4 Unique Health Benefits of Native Ingredients
We recently published an article on the amazing Vitamin C properties of Kakadu Plum, and its unique position as the highest vitamin C containing food in the world. But the truth is, Kakadu Plum is not alone. Many native ingredients have unique health properties that lets them stand out above other foods, and makes them a truly remarkable addition, nutritionally, to your every day foods. Here are a few examples of what you can expect to find in native ingredients:
- Citral – The star of Lemon Myrtle, this naturally occurring antibacterial and antifungal agent in the plant is a large part of the reason Lemon Myrtle was originally cultivated by indigenous communities. Lemon Myrtle offers the most concentrated source of plant citral, in addition to being a great source of antioxidants!
- Lutein – Found in only a few foods, lutein is incredibly important for healthy eyes and maintaining eyesight through the natural aging process. In the body, lutein acts as an anti-inflammatory, protecting the retina from damage which typically occurs due to inflammation. This nutrient is found Mountain Pepper Berry, a peppery plant, which looks just like a peppercorn, and which adds a similar peppery flavour to dishes. Great for savoury cooking of vegetables and meat, or perfect to add into stews, soups and marinades, crush up some of this pepper in place of peppercorns the next time you are cooking. And if you need another reason to try Lemon Myrtle, it also acts as a great source of Lutein.
- Calcium – The mineral calcium is not unique itself, but the number of native ingredients that contain it and are able to offer it in plant form, is. When many of us think of calcium, we think of milk and getting this vital mineral from a dairy source. In reality however, it is not best absorbed by the body from milk, and getting it from plants is a viable method of intake. Calcium is found in Lemon Myrtle, Quandong, Davidson Plum, Riberry and both Mountain Pepper Leaf and Berry.
- Folate – Similar to calcium, in that this is not a unique nutrient, the high content of it available in native ingredients is indeed something quite unique. Also known as B9, folate is a member of the B vitamin family and is essential for proper repair and synthesis of DNA. Its role within DNA is what makes it so incredibly important during pregnancy. Riberry and Quandong are two very good sources of folate. Quandong is further beneficial in that it is made up of 25% protein and then contains 70% complex oils, the latter of which can help promote healthy skin and digestion.
Whether you are looking for a nutrient boost in any of these vitamins and minerals or just want to take advantage of the unique health benefits that native plants can offer, there is more than a few reasons to add native ingredients to your shopping cart.