7 Superfoods You’re Forgetting To Eat
Don't overlook this crop of nutrition power players.
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With all due respect to acai and kale and matcha, superfood fatigue is starting to set in. The good news: There are plenty of other power players that get culinary experts excited, and are well-deserving of your attention at mealtime. Nutritionist Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, the wellness manager for Cleveland Clinic's Center for Lifestyle Medicine, says lesser-known foods like purslane and kohlrobi are way too healthy (and delicious) to overlook. Here, Kirkpatrick shares seven heavy hitters to add to your rotation.
This salad-friendly herb has the highest amount of healthy omega-3 fats of any edible plant, according to researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio. It’s also packed with melatonin, an antioxidant that may prevent cancer growth. The list goes on: “It’s higher than spinach in vitamins E and C,” says Kirkpatrick. Toss the slightly lemony weed with dressing in place of regular old lettuce.
A relative to the mustard family that resembles a turnip, this vegetable is high in potassium, which is responsible for increased bone mineral density and reduced blood pressure, according to Kirkpatrick. Kohlrabi also has more vitamin C than fruit like strawberries and grapefruit. It’s sweet and mild, so eat it raw with dip, sauté it with garlic, or steam and mash it.
It’s a root vegetable, but when cooked, it tastes like an oyster. Salsify is also high in fermentable fiber, which not only keeps you full and helps fight belly fat, but helps in the prevention of diabetes, according to a 2014 study. When it comes to cooking, think of salsify as a turnip and just sauté the whole thing, leaves and all.
The gluten-free grain is high in calcium and vitamin C, but best of all, nearly half of it is considered a resistant starch. One study last year also found that a diet full of resistant starch might help prevent IBS and colorectal cancer, says Kirkpatrick. You can use it like flour, putting it into muffins, pancakes, bread, or as a breading for chicken or fish.
As in, seaweed. It’s got minerals, polysaccharides, which boost immunity and help digestion, and other properties that are antiviral and antifungal. It’s also loaded with something called demulcent fiber, which helps to heal the digestive track. There’s seaweed salad and homemade sushi of course, but you can also throw it into soups, salads, cook it in eggs like spinach, or chop and toss it on soba noodles.
These itty-bitty Asian beans are a top source of antioxidants, says one study by the United States Department of Agriculture. They’re also packed with iron, manganese, zinc, folic acid, and magnesium. Oh, and lots of protein and fiber, says Fitzpatrick. They’re great cooked with vegetables over rice, or as a creative chili.