Health foods popular in Canterbury

19:33, Jan 10 2014
health
HEALTHY OPTIONS: From top to bottom: red quinoa, kale and coconut.

Canterbury is all about kale while several unusual health foods are making their way into pantries. ABBIE NAPIER reports.

Weird and wonderful health foods are taking off in Canterbury where kale is the hottest new vegetable and quinoa sales have doubled.

Clean eating is the latest trend and keeping it natural will be as popular this year as it was last year.

Last year, Foodstuffs South Island supermarkets saw a 1000 per cent increase in kale sales and sold twice as much quinoa - a high-protein grain product.

Rival supermarket chain Countdown had seen a surge in free-range meats such as pork and chicken, and in Canterbury, its gluten-free products had increased 17 per cent on 2012.

Both chains saw an increase in apple cider vinegar sales which was now considered a pantry staple, popping up in celebrity chef recipes and suggested as a daily natural remedy.

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Apple cider vinegar is touted as a weight loss and digestive aid, among other unproven claims.

Coconut is up and coming as an addition to a clean eating programme. Coconut contains lauric acid which reportedly helps fight disease, bacteria and fungus in the body, as well as providing essential fatty acids.

For those keen on probiotics, fermented foods are taking off and promise to grow further this year.

Most people will be familiar with many probiotic products on the market, but kefir is the new hot topic in cultures.

The grain-based probiotic ferments in milk and makes a product similar in texture to yoghurt. It is easy to grow at home and grains can be purchased online to get you started.

Fermented products like kombucha and sauerkraut are also great for the gut and help with overall health.

Being "something-free" is going to continue to be a base food trend this year, whether it be dairy-free, gluten-free or meat-free. Supermarkets are increasingly catering for people with allergies or dietary preferences.

Foodstuffs said its dietary requirements range was a popular addition to the regular products found instore.

This year, veer away from foods like white rice and embrace ancient grains and all their benefits. Millet and spelt are going to be particularly popular this year, alongside products like chia seeds (rich in omega-3 fatty acids).

TRENDY EATS

Kale: a superfood brassica rich in vitamins, calcium and carotene

Quinoa: a grain high in protein and fibre.

Apple cider vinegar: digestive and claimed weight loss aid.

Coconut: contains essential fatty acids.

Kefir: a fermented grain containing probiotics.

The Press