5 Trending Superfoods for Super Power!
Every year hot new superfoods hit the supermarket shelves. You’re then bombarded with messages screaming that these are the kinds of food you should eat.
You’ve heard about them. Coconut oil had its moment. Acai berries are still booming.
And while that’s all fine and dandy, what exactly are the benefits of these new - and sometimes foreign - foods?
Other nutrition articles may outline what’s hot now. We’ve got similar food ideas - but with the info you crave.
What do scientists say? What have studies concluded? Here’s the lowdown on the top 5 trending superfoods right now.
1. Nut Oils
Move over coconut oil. It’s time for nut oils to shine.
Nut butters recently broke into the mainstream market - alongside the trending plant-based, vegan diet. Now nut oils are making their stand. There’s cashew, walnut, almond, hazelnut, and more nut oils. Experts claim that they make great baking ingredient substitutes.
The good part about nut oils? They contain less of that not-so-healthy trans fat than other products. You get the fat (which despite what other nutrition articles may say) that your body needs to function properly. The body uses it not just for storage and protection - but also for hormones and nutrient absorption.
Further, studies boast about the benefits of these nuts. And in oil form, these benefits aren’t lost. For instance, hazelnuts have shown to significantly reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and even, cancer.
Studies also outline the benefits of walnuts. Walnuts contain essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and polyphenols - which are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your body from free radical damage. In other words, they prevent inflammation and cell damage that could lead to potentially life-threatening disease, such as cancer or heart disease.
And yes, the price tag is a little more than your regular ol’ vegetable or olive oil. But if you can fit it into your grocery budget, it could be worthwhile. Get those healthy fats and reap those protective benefits!
2. Watermelon Seeds
Don’t worry - this one had me going a little cross-eyed too.
Typically, watermelon seeds are something we spit out and throw away. But hold up! Save those seeds. Roast ‘em up or top up your salads with them.
The United States Department of Agriculture claims that just one ounce of watermelon seeds has 10 grams of protein. Considering the average person needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, that’s a huge chunk of your daily protein requirements. It also contains around 2 grams of iron and 1 gram of fibre.
A 2006 study also explored the benefits of watermelon seeds. When hydrated, the watermelon seeds had increased glutathione - a powerful antioxidant that is used by every cell in the human body.
It is further a great source of magnesium, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and vitamin B. In other words, it’s loaded with nutrients and worth trying out!
3. Chaga Mushrooms
Chaga mushrooms don’t exactly look like the most appetizing food to eat. Most often than not, they are consumed via a hot beverage or tea.
Interestingly, many scientific studies have shown that positive benefits of the Chaga mushroom. These benefits include anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, and antioxidant properties.
In a 2004 study, a study demonstrated the protective properties of the Chaga mushroom. Certain cells treated with the Chaga mushroom showed a 40% reduction in DNA damage - which shows its capability as a powerful antioxidant.
These type of mushrooms are also high in fibre. Plus, their anti-inflammatory help the digestive tract stay regular and healthy. Studies have further suggested that they may decrease your risk of developing cancer.
With future studies needed, the research so far shows the promise of this superfood. Buy it in tea form or other mixes.
Hemp is being deemed the next flaxseed. Like other superfoods, it is rich in antioxidants. And as aforementioned, that fact alone means it has numerous protective properties against an array of diseases.
It further has essential amino acids, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc - explaining its categorization as a superfood.
The best way to eat it? Try seeds or oil. The highest nutritional benefit comes from eating them raw. You can add them to a salad or smoothie. Make sure to store them at a cooler temperature - similar to flaxseed storage.
5. Maqui Berries
By now, we have all heard of acai berries. They’re everywhere. They are at the grocery store and most definitely at your favourite smoothie spot. But now, it’s time to make way for the maqui berries. They are hitting the shelves everywhere. And for good reasons.
In Chile, these berries have been used and consumed for thousands of years. Today, scientists are reporting the maqui berry’s various health benefits, including a high amount of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, its help in controlling blood sugar, and its contribution to optimal heart health.
It may further aid in optimal eye health, a happy and healthy gut, and it may potentially have anticancer benefits.
Yet, its claim to fame - like many superfoods - is from the high antioxidant content it contains.
And it’s easy to add into your regular diet. It is frequently found in powdered form - meaning you can add it to your smoothies and smoothie bowls for a quick snack or a morning boost of energy.
So, Why Not Try Out Some of These New Superfoods?
If you have nut or other allergies, it may be best to check with your doctor before adding anything new to your diet. But besides that, there’s not a whole lot holding you back. See if any of the above appeals to your taste buds or your health. If any of these claims are even half-true, it’s worth a shot, right?
Live your best life the best way you know how - through a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet. Take these food ideas and run with them!
Related Article: The Primal Lifestyle for Beginners