Dr Joanna McMillan: These are the superfoods you should be eating in 2023 for better health


A top dietitian has shared her predictions for the next nine superfood crazes of 2023 from a beverage she said will be the ‘health drink of the year’ to an ancient African grain. 

PhD nutrition scientist Dr Joanna McMillan said the foods she thinks health-conscious Aussies will be loving this year ‘deserve some extra attention’ in a post to Instagram. 

The dietitian pegged a little-known grain called fonio as the next big thing in health food along with exotic mushrooms, seaweed, coffee kombucha, extra virgin olive oil, hemp seeds, black elderberry, cocoa and black rice. 

Nutrition scientist Dr Joanna McMillan (pictured) has revealed her predictions for the superfoods that will be big on the health and wellness scene in 2023

Fonio is a West Africa grain which Dr Joanna said is 'gaining attention due to its rich nutrient profile'

Dr Joanna said exotic mushrooms are 'without doubt foods of the future' that will become increasingly important in Aussie diets

The dietitian said fonio, which is an ancient grain, will be big among vegans and non-dairy eaters while exotic mushrooms will become an important part of our diets 

Fonio is a West Africa grain which Dr Joanna said is ‘gaining attention due to its rich nutrient profile’.

‘It has the highest level of calcium of all grains, making it fantastic for vegan diets and anyone who doesn’t eat dairy foods,’ she wrote. 

Fonio, which can be used the same way as quinoa or millet, is rich in B-group vitamins, provides moderate amounts of protein and fibre, and is gluten free. 

Dr Joanna’s nine superfood predictions for 2023 

  1. Fonio 
  2. Exotic mushrooms 
  3. Seaweed
  4. Coffee kombucha 
  5. Extra virgin olive oil 
  6. Hemp seeds
  7. Black elderberry 
  8. Cocoa 
  9. Black rice 

Dr Joanna said exotic mushrooms are ‘without doubt foods of the future’ that will become increasingly important in Aussie diets. 

‘They contain unique compounds with potential health benefits including reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and various forms of dementia,’ she said.

‘Eat them whole or in powder or liquid form.’

While most home cooks have a bottle of olive oil as a pantry staple Dr Joanna said it is the condiment wins for nutrition, taste as well as the environment. 

It is the only common cooking oil that is a ‘carbon sequester’ as olive trees capture carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere storing it in the soil, helping to reduce emissions. 

Dr Joanna said shoppers will be unlikely to find black elderberries on the fresh produce section at the supermarket but they can look out for them frozen or dried shelves.

‘All berries are superfoods, but these top the charts for polyphenols,’ she added. 

The food ‘futurist’ said black rice is far more nutritious than white varieties with the ‘fabulous’ colour coming from polyphenols which is a micronutrient that naturally occurs in plants.

Dr Joanna predicts a rise in popularity in frozen or dried black elderberries for the high content of polyphenols, a naturally occurring micronutrient in plants that has many health benefits

Dr Joanna predicts a rise in popularity in frozen or dried black elderberries for the high content of polyphenols, a naturally occurring micronutrient in plants that has many health benefits 

According to Healthline, polyphenols has a range of health benefits and may boost digestion and brain health, and protect against heart disease, type-2 diabetes and even some cancers. 

Dr Joanna said cocoa was going to be a popular superfood this year adding that it’s ‘another polyphenol winner’.

‘And what’s not to love about high cocoa dark chocolate?! Or just add cocoa powder to hot milk,’ she wrote. 

Fermented foods and drinks like kombucha have been trendy on the health food scene for a number of years but Dr Joanna predicts we will see more varieties including fermented coffee. 

‘With potential gut health benefits and the anti-inflammatory and antioxidants effects of the coffee polyphenols, this is set to be a health drink of the year,’ she explained. 

The food 'futurist' said black rice is far more nutritious than white varieties with the 'fabulous' colour coming from polyphenols

The food ‘futurist’ said black rice is far more nutritious than white varieties with the ‘fabulous’ colour coming from polyphenols

The doctor also predicted a rise in the popularity of hemp seeds and seaweed.    

‘With heart-healthy fats including omega-3s, a plethora of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, hemp seeds are finally getting the recognition they deserve,’ she said.

Dr Joanna said one of the answers to feeding the world is to utilise more foods from the sea. 

‘Seaweed is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially iodine, often low in our diets and crucial for brain function,’ she wrote. 

‘Being rich in fibre seaweed feeds not just you but your gut microbiome.’ 




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