Top 8 superfoods of 2021

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Oct 24, 2020

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Dietitian Mbali Mapholi helps us pick the trendiest superfoods and explains why they will be getting all the attention next year.

Looking to eat yourself healthy in 2021? A new range of power-packed foods is ready for its moment in the spotlight.

Dietitian, Mbali Mapholi of Mbali Mapholi Inc has helped us pick the trendiest superfoods and explains why they will be getting all the attention next year.

But she warns that the term ‘superfoods’ is more for marketing purposes, in nutrition science, there is no such thing as a ‘superfood’.

“Though many foods could be described as super, it is important to understand that there is no single food that holds the key to good health or disease prevention. However, the term “superfood” does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, it does not hurt to look at these nutrient-dense foods closely,” said Mapholi.

Below are the top eight superfoods that without a doubt will be crossing over to 2021.


Chickpeas are a good source of B-vitamins, dietary fibre, protein, and a variety of minerals. Hummus is well-known as a healthy chickpea dip, it is a shining star at any snack table. In 2021 we will see more uses of chickpeas such as the use of chickpea flour as a gluten-free alternative in baking.

Chickpeas can be cooked as a delicious curry. They can also be roasted with some seasoning and a touch of oil for a nice chickpea crispy snack. Falafels are also a great way to enjoy chickpeas, as a meatless option for meals where meatballs would have been used.


Eggs are nutrient-dense with nutrients such as high-quality protein, choline, iron, B-vitamins, Vitamin A to name a few. They will make it to 2021 as a popular superfood especially now that more scientific evidence has come out exonerating eggs off their direct link to heart disease and diabetes.

Eggs are very versatile and can be added to baked, cooked, grilled, savoury, spicy, and or sweet dishes. They are very efficient as on-the-go snacks for people of all ages.

Olive oil

I think in 2021 we will see a comeback of olive oil. Olive oil is a natural oil extracted from the fruit of olive trees and it is packed with monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyphenolic compounds that offer plenty of health benefits.

Olive Oil is a perfect base ingredient in countless marinades for a variety of meats and seafood.

It can also be used in salads as a dressing or added to freshly baked bread for that punch of flavour and can be used in cooking and baking.

Rooibos tea

For the longest time rooibos tea had taken a back seat in the superfoods lists due to a lack of awareness of its properties. I think in 2021 we will see a comeback of this South African original as people are more mindful of their health and beverages that complement it.

Rooibos tea earns a spot on the list due to its striking antioxidants profile and that it is exceptionally low in tannins. Rooibos’ versatility makes it easy to incorporate into the whole family’s lifestyle. It can be served hot or cold and has a range of culinary applications from baking, cooking, and desserts to name a few.

Citrus fruit

Citrus fruits became immensely popular in 2020 amid the pandemic due to their famous vitamin C content. These nutrient-dense fruits will still be popular in 2021, they are rich in vitamin C, fibre and rich in potassium, and folic acid.

They are popular in autumn or winter months in South Africa and enjoyed as whole fruits, added in water, added to baked goods and desserts as well enjoyed in the juice like the famous ‘OJ’ orange juice.


Avocados earn their superfood status from their impressive nutrient profile. Like olive oil, avocado is high in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). It is also packed with other nutrients such as dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals all of which are needed for plenty of functions in the body.

Avocados are easy to incorporate into recipes, from the simple avo on toast or the famous guacamole up to more complex dishes such as avocado ice-cream.

Raw or dark chocolate

There is an increased desire to consume food high in antioxidants and vitamins, raw chocolate promises to boom in 2021. It gains its superfood title from this impressive, close to perfect nutritional profile with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

It can be added into smoothies, baked goods, desserts, or eaten as is. Chefs are experimenting with raw or dark chocolate in their dishes with a combination of dark chocolate and chilli being my personal favourite.


This list would not be complete without berries. Berries are a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, and antioxidants. The health benefits of berries are as versatile as their culinary applications, they can be enjoyed as part of breakfast, as a dessert, on a salad, or in a smoothie, the health benefits of berries are as versatile as their culinary applications.

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