Nutrient-packed foods to include in your diet this year
As you move deeper into your nutritional goals for 2018, it’s time to look at the top ten superfoods for this year. Now that you can find superfoods in your grocery store and many local restaurants, the benefits of these nutritious, healing nutrients are available to most of us. And they can be used in various forms, such as tea, powder and often as a whole food. Whether you are looking to cleanse, manage a condition or simply revitalize your health, these foods should definitely be on your list.
Known for their proven immune-boosting powers, certain types of nutritious mushrooms are making their way into interesting recipes this year.
Chaga, reishi and cordyceps are three types of mushrooms commonly used for their health benefits. In addition to strengthening the immune system, mushrooms have antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
One creative concoction is the unexpected mushroom latte. With this trendy way to incorporate mushrooms, chocolate, coffee and fine mushroom powder is combined for an energy boosting drink.
You are probably familiar with spirulina and green tea powder in your grocery aisles, but the new super-green with all the health-buzz is moringa. Moringa is a tree from which the leaves, pods, seeds and even bark can be used. It is full of vitamin C, calcium, potassium and amino acids. The high protein and iron content makes it a great alternative for vegetarians or vegans.
Moringa can be used as a powder to add to smoothies and hot soups, or drunk as a tea.
3. Tiger Nuts
Tiger nuts are mini-tubers – starchy vegetables – which are packed with fiber, prebiotics, potassium and protein. According to research, they contain chemicals that supplement the digestive process. High in magnesium, they also relax muscles and help the nervous system function properly.
Tiger nuts are used in the creation of the highly popular Mexican drink, Horchata. You can also use tiger nut powder in baking, tiger nut oil in place of olive oil and eat tiger nuts whole for a slightly sweet, nutty taste. Luckily, because tiger nuts are not actually nuts, anyone with a nut allergy should be able to safely consume this superfood.
A few years ago when we thought of flowers, it was usually in a garden or a bouquet – not as food. But in 2018, flowers and petals are going to be more commonly appearing in recipes than ever before. Certain flowers have a sweet, fresh taste, and some are true superfoods such as the elderberry. Elderberry is known for its amazing immune-boosting powers, and the elderberry syrup is a go-to during cold and flu season.
5. Nut oils
Nuts are an essential part of many of our diets already, with their beneficial fats, proteins and other nutrients. Walnut, cashew and almond oils are delicious and often have fewer trans fats than other oils. However, because many nut oils possess a potent flavor, they are often added to cold dishes sparingly or last minute to hot dishes. Experiment with a nut oil and see how the flavor enhances your meal.
Kelp has slowly made its way into a more mainstream food. Sheets made of Kelp for sushi and kelp powders are fairly common these days. We’ve seen an increase in kelp vitamins and powders. You can use kelp in everything from stews to burgers.
It’s high in vitamins and full of necessary iodine, which is good for healthy thyroid function. With a nice, salty flavor, kelp is a powerful and popular food this year.
7. Watermelon seeds
Although many of us have read in the past not to eat watermelon seeds, they can be prepared in a beneficial way. The large black seeds are shelled and sprouted, and then roasted.
One single cup of watermelon seeds contains a whopping 31 grams of protein. They are also full of magnesium, both polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats and vitamin B. These seeds are a great superfood for everyone, and particularly beneficial to vegans and vegetarians looking for plant-based protein sources. Try the crunchy seeds sprinkled on cereal or yogurt.
8. Probiotic Water
Probiotics are a strong seller for good reason. Essential to our gut and immune health, probiotics can be found in various foods or taken in supplemental form. But in 2018, probiotics in water will be all the talk.
Easy to find, drink and reap the benefits – there is no preparation to worry about with probiotic water. For those with gastrointestinal disorders, this is a perfect way to take in these healthy bacteria.
9. Maqui Berry
While acai berries are everywhere – even in their own specialty shops – maqui berries are going to overshadow the other berries in the spotlight this year.
Less bitter than acai or the popular goji berry, maqui are low in sugar and high in antioxidants. The small purple berry is believed to aid in heart, digestive and inflammatory issues. Maqui berries can be enjoyed alone or as a topping. You can also buy powdered maqui to use in a smoothie or other recipes.
10. Cassava flour
Cassava is making strides as a wheat-substitute flour. Made from a root vegetable – the cassava – this powder is paleo, gluten-free and nut-free. Therefore, it’s highly desirable for those with dietary restrictions or allergies. The sweet-tasting flour is also chock-full of prebiotics, which aids digestion and immune health.