Flax, chia, acai, goji berries, kale. We all know those superfoods that have been trendy for a while now. While there is of course nothing wrong with these nutrient-packed powerhouses, everyone’s taste buds get bored. It’s important to find new ways to keep ourselves interested in healthy foods and that includes discovering new nutritious ingredients to add to a healthy diet. Check out eight of my favorite lesser-known superfoods below and your tastebuds will be entertained in no time!
Seaweed is so low in calorie that you can eat a lot and still stay within a good calorie range. Talk about satisfying! A serving of seaweed has more calcium than broccoli and as much protein as a serving of legumes. Plus, it’s gluten-free, vegan, high fiber, low fat, cholesterol free and very rich in vitamins such as A, B, C, E and K. Make sure to look for brands that are non-GMO, organic and source their seaweed sustainably.
Matcha green tea is super rich in antioxidants. Those are the nutrients and enzymes responsible for fighting against the negative effects of UV radiation and helping to give us younger-looking skin. Bonus: Matcha can also help with weight loss!
Moringa Oleifera is often called the “miracle tree.” Its leaves are packed with vitamins, essential amino acids, numerous antioxidants including vitamin C and beta-carotene, plus calcium, iron, potassium and protein.
With a ton of nutrients including vitamins B, C and E and high amounts of calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium and fiber, maca is a powerful root. It helps facilitate fertility, regulate hormones and improves energy, memory and mood. It contains 9 essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own, making it a complete protein. So mix some maca powder into your next smoothie for a protein boost.
Packed with antioxidants, B-vitamins and protein, spirulina is one of the most potent nutrient sources found on earth. It’s a natural algae powder harvested from bodies of water that can help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure, regulate blood sugar and enhance brain function and endurance. Some studies show it also may have cancer fighting properties.
Believe it or not, bee pollen is richer in proteins than any animal source. It contains 40% protein, including essential amino acids the body can use right away. This natural energy enhancer is packed with vitamins B, C, D and E and metabolism-friendly fatty acids. It also helps support a healthy immune system, respiratory system and can alleviate allergies and skin irritations.
From shredded coconut to coconut chips, coconut oil, butter and, of course, coconut water. Coconut is rich in vitamins and minerals, including magnesium (helps with energy and endurance), lauric acid (has immune boosting properties) and medium chain fatty acids (have been shown to help fight obesity). Coconut water is a great hydrator for shorter workouts especially because it is so rich in potassium and low in sodium. When it comes to baking, coconut flour is a fantastic alternative to traditional flour because it has 5 g of fiber per 2 Tbsp, and adding it to baked goods can help lower the glycemic index.
Sprouted grains are popping up in stores everywhere, since sprouted grain breads have less gluten, are richer in antioxidants and higher in protein than traditional bread products. Plus, sprouted grains are processed more like a vegetable by the body for easier digestion and better absorption of vitamins and minerals.