Local Singapore Powerfoods


Powerfoods are the healthiest types of food in the world. They hold superpowers thanks to their high nutrient and vitamin content. There are many powerfood lists around that cater to the Western community but we’ve never seen one with a local, Singapore focus.

And we’ve also seen plenty of dietary suggestions touting the wonders of local supplements and various wonder foods at exorbitant prices with strange names and questionable origins. You may have even wondered if that ginseng you were eating was actually any good or perhaps just a superstition.

In this article, we aim to separate fact from fiction, introducing local powerfoods you can find easily in Singapore. This list will give you that energy boost you need while still keeping under that calorie count so you can look and feel fabulous and healthy all day, everyday. 


1. Wolfberry



Asia’s all-natural chill pill, Wolfberries contain a natural sedative that helps with insomnia and anxiety to keep you clear and zen. It’s also loaded with vitamins that boost your immune system. It also makes for a great late night snack/nightcap. Nothing like nutritious and guilt free chomping before a restful wolfberry induced slumber. 

TSL Recommendation: Soak them, then brew them with hot water for a refreshing tea.
Where to find: Chinese medicinal halls


2.Birds Nest 



Believe it or not, this miracle food is bird saliva. It’s also one of the most expensive foods you can buy on the planet due to its high nutritional value and rarity. Scientific studies on this elusive ingredient have revealed that its high levels of amino acids and minerals promote cellular regeneration and may even strengthen weak immune systems. 

It’s almost like getting Wolverine-esque healing powers! Just don’t jump in front of a car to test it out. 

TSL Recommendation: Cooked in a broth of herbs and maybe some pandan for kicks.
Where to find: Chinese medicinal halls


3. Kale



This is the new miracle food all your ang moh friends are eating. So why does this overpriced bunch of leaves have everyone going crazy for it? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that this vegetable actually possesses anti-cancer agents that can help prevent up to five types of cancer including bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancer.

On top of that, it also prevents inflammation and is rich in vitamins, adding to the impressive repertoire of this miracle vegetable. 

TSL Recommendation: Mix into a salad or fry them to make kale chips.
Where to find: Supermarkets


4. Brown Rice 



Here’s something you can easily introduce into your diet – just swap out your regular white rice with brown. It will taste weird at first, but you’ll get used to it especially once you hear about the benefits.

Brown rice helps you process fat more efficiently and prevents cancer, heart disease and arthritis. It’s also high in fiber so it’ll help you digest your Mcspicy faster and also fill you up with way less calories.

TSL Recommendation: Steamed with some vegetables for a nice, balanced meal.
Where to find: Supermarkets


5. Honey



Winnie the Pooh might have been on to something. Honey is an awesome miracle food. Aside from its sweet and syrupy nature, honey can also make you happy, being an excellent agent in healing sore throats, treat wounds, boosting your energy levels, and has even been reported to have the ability to heal wounds from herpes.

Lastly, you shouldn’t allow honey’s sugary sweetness to deceive you – it’s not a fat inducing substance. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Honey is made of natural sugars which is less fattening and also helps you control those cravings you have for sweet fatty drinks. So take a sip of some honey water in the morning for an energy boost and a sweet guilt free treat!

TSL Recommendation: Spoonful of honey into a glass of hot water in the morning or when you feel tired.
Where to find: Supermarkets


6. Green Tea



If there was a fountain of youth, i’m pretty sure it would be filled with green tea. The antioxidants (stuff that is good for you) present in green tea actually helps to control cell growth and the formation of free radicals, preventing cancer and aging. 

Green tea also contains a small amount of caffeine, just enough to give you a kick you need without sending you into an overdrive. It also has chemical compounds that instigate brain activity. 

If that’s not enough to convince you, green tea has also been proven to burn fats efficiently when you drink it before a workout. It’s an amazing drink but watch what you buy – you don’t wanna get the stuff that’s laced with sugar. 

TSL Recommendation: Consider making this your staple drink!
Where to find: Supermarkets


7. Chicken Essence



Those PSLE top scorers promoting this tonic might be on to something. Chicken essence has recently been proven to increase cognitive recovery. It keeps kids and adults sharp to slay those nasty math problems. So chug some before your next exam or that lecture you just can’t stay awake for.

TSL Recommendation: Warm it up then gulp it down!
Where to find: Supermarkets


8. Luo Han Guo



This miracle food is one that we often take for granted. It’s often used in the herbal teas our mothers forcibly feed us every other day and it actually has some pretty cool benefits. People of the Guangxi province, where the fruit comes from, possess unusually low mortality rates with many of them living up to 100 years old!

While the science is still out on the effects it  will have on your longevity, there are some undisputed facts about the fruit. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar while containing almost no calories. That makes this little fruit one of the healthiest and best alternatives to traditional sugar!

TSL Recommendation: You can use it to make herbal teas or get it in sugar form.
Where to find: Supermarkets


9. Ginseng



If I ever get tired of living in a city, i’m going to retire and be a ginseng farmer. These roots can fetch a crazy amount of money on the marketplace for its medicinal value. Ginseng is said to prevent diabetes by improving sugar levels in the body, and can also suppress hunger. It’s also used as an aphrodisiac for men and supposedly helps women with menstrual cramps.  

None of this has been scientifically proven however, so you’ll have to take this with a grain of salt. But 1000s years of ancient tradition and its exorbitant price seem to say otherwise. 

TSL Recommendation: In soup, or in Korean Ginseng Chicken
Where to find: Chinese medicinal hall


10. Seaweed



Some people love it, some just can’t stand it. I for one love a bit of gently toasted seaweed on my fries. It makes me less guilty because suddenly my fat-drenched potatoes turn into something that may be decent for my health. 

Seaweed is packed with vitamins and minerals with minimal calories. It also controls your hormone producing thyroid gland which helps with preventing breast cancer, and apparently PMS as well! 

TSL Recommendation: Buy them in packets as snacks or make a broth with it.
Where to find: Supermarket


11. Avocados 



Another ang moh super food. This oversized berry does more than provide for an exquisite Mexican condiment, it’s also great for your health! Avocados are actually relatively high in fat, but the good kind of fat; meaning they won’t clog your arteries and give you heart disease. 

They are loaded with vitamins and fiber and the fat content here actually helps you absorb nutrients from other sources more easily. They also taste pretty delicious and you would do well to dip your nachos in them instead of synthetic cheese the next time you’re at the movies. 

TSL Recommendation: Make guacamole and dip some nachos in there.
Where to find: Supermarket


12. Sweet Potato 



Probably the most delicious item on the list. The sweet potato does the unthinkable, combining healthy and delicious. While your average potato isn’t all that bad, sweet potatoes provide you more nutrients per calorie than the average potato.They also contain minerals that are great for stress and your eyesight.

These guys are also delicious and versatile. You can bake them, fry them, BBQ them, mash them up with some spices and honey (another super food) and bam! You have a delicious and nutritious meal. 

TSL Recommendation: Roasted, BBQ or even grilled.
Where to find: Supermarket


13. Lotus Root 



I thought it looked gross as a kid, but that’s how I figured it was good for your health. While it doesn’t have much in the way of taste, lotus root more than makes up for it with fantastic nutritional value. 

It’s rich in vitamins and fiber so it fills you up fast without additional calories and the strong presence on vitamin B actually induces better brain function keeping you stress free and clear headed. It’s no wonder that this ingredient is so often used by monks!

TSL Recommendation: Sliced thin and fried into chips or throw it in a soup!
Where to find: Supermarket


14. Cockles (Hum) 



I’m willing to bet some of you are shocked to see this entry. No, eating shellfish doesn’t actually raise your cholesterol. Cockles are actually really good for you and provide you with a ton of protein. In fact it yields more protein than lamb per gram. 

They are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for your diet. While salmon provides a greater concentration of omega-3, it is also more fatty. So forget the outdated science about cholesterol in shellfish your mom preaches and whip yourself up a bowl of clam soup.

TSL Recommendation: Boil and pick them apart the classic way.
Where to find: Supermarkets


15. Hasma



My mom used to call this snow jelly. In reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Hasma is made from the fat off the fallopian tubes of frogs. Yup, sounds gross but I never really gave it a second thought because the texture is actually quite pleasant, and it doesn’t taste of anything gross. 

The Chinese love hasma because of its nutritional value. It’s filled with hormones and lipids that frogs store for the winter, stuff the Chinese believe you can ingest to provide relief from coughs and even improve your skin. Who needs SK II when you can have frog fat?

TSL Recommendation: Throw these into sweet dessert broths.
Where to find: Chinese medicinal hall


Get eating and get healthy


So that’s our rundown of some of the most healthy powerfoods you can find and eat in Singapore. It’s not that hard to incorporate some of these into your diet, and hey some of them actually sound potentially delicious. So get your forks out and dig in!