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'Super grain' craze hits Korea Updated: 2015-01-17 18:16:07 KST


At this supermarket in Korea, one whole shelf is dedicated to so-called "superfoods" that are known to be beneficial for health.
The somewhat unfamiliar products -- from quinoa to lentils to chia seeds -- attract curious Korean customers.
Dubbed the "super grains of the future," these low-fat, nutrient-rich foods are gaining popularity here, especially among women, ever since a Korean female celebrity endorsed them as her secret to staying in shape.

Monthly sales of lentils, for instance, have jumped 30-fold since June, right after a post about the foods appeared on the celebrity's blog.

(Korean, )
"The demand for superfoods like chia seeds, lentils and quinoa has risen steadily since late last year, so we decided to set aside a special section just for the grains."

Quinoa is low in calories but contains twice as much protein than brown rice and four times as much calcium.
Lentils, deemed one of the world's five healthiest foods, along with kimchi, are high in insoluble fiber, which helps lower the "bad" kind of cholesterol.
Chia seeds have also recently gained attention for being rich in omega-3 fatty acids and minerals.

However, despite the high nutritional profile and health benefits of these foods, experts say it is important to know how much to consume.
(Korean, )
"Many people are eating super grains every day, but if you eat too much, it can cause diarrhea and allergies, so it is important to know what the right portion is."

Doctors stress that super grains should be just one part of a person's daily nutrient intake, along with other types of foods.
They say it is more important to eat a balanced meal that fits your individual needs and constitution.
Sohn Jung-in, Arirang News.
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