Superfoods have been staking a claim on grocery store shelves for a while. And it’s no surprise—these popular foods from all over the world are reputed to be chock-full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Acai berries, quinoa, and chia seeds are just a few of the more well-known superfoods, but that’s only the beginning: The Los Angeles Times recently reported on a few up-and-coming superfoods that you may want to watch for:
- Moringa. The moringa tree is found in tropical and subtropical places such as West Africa and Haiti. Moringa leaves are high in protein, beta-carotene, vitamins E and C, and minerals including calcium and potassium. They are especially rich in antioxidant compounds like flavonoids. The leaves are often used as a powder, made into tea, or added to nutrition bars.
- Freekeh. Common in the Middle East and North Africa, freekeh is a green grain that comes from the inside of roasted wheat. It is high in fiber, calcium, zinc, and iron, and is higher in carotenoids—powerful antioxidant pigments—than North American varieties of wheat. It can be cooked and seasoned like rice or other grains.
- Turkey tail mushroom. This mushroom can be found growing in North America, Asia, and Europe. It contains carbohydrates called polysaccharides that strengthen the immune system and may help fight cancer. In its powdered form, it can be added to juices and shakes and is also available as a tea.
- Tiger nuts. Found all over the world, tiger nuts are tubers that are high in fiber, potassium, and chromium. Tiger nuts can be eaten as a snack and can also be ground into gluten-free flour.
- Guayusa. The guayusa tree is native to the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. Tea made from guayusa leaves has been found to have strong antioxidant effects. The leaves also contain caffeine, and it is added to some energy drinks.
It’s important to note that while superfoods can seem like a good way to boost your energy or well-being, the best way to stay healthy is to eat a well-rounded diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and generous amounts of whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. If you take medications to manage a chronic health condition, be sure to consult with your physician before adding new foods to your daily diet.
Source: Los Angeles Times