fibre and promises to be a favourite on many a dinner plate this year.
7. Cottage Cheese: It might remind you of your Grandma serving it up with pineapple, but Cottage Cheese is making a comeback in 2019. High in protein but low in calories and sugar, its steady release energy helps to control hunger.
8. Seaweed: An untapped natural resource, seaweed is rich in iodine, a nutrient not found in many other foods, and studies have shown that eating it can reduce fat absorption.
9. Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut might not come to mind when you think of superfood – it’s often used as a condiment for fast food. However, fermented food benefits digestion by introducing good bacteria into the stomach. Sauerkraut also has high levels of Vitamin K and high fibre content. Nothing sour here!
10. Dark Chocolate: Who doesn’t love chocolate? The problem is many chocolate products are high in sugar and calorific. However, studies have shown that eating dark chocolate can be beneficial. It has powerful antioxidants and it has been suggested it can even improve your heart health.
11. Garlic: Known for adding distinctive flavour to dishes, Garlic packs a host of nutrients and health benefits, including vitamins C and B6, calcium and manganese, along with being antioxidant rich.
12. Pork Scratchings: Despite previously getting a bad rep, these pub favourites are set to shake up the superfood world in 2019. Packed with muscle-building protein, pork rind has been endorsed by athletes and chefs alike. Two-thirds of all their fat is made up of mono- and poly-unsaturated fats that are beneficial for heart health, and because pork scratchings are effectively concentrated collagen from skin, they have a high protein content to keep you feeling full and benefit muscle and bone health. However, their high salt content means you should moderate how often you eat them.
13. Mango: This stone fruit is not only a sweet treat but has a host of benefits, including being a source of fibre, calcium, vitamins A, C and E and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
14. Green Tea: Technically not a food, but that doesn’t detract from the benefits of Green Tea’s superfood credentials! It’s a rich source of antioxidants that are good for your memory, heart and skin.
15. Kefir: This fermented drink originates in Eastern Europe and looks to become more popular over the next 12 months. A source of protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and magnesium, it has probiotic properties to encourage a healthy stomach.
16. Blackberries: High in beneficial vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants, Blackberries are a versatile superfood. High in fibre, too, they’ve even been known to reduce cholesterol and make you feel fuller longer, so you’re less likely to overeat.
17. Sumac: Sumac hails from the Middle East and has a tangy, citrus like flavour. It boasts fantastic antioxidant levels and research studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in controlling and preventing many of the chronic disease that often accompany aging.
18. Freekeh: Move over Quinoa – there’s a new grain in town! Freekeh is low in fat but high in protein and fibre – it has double the amount of fibre of quinoa in fact – so you’re less likely to snack after.
19. Baobab Fruit: The only fruit in the world that dries naturally on the branch, Baobab is high in iron and magnesium – two things missing from many modern diets – and has prebiotic qualities to stimulate your gut’s good bacteria. No wonder it’s known as Africa’s ‘Tree of Life!’