1. Goji Berries / Wolfberries
Goji berries contain polysaccharides and zeaxanthin that supports antioxidant activity in the body and the immune system. It also has an effect on stabilising blood glucose and hence may improve the condition of diabetes. Goji Berries have a long history in traditional Chinese Medicine and is considered to be anti-ageing which is not surprising, due to the high amount of vitamin C, vitamin A, and selenium it contains.
2. Red Dates
Also known as jujubes or “hong zao“, red dates has 13 times more vitamin C than brown dates. Compared to other types of dates, it also has much lower sugar content. In traditional Chinese medicine, it supports blood health, is used to treat insomnia and is particularly good for women’s health. It has been so popular, that there is a Chinese saying, “一天三枣，永远不会老!”, which roughly translates to “3 red dates a day, keeps the wrinkles away”.
Recipe: Chinese red date porridge
3. Black Sesame
Black sesame seeds are rich in nutrients and more than half of a sesame seed is made up of healthy fats and oils. It is an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Research shows that eating more healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat may help to lower cholesterol and reduce heart diseases. In traditional Chinese medicine, the properties of black sesame have benefits to the liver and kidney, which can help improve the appearance of hair and skin.
Recipe: Black sesame cookies
Often used in Indian cuisine, turmeric gives food a warm and tangy taste. The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which is most popularly known for its properties in lowering stress hormones such as cortisol.
Recipe: Turmeric milk
5. White Radish
In addition to being an excellent source of fibre to help support a healthy digestive system, radishes are a natural anti-fungal. They contain the anti-fungal protein that inhibits the growth of common fungus that causes vaginal yeast infection and oral yeast infections.
Recipe: White radish and chicken soup
Ginger has been traditionally used to treat nausea and gastrointestinal discomfort. This could be because the enzymes in ginger can help the body break up and expel gasses that form in the intestinal tract during digestion. If you lead an active lifestyle, such as going to the gym regularly, ginger may help reduce muscle pain and soreness!
Recipe: Fresh ginger tea
Compare to potatoes, taro has twice as much fibre. Despite it being carbohydrate-dense, it has been shown in clinical trials to stabilise blood sugar due to its fibre content and resistant starch. It also contains manganese which contributes to good metabolism and bone health.
Recipe: Baked taro chips
As matcha is made from grinding the tea leaves into a fine powder, it contains nutrients from the entire tea leaf. And because of that, a matcha drink can give you more caffeine than a cup of brewed green tea and just as much caffeine as a cup of brewed coffee! On top of that, matcha has an amino acid, L-Theanine which slows the release of caffeine, so that it is a more relaxing, but energising boost to your mental capacity.
Recipe: Matcha iced latte
What is your favourite Asian cuisine or recipe that uses some of the above ingredients?