The Most Popular Superfoods of the Year from The Most Popular Superfoods of the Year
The Most Popular Superfoods of the Year
The Most Popular Superfoods of the Year
Superfoods are normal foods with superpowers, providing essential nutrients the body needs to function properly. They contain large amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. Without them, you are likely to suffer from a variety of health complications. Although you can get these nutrients in supplement form, it may be wise to consider obtaining them from a food source first.
*Related: 11 Foods That Improve Your Heart Health
Superfoods have the power to boost the immune system, detox the body of harmful toxins, promote healthy hair and skin, combat disease, prevent the signs of aging, fight cancer, and even boost weight loss.
“These definitely grew in popularity this year, when the 2015-2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans lifted the decades-old dietary cholesterol restriction of 300 milligrams daily,” explains Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, New Jersey. “Eggs provide one of the easiest proteins for your body to absorb, as well as other important nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, important for eye health.”
“Anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric were huge this year,” Gorin says. “Turmeric is one of the main spices in curry, and early research suggests that it may play a part in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.” Michelle Roots, owner and personal trainer at CORE Conditioning, adds that turmeric is “loaded with antioxidant curcumin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever; it has become a commonly used cure for chronic anti-inflammatory conditions.”
“Plant-based eating continues to grow in popularity, and pistachios are an example of this,” says Gorin. “They’re a good source of protein and contain one of the highest amounts when it comes to nuts. They also offer fiber and good-for-you healthy fats.” Gorin likes to carry around 100-calorie packs of Wonderful Pistachios — “I love the Sweet Chili flavor,” she says — in her purse for times when she gets hungry while on the go.
“Ancient grains are very similar to the versions our ancestors ate, and ones such as sorghum and teff have continued to rise in popularity over the last year,” Gorin explains. “Ancient grains tend to be higher in protein than more traditional grains — and research shows they may help lower risk of diabetes and heart disease.” You can find these ancient grains as ingredients in crackers and in baked goods, and you’ll even see popped versions of some of them, such as sorghum, she adds.
Seeds continue to grow in popularity, and chia seeds are one variety that Gorin has seen become popular this year. “They’re a good source of protein and an excellent source of fiber,” she says, “making them a filling addition to foods. You’ll see them both as an ingredient in recipes (such as my Pomegranate Pistachio Chia Breakfast Pudding), as well as in ready-to-eat foods.”
“We’ve seen an uptick in interest in consuming wild foods, which are foraged from the wild,” Gorin explains. “They tend to be resistant to many diseases and pests, since they’re grown naturally — and are also free of pesticides.” Gorin suggests keeping wild blueberries in your freezer. They “contain more antioxidants than even plums or raspberries.” She likes to make a smoothie out of them, such as her Berry Almond Cocoa Smoothie.
What’s old was new in 2016! Gorin loves lentils because they’re an excellent source of protein, providing about 18 grams per cup. “That’s 36 percent of the daily value,” she says. “They’re also rich in fiber. You’ll see ready-to-eat lentils (such as the ones from Melissa’s Produce), as well as ‘pasta’ made from lentils.”
“It has been a known superfood for a while, but still tops the list for 2016,” Roots explains. It is “known for boosting metabolism, keeping you full for longer, brightening teeth and skin, and boosting the immune system.” You can add it to salad dressings, smoothies, and soups. See: 16 Reasons Why Coconut Oil is Magic
“This is a fermented superfood that is rich in probiotics, low in lactose, and high in calcium, and helps with digestive issues,” Roots says. “Studies show that this probiotic can inhibit the growth of various harmful bacteria, including salmonella, Helicobacter pylori, and E. coli,” according to Authority Nutrition.
This superfood is “loaded with essential nutrients such as potassium, B-Vitamins, and folic acid,” says Roots, adding that avocados “are the perfect addition to any salad, sandwich, or smoothie (or even just on their own!). They are also rich in monosaturated fatty acids, which have shown to lower cholesterol levels.”