Research into the Health Benefits of Australian Native Foods, listed below, show that Australian native fruits, herbs and spices contain superior antioxidants qualities compared to the Blueberry, which is thought to have health promoting qualities, and other common fruits. The native foods tested contained hydrophilic and lipophilic fractions, which offer more protection from oxidative stress and may provide other considerable health benefits compared to common fruits which have only hydrophilic antioxidants. Kakadu Plum and Quandong, Tasmannia Pepper Leaf, Lemon Myrtle and Anise Myrtle had outstanding results in the antioxidant category.
The Australian native species contained Vitamin E, highest in the herbs Aniseed Myrtle, Lemon Myrtle and Tasmania Pepper Leaf and was also found in the Kakadu Plum, Quandong and Desert Lime in the fruits.
Anise Myrtle had the richest source of Lutein which is good for eye health and contained more than avocado, which is a primary source of lutein. Lemon Myrtle, Tasmania Pepper Leaf, Kakadu Plum, Desert Lime and Davidson's Plum all contained higher levels of Lutein than avocado.
Australian Desert Lime had the richest source of folate or B9, 10 times greater than Blueberry. Tasmania Pepperberry Leaf, Quandong, Kakadu Plum, Riberry and Lemon Aspen also contained folate, almost 3 times higher than Blueberry.
Vitamin C levels were outstanding in Kakadu Plum and in the Australian Desert Lime.
All of the native foods tested contained 3 minerals important for genome/DNA health, such as magnesium, calcium and zinc. Tasmania Pepper Leaf and Wattleseed were good sources of all three. Lemon Myrtle was very rich in Calcium and Anise Myrtle was rich in Magnesium. Quandong was rich in Magnesium and zinc and Australian Desert Lime rich in Calcium.
Bush Tomato, Tasmania Pepper Leaf and Wattleseed contained rich sources of iron in the herbs and spices and Quandong and Lemon Aspen showed rich sources of iron in the fruits. Selenium, which is poorly found in foods because many soils are deficient, was found in Bush Tomato and Wattleseed.
A high potassium sodium ratio in Davidson Plum, Australian Desert Lime and Kakadu Plum was found. A High potassium sodium ratio is important to prevent hypertension.
As part of a healthy balanced diet adding NATIF foods to your meals can add nutrients essential for good health.
Reference, Research into the 'Health Benefits of Australian Native Foods, RIRDC', Australian Government.