12 AUG 2015 / LEARN

Bush Tucker - Australia's Superfood Secret

The world of superfoods just got a whole lot bigger as the spotlight shines on Aussie bush tucker. With so much of modern science’s discovery of the benefits of superfoods based on ancient use as nutrients and medicine, it was only a matter of time before the history and power of Australian bush tucker was recognised as a key dietary and medicinal supplement.

For indigenous Australians, living in one of the world’s harshest climates, managed to not only survive but build a civilisation based around survival on bush tucker.

Indeed the health and athleticism of the continent’s original inhabitants was one of the qualities most remarked upon by early European settlers upon first contact. Part of this would have been due to the first Australians’ diet which had more variety and was more nutritious than many of their European convict counterparts who had been brought up in deprived, slum conditions.

The importance of bush tucker as part of a regular diet — combined with regular exercise in a hunter/gatherer lifestyle — would therefore appear to be central to this excellent natural health and nutrition. Some examples of bush tucker that are making a strong claim as superfoods are:

Riberry. An essential food and nutrient source for indigenous Australians for thousands of years, the Riberry’s sweet, attractive taste belies its important role as a booster of the immune system.

Davidson Plum. The acidic taste and deep colour of this stunning fruit has been a vital dietary supplement as it contains one of the country’s best antioxidant sources.

Kakadu Plum. Considered a key nutritional and medicinal supplement, the Kakadu Plum is also an important source of bush tucker.

Quandong. Quintessentially Australian, the fruit of the Quandong tree was not just an important food source but also taken for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Lemon Myrtle. Far more than just a superb looking tree, the Lemon Myrtle’s leaves have been used for thousands of years for their exceptional antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and as a highly effective insect repellant. What could be more Australian!

Finger Lime. A versatile food and medicine, the finger lime is excellent as an applied antiseptic and eaten for its ability to help prevent diseases.

Wattleseed. For over 40,000 years the seed of the Wattle tree has been an important source of protein and carbohydrate, particularly during drought times. Ground into flour and then made into cake, the wattleseed has enjoyed a renaissance in recent times.

Bush tucker has risen in prestige and popularity thanks to the efforts of a number of Australian-based chefs and the work of people like Hayley Blieden of the Australian Superfoods Co. 

This renewed interest in the famous bush tucker on which indigenous Australians survived on for thousands of years has become recognised as not only a delicious ingredient in cooking but also an important nutritional and even medicinal source.

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