The 6 Healthiest Superfoods You've Never Tried
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In the United States, most of us know all about superfoods like blueberries and pomegranate seeds that have incredible health properties. These are foods full of antioxidants and vitamins like you wouldn't believe. But what is the rest of the world eating? We are here to tell you about these six superfoods you have probably never tried, how you can find them and how to eat them.
What: It is a root powder that can help regulate metabolism, fight anemia and depression, aid sexual development, give you energy and improve memory. Maca has been known to have benefits for women going through menopause as a substitute for hormone therapy as it eliminates symptoms.
Where: This is a Peruvian root powder. Natives of the Andes Mountains have been using it for years to be able to live at such high altitudes.
How: It sounds like this superfood isn't cheap, but it will end up saving you money on all the other medicine you would normally have to buy. Navitas Organic sells Maca, and you can find them at your local health food or organic store.
When: Some people say Maca has a butterscotch flavor, so it is great in unbaked food. Mix a teaspoon in to your cereal or smoothies in the morning.
- Raw Cacao
What: Cacao is chocolate without the sugar. It has one of the highest sources of magnesium out of any food in the world! Magnesium is the one mineral that most people ar lacking. It can help give you that extra burst of energy that you need.
Where: Since this is basically raw chocolate, it's easy to find in Mexico and South America. However, it does have a bitter taste, so it isn't generally eaten in large quantities.
How: It can get pretty pricey if you make it a habit of buying raw cacao, but eat in in smal quantities and you can make it last for awhile. Check your local organic foods store or order online at RawSuperfoods.com.
When: Mix it with nuts or dried fruits-- it will taste better AND last longer! Try to get them out of the shell, as they're somtimes hard to get out.
What: OK, don't freak out! Many people are scared away from Spirfulina because it's techinically a kind of algae or bacteria. It has a ton of protein and vitamin B-12, which can combat symptoms of "old age" (fatigue, memory loss, etc). People also say that if you eat spirulina, it makes you feel full and can aid in weight loss.
Where: Actually, spirulina is commonly consumed in the U.S., but not exactly by anybody you'd think. It's often used in aquariums as...alright we hate to say it, but it's more or less fish food. But if it's good enough for them, why not try it?
How: Don't start stealing your pet's food anytime soon. You can find this wonder-food in health food or organic stores, or order from Vitacost.com.
When: Spirulina comes in tablet form, if that's easier for you to handle. Otherwise, consume 1-6 tablespoons of Spirulina powder per day. Try it in coconut juice, soups, salads, sauces or smoothies.
- Goji Berries
What: Chances are you've heard of Goji Berries but never tried them. Well, you might want to consider them since they are pretty much the best sources for beta-carotene and vitamin C. They are a great boost to your immune system, have anti-aging benefits and much more.
Where: They have been used for thousands of years in China, India and Tibet for their numerous health benefits. They are known as traditional Tibetan medicine, in fact. They do live the longest in China, so we'd better take note!
How: You won't find Goji Berries in the produce section, at least in the U.S. It always comes dried, but that doesn't mean it is any less healthy. Trader Joe's offers a goji berry trail mix, but you can find the berries in a health food store and make your own mix if you're interested.
When: Some say the berries are sweet and sour, but they have a similar look and texture to raisins. Mix them in with fresh or dried fruit. You can even grind them up in a food processor or coffee grinder and add to a smoothie.
- Sea Vegetables
What: Again, this is a treat that isn't just for the fish! Sea veggies have so many vitamins and nutrients we don't even know where to begin. They have been known to regulate hormones, regulate metabolism, provide young-looking skin, and cleanse the body of toxic pollutants. Plus, seaweed has such a high mineral content that it greatly improves the health and growth of hair.
Where: Under the sea of course! OK, you probably could've guessed that Asian people incorporate sea vegetables into their diets regularly. It's very common in Chinese and Japanese cooking. Seaweed is also becoming a staple in countries with an ocean coastline: Ireland, Iceland and Mediterranean countries are among them.
How: Sea vegetables can be quite expensive for a small amount. Sometimes your best bet might be to take a trip to Chinatown and find some sea veggies on the menu. You could also try an Asian foods market near you. Some websites you can look into are: www.seaveg.com, www.goldminenaturalfood.com, or www.loveseaweed.com.
When: Seaweed can make a great snack anytime. If you aren't that adventurous or dislike the strong, sometimes salty flavor, try some sushi! Dried seaweed-wrapped sushi can be delicious with brown rice and your choice of raw fish, veggies or chicken.
- Raw Honey
What: This isn't the bear you'll find in your average grocery store. We're talking about raw, unprocessed honey just off the hive. Unfortunately, the honey that we normally consume is processed, and many of the phytonutrients are removed as a result. The raw stuff has cancer-preventing properties, lowers cholesterol and increases antioxidant levels. It can even decrease infection!
Where: Raw Honey is made all over the U.S. and in many other countries as well. The ancient Greeks always used honey, and they still incorporate it into their diet often today.
How: You should be able to find raw honey at farmer's markets throughout the summer, from select stores online, at organic and health food stores. It is more expensive than generic honey, but the nutritional benefits make it worth your sweet money.
When: Buy it in the summer when it's fresh if you can, and make some iced tea with it. Use the honey to sweeten breads or cakes, drizzle it on top of fat-free greek yogurt, serve it with fruit, or make tea with it in the winter. The possibilities are endless!
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