Over the last 10 or so years, there have been some amazing health-enhancing discoveries made in Australia from native Outback fruits, seeds, leaves and berries. These are foods the Australian aboriginal thrived on for eons in an often harsh environment. They have been unknown to western science until very recently. Found to be “off the charts” with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agents they are among the most nutrient-rich plants on earth. Great for skin and body!
As these discoveries started to emerge the Australian Government commissioned a scientific study to verify the apparent health benefits:
(Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. RIRDC pub. No. 09/133– 2009. )
This research has identified exciting new information on the health benefits of Australian native foods. Many have shown exceptionally high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Oxidative stress contributes to the “aging process” and to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune and cardiovascular disease, cancer, cataractogenesis, diabetes, and macular degeneration. Lowering oxidative stress may reduce the probability of these diseases and result in a healthier life. Antioxidants are critical to reducing oxidative stress in the body. The major source of antioxidants is food. The presence of antioxidants in our body has a conclusive role in the prevention of many diseases. Australian native fruits, berries, and plants are extraordinarily high in antioxidants.
This research was developed to prove the health benefits and antioxidant capacities of Australian native fruits, herbs, and spices. The report shows the presence of bioactive phytochemicals (phenolic compounds and carotenoids) and selected vitamins. It includes an evaluation of minerals, focusing on those that protect human DNA against mutations that can lead to the development of a range of chronic diseases.
Australian native plants exhibited superior antioxidant capacity compared to the Blueberry, a scientific standard, renowned worldwide as the ‘health-promoting fruit.’ In comparison to common fruits that comprise predominantly hydrophilic antioxidants, Australian native foods contained antioxidant activity in both hydrophilic and lipophilic fractions. This suggests more comprehensive protection from oxidative stress, and possibly more pronounced health benefits.
This research has yielded a range of significant findings. Evaluated samples displayed superior antioxidant capacity to the Blueberry control (ORAC assay). Outstanding antioxidant capacities were exhibited by Kakadu Plum and Quandong which belong to the same ‘fruit’ category as the Blueberry control. The sources of superior antioxidant capacity among the herbs and spices were Tasmania Pepper Leaf, Lemon Myrtle, and Anise Myrtle. The majority of the Australian native fruits, herbs, and spices tested contain phytochemicals that provide antioxidant activity in both the hydrophilic and lipophilic environment. This suggests more comprehensive protection from oxidative stress and possibly more pronounced health benefits in comparison to commonly consumed fruits that are comprised predominantly of hydrophilic antioxidants.
The levels of vitamin E in Kakadu Plum and Quandong were comparable with the avocado benchmark. Phenolic compounds were identified as the major source of antioxidant capacity. The rich composition of phenolic mixtures and the presence of compounds with catechol-based structure are the primary source of antioxidant capacity of native fruits and herbs. These native foods all possessed higher levels of lutein than avocado which is considered to be a primary source of this health-giving carotenoid.
All of the evaluated native plant species contained folate with Australian Desert Lime being the richest source; double the amount of the recommended daily intake and over 10 times greater than Blueberry.
Tasmania Pepper Leaf contained 75% of the recommended daily intake and Quandong, Kakadu Plum, Riberry and Lemon Aspen among the fruits contained 50% of the recommended daily intake; almost 3 times higher than Blueberry. Outstanding levels of vitamin C were identified in Kakadu Plum and in Australian Desert Lime.
Many of the native foods tested possessed higher levels of important minerals. Native fruits, herbs, and spices as exceptionally rich sources of antioxidants that are of both hydrophilic and lipophilic origin. This unique quality of Australian native fruits, herbs, and spices will complement antioxidant profiles obtained from commonly consumed fruits that are lacking or display very low antioxidant activity of lipophilic compounds.
This material is for informational purposes only. Statements have not been evaluated by the US FDA. Australiana Botanicals makes no claims or representation regarding the use or benefits of their products and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition.