5 Australian native bushfoods that have surprising health benefits

5 Australian native bushfoods that have surprising health benefits

We’ve all heard of ‘superfoods’, usually found in our salads and smoothies, but did you know Australia is home to some superfoods too? Known most commonly as ‘bushfood’, these are ingredients native to the land that have been consumed and utilised by Indigenous Australians for thousands of years.

There are 6500 ingredients native to Australia. Today we highlight just 5 Australian native bushfoods that have surprising health benefits:

Kakadu plum

Kakadu Plum

This small green fruit grows exclusively in the Northern Australian outback. It is tart in flavour and is commonly dried and ground into a fine powder for an easy superfood boost to your oatmeal, smoothie, soups or desserts.

Kakadu plum has been harvester for thousands of years for medicine, used to treat colds and headaches, and as an antiseptic. It’s particularly high in Vitamin C (a strong antioxidant that protects your body against free radicals) and is a great source of fibre (promoting good god health and improving digestion). Additionally, it is high in essential micronutrients including folate, icon, copper and Vitamin E.

Lemon Myrtle

Lemon Myrtle

This beautiful little shrub is native to Australia’s tropical rainforests. It smells and tastes much like zesty lemon, and is widely used in desserts, teas, confectionery and more.

Traditionally used as medicine, it has powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s also known to be an effective remedy for a sore throat, and a natural remedy to cold and flu symptoms.

Sandalwood nut

Sandalwood Nut

Native to Western Australia, this shrub produces medium-sized nuts that are packed with delicate flavour similar to Macadamia nuts. It’s a great addition to yoghurts, as a granola topper, trail mix, and as a yummy nut spread.

The high protein and fibre content offers great health benefits, as well as being low carb. Each nut is packed with monounsaturated Omega 9 fatty acids and ximenynic acid, both strong anti-inflammatories.


Wattleseed

Wattleseed

This plant grows across most of the Australian mainland, and its distinctively unique flavour is similar to hazelnut and ground coffee beans. It is roasted and ground into a coarse powder, where it can be used in patisseries, ice cream, pancakes and even liqueurs.

Wattleseed is higher in protein than fish. It contains potassium, iron and zinc, as well as being Low GI carbohydrates.


emu oil

Emu Oil

Last but not least, emu oil has been a tried and tested natural remedy for Indigenous Australians for thousands of years. The pure filtered and refined oil is virtually tasteless, and can thus be added to juices, salads and muesli (as well as being used topically on the skin).

Emu oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory that heals a range of inner and outer health ailments including muscle and joint pain, scars and skin burns, eczema and arthritis. Extremely high in Omega 369 fatty acids, emu oil may help reduce pain and swelling, itching and discomfort; healing from the inside out.


National Stroke Week 2021: Eat Well

August 2-8 is National Stroke Week Australia.

August 2-8 is National Stroke Week Australia.

This week we share awareness of managing, preventing, and reducing your risk of further stroke. Eating a healthy diet reduces known stroke risk factors, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle is important in stroke recovery and in preventing further strokes.

Without further ado, here are The Stroke Foundation’s do’s and don’ts guidelines for healthy eating:

The do’s

Without further ado, here are The Stroke Foundation’s do’s and don’ts guidelines for healthy eating:

Fruit and vegetables: Containing antioxidants, fruit and vegetables can help reduce damage to blood vessels. They also contain potassium to help control blood pressure.

Grain foods: Wholegrain and high fibre varieties including bread, cereal, rice, pasta, noodles, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley, contain fibre and folate – for lowering cholesterol.

Dairy foods: Milk, yoghurt, cheese and their alternatives (e.g. soy or rice milks) are dairy foods that provide another source of potassium, along with calcium to help control blood pressure.

Lean meats and poultry: Including fish with bones, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds are other sources of calcium.

The don’ts

Without further ado, here are The Stroke Foundation’s do’s and don’ts guidelines for healthy eating:


Salt: Always choose lower salt options as too much can raise your blood pressure. Don’t use salt when cooking or at the dinner table. Reduce your intake gradually so your tastebuds can adjust.

Sugar: Too much sugar can damage blood vessels. Always choose low-sugar or no-sugar options, and carefully read the labels for food and drinks containing added sugars such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy drinks and confectionery. Substitute sweets for nuts or fresh fruit instead.

Saturated fats: Limit foods high in saturated fats such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips and savoury snacks. Saturated fats are found in foods such as butter, cream, margarine, coconut oil and palm oil. These cause high cholesterol, so opt for polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils and spreads like nut butters or avocado.

Alcohol: Consuming too much alcohol contributes to a number of stroke risk factors, including high blood pressure. For stroke after-care, be advised by a doctor when it is safe for you to drink alcohol again and how much is safe for you to drink. Even better, drink plenty of water instead!

August 2-8 is National Stroke Week Australia.

Find out more about National Stroke Week here