Introducing 4 Superfoods You May Have Never Heard About
When you pass through the produce aisles, you’ll pick up all the usual items — tomatoes, lettuce, apples, bananas, and other common fruits and vegetables. And then you might grab a bag of almonds or walnuts, too. We all know that these foods provide us with the range of nutrients our bodies crave.
Now if this sounds like you, I want to start off by saying, great job — the more fresh, whole foods you consume, the better. With that being said, if you want to take your health to the next level, you may need to step a little outside of your usual comfort zone.
Say hello to these superfoods, a fantastic way to boost your health throughout the new year!
What Exactly Is a Superfood?
Well, the word itself has been more of a marketing strategy than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great approach,, as it’s made us all more aware of the types of foods we should be consuming.
When it comes to the foods that fall into this category, there is no set group of superfoods per say. Generally, any food that’s plant-based and nutrient-dense qualifies as a superfood. These foods enhance well-being, offering high doses of both vitamins and minerals.
You may already know about superfoods like spinach, salmon and blueberries, but why not widen your horizons?
Try These Less Common Superfoods Today
The key to any balanced diet is variety. You often hear health experts and nutritionists talk about a colorful diet — one that provides an ideal balance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, fiber, fat, etc. Whether you’d like to protect your heart or prevent cancer, check out these superfoods today.
- Matcha green tea
If you’re a green tea lover, then this is the perfect beverage to add to your daily routine. Matcha has been a part of Japanese culture for centuries, and continues to hold a special place in the lives of Japanese people. Thanks to the way that this tea is produced its antioxidant content is impressive to say the least.
One study, published in the Journal of Chromatography, found that matcha tea has three times more EGCG than regular tea. EGCG is an antioxidant known to fight the development of cancer, heart disease, and a range of viruses. Although it tastes a little bitter, skip the milk and sugar when preparing matcha, as this will enhance its health benefits.
- Suma root
This health-boosting root is sometimes referred to as Brazilian ginseng, although the two aren’t actually related to one another. Suma root is known to target symptoms of stress, fatigue, impotence, inflammation, and so much more. It’s been used throughout history, and today experts agree that this therapeutic plant helps balance hormone levels.
Rich in amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins (A, B, E, and K), and minerals, this root will boost your immune system, supporting all other bodily functions. In fact, because of its many benefits, in Portuguese cultures this root is referred to as ‘para tudo’ — meaning, for everything. To get some of those benefits for yourself, simply boil the whole root in water and drink the liquid like a tea. Or, you can buy it as a powder and mix it into your daily smoothie.
- Manuka honey
Honey is no stranger to the Western world, yet there’s just one issue — most of the honey you see in supermarkets is clear, overly runny, and lacks any real nutrients. If you often visit your local farmer’s market, you may have encountered raw honey, which is a good alternative to those overly processed products. But keep an eye out for Manuka honey, which is one of the most beneficial types of honey available.
Native to New Zealand and Australia, Manuka honey is able to target a wide range of ailments, including infections and digestive issues. Rich in nutrients and health-boosting properties, it is known to target poor gut health, infections, ulcers, sore throats, allergies, and much more. It’s also known to promote radiant skin, reducing symptoms of acne and eczema.
- Goji berry
You’ve tried strawberries, blueberries, and maybe even gooseberries, but have you had a goji berry? Also known as a wolfberry, this sweet and slightly sour delight offers all 8 essential amino acids, as well as iron, zinc, vitamin A, and more.
Within one key study, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers focused on the general effects when healthy adults consumed goji berries for 14 days. They found that after just two weeks, individuals experienced increased feelings of well-being, increased energy levels, improved neurological performance, and improved gastrointestinal functions.
There are literally dozens upon dozens of superfoods out there, and this article barely scratches the surface. Although they may be new to us, they’ve been used in traditional medicine for centuries. And now you can discover their benefits for yourself!
But it’s critical that you improve all aspects of your diet. Drinking matcha tea every day won’t cancel out a diet that mainly consists of processed, high-sugar and high-fat foods; so you’ll still need to make sure you eat a balanced diet if you want to improve your overall health.
Making small changes leads to beneficial life-long habits, so consider adding superfoods to your diet today. After all, as Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” Be your own hero and improve your health today — happy eating!