The Most Popular Superfoods of the Year from The Most Popular Superfoods of the Year

The Most Popular Superfoods of the Year

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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.

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Eggs

“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.”

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Turmeric

“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.”

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Pistachios

“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.

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Ancient Grains

“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.

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Chia Seeds

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.”

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Wild 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.

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Lentils

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.”

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Tomatoes

“This veggie provides lycopene, an antioxidant that may help prevent prostate cancer and also may help fend off damage caused by ultraviolet radiation,” Gorin says. “I love to eat cherry or grape tomatoes halved with a tiny sprinkle of salt.”

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Coconut Oil

“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

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Tiger Nuts

“These nuts are actually not ‘nuts,’ they are tiny root vegetables that are rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, and fiber, Roots says. “They can be eaten as they are or ground up for a great gluten-free flour for cooking and baking.”

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Raw Cocoa

Raw cocoa is rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, and potassium, Roots says. “It is also known to raise the serotonin levels to help reduce PMS symptoms and act as an antidepressant.”

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Kefir

“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.

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Avocado

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.”

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Black Beans

Black beans are “full of minerals, vitamins, protein, and fiber,” Roots says. They will help you stay full and satisfied. “They are a great addition to any burrito, salad, or even brownie recipe,” she says.

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Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is now being hailed as a superfood for numerous reasons; it contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium, to name a few. But its most important health benefit, says Roots, is in “its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.” See more Cancer Fighting Superfoods.

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Kombucha

“This fizzy fermented beverage is normally made from the fermentation of green or black tea and is loaded with probiotics for a healthy gut,” says Roots. See: The Best Foods for Gut Health

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Bone Broth

Bone broth is a protein-rich superfood. It is “high in calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, which help with a healthy digestive system, [and works against] fatigue and anxiety,” Roots says. “It also contains collagen and gelatin which helps with healthy hair, skin, and nails.”

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Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are “loaded with vitamin A for healthy eyes, bones, and immune system,” Roots says. They also contain beta carotene, vitamins A, C, and B6, potassium, magnesium, and so much more, which makes them one of the most nutritious vegetables, she adds.

The Most Popular Superfoods of the Year