You might not know about the healthy foods below, but that’s OK because you’re not alone. These are foods that don’t generally make the shopping list, but deserve a spot in your basket thanks to the healthy benefits they provide. If you pride yourself on your knowledge of food, you probably have some idea. Take the quiz and see how many of these 19 foods you knew about. Just be sure to keep an eye out for them the next time you’re out procuring groceries.
Unless you’re from Japan you probably didn’t know about arame, a specific type of kelp that is actually really good for you. It contains vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A Vitamin K, and can be added to soups for added texture and nutrition. Even though it’s a type of seaweed, it doesn’t have that seaweed smell to it that you might have experienced with other forms of kelp. It’s actually pretty versatile to cook with, so if you’ve been shying away from using seaweed, even though you know it’s good for you, this is a wonderful one to start off with.
When you first see a rambutan you might think it’s a fruit from some alien world. It looks like a sea urchin pulled from the depths of the ocean, but is actually a fruit that grows on trees. Don’t let the prickly exterior fool you, inside is a soft and delicious fruit that you’ll want to get to know. Aside from the excellent flavor rambutan has some excellent health benefits, and has even been used medicinally in some parts of the world. It contains a good amount of Vitamin C, as well as important minerals like phosphorus, iron, manganese, and even copper, all of which your body needs to function at its best.
Romanesco looks like something you could design using a Spirograph, and looks like broccoli and cauliflower collided in a great feast for the eyes. In addition to its pretty appearance, it also packs the nutritional punch you’d expect if broccoli and cauliflower had a baby. It is a good source of fiber, and is a surprising source of vegetable protein. It’s also full of Vitamin C, potassium, and Vitamin B6, so it boasts a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals for your overall health and wellbeing. Use it like you would broccoli or cauliflower for a nice change of pace and better presentation.
4. Bitter Melon
This healthy food goes by many names, including Bitter Melon, Bitter Gourd, or Bitter Squash, and looks like a mutated cucumber. But this is one food you don’t want to stay in the dark about because it has plenty of health benefits you can take advantage of. For example, it has a soothing effect on the digestive system, and is even used medicinally to treat an upset stomach. Even if you don’t have a stomachache it is still a good idea to add this to your regular vegetable rotation because it’s able to kill off parasites and other unwelcome entities in the digestive tract.
5. Sea Buckthorn
You may have noticed Sea Buckthorn as an added ingredient in health drinks, or as a dietary supplement, but did you know that it’s also a berry you can eat directly? The berry itself has a bitter taste, so it’s not recommended to eat them raw, but you can find them prepared and use them in various recipes. While more research needs to be conducted on its beneficial effects on the body in regards to such things as cancer and cardiovascular conditions, what is known is that it is high in Vitamin C and Vitamin E, as well as amino acids and important minerals that make this a little-known fruit that is ready for mainstream popularity.
Yacon probably hasn’t made its way into your shopping cart, and maybe even your sphere of knowledge, but it has enough nutritional value that you may want to get up to speed with it in a hurry. You can use all of the different parts of the yacon plant, and it has shown positive signs as being an anti-cancer food, as well as boosting the function of the liver. Foods and drinks that help the liver do its job are very important, as this is the organ that helps the rest of the organs do their jobs, and has a sort of trickle down effect.
7. Chia Seeds
Most of us know about Chia Pets, but did you know that chia seeds are a super healthy food you’re probably not eating? The omega-3 content in chia seeds is what makes them a superstar, and their small size means you can add them to just about anything, even sprinkling them on top of a main dish for an instant nutrition boost. They’re recommended for diabetics, and have plenty of fiber for being as small as they are. They’re also a non-meat source of protein, and have a nice assembly of minerals that will help round you out for the day.
Shilajit is a substance that you won’t be adding to any of your meals anytime soon, but the health benefits it can provide have been widely documented, and science seems to be backing them up rather than debunking them. This is a tar-like consistency and is found within mountains, but don’t worry you can get it in supplement form. It is said to help with everything from diabetes and cognitive function to impotence and fertility issues. The make-up of shilajit varies depending on where it is harvested, which makes it a bit tricky to come to any conclusions on what it can help with, and which version is the most healthy.
Amaranth is growing in popularity as gluten-free diets continue their upward trend, but many still don’t know about it or its awesome health benefits. It’s a gluten-free grain that packs plenty of protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, fiber, and healthy fatty acids, making it a great item to use as substitute for other grains. It can help with lowering cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation in the body, preventing cancer, help get your blood pressure to healthy levels, build muscle, and create more energy to burn up. It’s time to seek out amaranth and add it to your cart the next time you’re out shopping. It’s just that good for you.
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