Found this some time ago at the 'Passion for Health' website but it seems to have disappeared -

The Best Kept Secret of Native Australian Bush Foods 

There's a common theory that is promoted in many alternative medicine books on nutrition "that we should eat foods native to our own area". This theory suggests, that not only are these foods better suited to the metabolism of the residents of the area but, are less prone to pests and bugs that may be present. If you are Australian however, there is even more reason to be consuming native Australian food products over the imported varieties.

The best kept secret about Australian bush foods is their nutritional value. When most people first think of Australian bush foods the first things that come to mind are witchety grubs or green ants. While these do form a valuable part of traditional Australian bush food, it is the native fruits and vegetables that are exceptionally nutritious. In fact, native Australian flora is beginning to emerge on the international market as the latest and greatest super foods and supplements.


One perfect example of just how powerful some of thee foods are can be seen from the billy goat plum, or terminalia ferdinandianna. This native Australian bush fruit is commonly found in Australia's top end where it is harvested by the local communities. It is small, yellow-green, about 2 centimetres long and 1 centimetre in diameter. Don't let this fool you though! While most people are consuming citrus fruits, guava or papaya for their vitamin C content, the billy goat plum, in laboratory testing, was shown to have measurements of vitamin C up to 5,230 mg per 100g. Guava by comparison has only 183mg per 100g. This is about the same amount of vitamin C as found in a human body that is fully saturated with vitamin C.

A therapeutic dose of vitamin C, often recommended for signs of cold and flu or other infection, is normally 2000mg. To obtain this from diet alone would require eating up to 2 kg of broccoli, or, one half of a billy goat plum.

The health benefits don't end with fruit though. It is possible to generate a native Australian food pyramid that provides excellent, nutritious alternatives for all introduced foods. 

Potatoes are a staple in the diet of many western countries, this highly starchy vegetable one of the leading contributors to our obesity woes. Taro, the native Australian equivalent, makes an ideal substitute for potatoes with far more protein than its starchy counterpart. As an added benefit taro contains almost three times as much calcium as one cup of whole fat milk, this makes it ideal for anyone concerned about musculoskeletal health. 

If you are a person that regularly enjoys the health benefits associated with including a variety of nuts and seeds in the diet, why not add a handful of native indian almond nuts to the mix. Tasting slightly like almonds, this nut packs a whopping 570mg of magnesium. This makes it a one of the most magnesium rich nuts which is ideal for anyone looking to enjoy the health benefits of increasing magnesium intake.

While natural Australian foods are not as easy to obtain as introduced varieties they are well worth the effort. The finished food products are available from some health food shops, specialty retailers or online and many of the plants are available from most nurseries for those with a green thumb.