New to Superfoods? Here's What You Should Try Now

July 10, 2015
by Michelle Pellizzon for Thrive Market
New to Superfoods? Here's What You Should Try Now

Not sure if you believe the hype surrounding superfoods? Sure, they sound almost too good to be true, but ditch the skepticism—it's time to become a convert.

Certain foods really are packed with nutrition that can jumpstart your health. Don't know where to start? We've got you covered. Here are our picks for the five superfoods every newbie should get familiar with–plus five you've got to try if you're already a superfood pro.

For Beginners:

Camu Berry

Reddish and about the size of a grape, the camu berry is the most concentrated source of vitamin C on the planet, which makes it incredible for rebuilding tissues, boosting immune systems, and increasing energy. The berries are also touted for their antidepressant qualities. This versatile camu berry and almond butter spread is a great way to try  it for yourself.

Bee Pollen

Nope, bee pollen isn't going to kick your allergies into high gear. Bee pollen actually contains almost all of the essential B vitamins and all 21 essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein source. A scoop added into smoothies, or even just a spoonful dipped in raw honey, will deliver an entire day's worth of nutrients!

Hemp

Hemp protein is an incredible, vegan-friendly way to get your daily intake of protein. Loaded with iron, amino acids, vitamin E, and omega-3’s, hemp products provide more healthy essential fatty acids than any other nut or seed.

Maca

Historically, maca has been used as an aphrodisiac—cue the romantic music—but this root commonly found in powder form does a lot more than help you out in the bedroom. Known for its energy boosting qualities, maca actually contains five times the protein and four times the fiber of a potato. Add it to nearly anything to get an extra energy boost!

Cacao

The OG of superfoods, cacao knocks it out of the park when it comes to health benefits. Cacao is a source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and chromium, which improves cardiovascular health and supports building strong bones. And it doesn’t hurt that it tastes great, too!

For Pros:

Mangosteen Powder

There is some research suggesting that mangosteen extract may have an effect on cancer cells, but the results aren’t concrete enough to promote this as a ‘superfood’ quite yet. Mangosteen is still super high in vitamin C and fiber, but if you’re looking for a more readily available substitute, papaya is a great choice, nearly matching mangosteen in every nutrient category.

Goji and Golden Berries

We love these little guys for their high nutrient content and great taste. Golden berries, a close relation, are equally tasty but have a lower sugar content and are higher in protein compared to other small berries. Try them over yogurt or in your trail mix.

Spirulina

Sea vegetables are some of the most nutrient dense eats available, but the salty taste can be overwhelming to some. Check out spirulina instead. Loaded with enzymes, minerals, phytonutrients, and trace elements, its actually incredibly high in protein. You can add it to water if you don’t mind the taste, but if you can’t stomach the flavor try it in tablet form.

Chlorophyll

Wheatgrass had a moment in the late 90’s, and if you tried it then you can probably remember exactly why you never did another wheatgrass shot again. Not exactly palatable in liquid form, wheatgrass has some redeeming qualities like its high iron and vitamin A levels,  but it turns out you’re just as well off opting for broccoli or chlorophyll instead! Bonus points to chlorophyll for it's smell fighting properties.

Pearl Powder and Sesame Seeds

Pearl powder has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat acne and promote beautiful skin. While there are plenty of benefits to using crushed pearls for your skin, including the increase in collagen and the high concentration of calcium, you can bet that this treatment can get kinda pricey. Want to see the same healthy skin benefits? Try eating more sesame seeds. These little guys are high in calcium and packed with amino acids, plus they contain the healthy fats that keep your skin glowing and youthful!

Photo credit: Montruo Estudio via Unsplash

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This article is related to: Cacao, Maca, Nutrition, Spirulina, Sesame seeds, Superfood Recipes, Best Superfoods, Exotic Superfoods

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  • Omnedon

    Local raw honey can also mitigate seasonal allergies with relatively small amounts of consumption. Raw honey has a GI of around 30 while that same honey filtered and pasteurized has a GI of around 75. But that same filtration also takes all of the pollen and other nutrients inherent in the honey in its raw state. These low doses of pollen and other micronutrients have been found to reduce the impact of allergies, but as bees typically travel only about 5 miles (10 if food is sparse), getting *local* raw honey is important. If you are planning to vacation in a specific area, getting raw honey from 'there' can mitigate allergy symptoms that you might get 'there' but not at home. Start low, like with a quarter teaspoon per day, and work up by small increments in the weeks before vacation.


    As always, do not feed honey to children under 1 year of age, but past that a bit of honey on a regular basis can reduce allergy tendencies later in life. If starting with honey in hopes of mitigating allergies, pick a non critical day to start in case you do have a reaction. If you already have severe allergies, this may not be a good idea, but if you wish to try, do be sure to have someone on hand to help if you have a severe reaction.