The claim “new superfood” is popping up a lot on food labels and advertisements.
Certainly, superfood is a catchy and promising marketing term, but what does it actually mean?
And what are the new superfoods for 2019?
The majority of superfoods that are plant-based products (although some are made from dairy or fish) have proven to be exceptionally good for one’s health. What sets them apart is their nutritional density; in other words, they offer more of a nourishing bang for your buck.
Superfoods don’t just deliver daily doses of vitamins and minerals.
Studies claim that they’re the key to optimal health, protecting against chronic disease and perhaps even slowing down the aging process.
Whether that’s truly the case or not, it can’t hurt to add these 11 new superfoods to your diet.
Though we don’t know for sure where dragon fruit originated (most likely in Central America), we do know that it’s a top superfood rich in vitamin C, vitamins B1, B2, and B3, calcium, phosphorus, iron, niacin, and protein.
Although hemp seeds may call to mind marijuana and its side effects, they have zero trace of any psychoactive ingredient. What they do have is a load of healthy nutrients like protein, Vitamin E, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, sulfur and zinc.
Within these little seeds is a significant amount of amino acids and the type of fat that’s good for you. So, go ahead and add them to baked goods or toss them on top of a soup or salad. The slight nutty flavor is surprisingly versatile.
Most of us think about pumpkins during the fall, and that’s pretty much it Well, it’s time to rethink pumpkin as a new superfood all year round.
Not only is pumpkin a great low-calorie ingredient for pancakes, pies, soups and breads, it’s an easy way to up your intake of vitamin A (good for your eyes) and vitamin C (good for your immune system). It’s also a sure-fire way to get your daily dose of fiber.
Don’t forget about the pumpkin seeds! These are excellent sources of fiber and antioxidants.
Moringa is definitely one of the top superfoods for healing that you’ve probably never heard of.
For centuries, the leaves and flowers of this plant (native to India, Pakistan and Nepal) have been used to prevent ailments such as arthritis, respiratory trouble, diabetes, heart disease, skin ailments, digestive upset and more.
Just one serving of moringa delivers a high percentage of vitamin A (272%), vitamin C (22%), calcium (125%), iron (71%) and potassium (41%).
It’s commonly consumed in a powder form, which makes a tasty “earthy” tea and can be easily used in a variety of other recipes.
Don’t be put off by the look of this root vegetable from Central America. Although it’s certainly unattractive (shapeless and lumpy), it has a whole lot to recommend.
Made up of almost 90% water and with up to 6 grams of fiber, it’s one of the best superfoods for weight loss. In fact, you won’t feel guilty enjoying fries made with this potato-like veggie!
Jicama is also packed with vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron, which is great news if you want to improve your circulation or if you struggle with anemia.
Quinoa may be all the rage today, but there’s another grain-like plant-food vying to be the top superfood. It’s called amaranth.
Amaranth has a subtle, nutty taste and can be cooked like rice and used in similar ways.
For those looking to cut back on daily calories, a little amaranth goes a long way. In other words, it fills you up so you may be less inclined to snack between meals.
It’s protein and fiber-packed, has anti-inflammatory properties, a significant concentration of calcium, and a high level of phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.
And if that’s not enough, it provides vitamin K, which promotes heart health, strong bones and reduces menstrual pain.
These little fish have a lot going on.
They’re brimming with omega-3 fish oil and have a high level of calcium. Numerous studies have shown that omega 3 may help prevent heart disease, reduce blood pressure and keep arteries clear of unwanted plaque.
But these fish have other super powers, too. For anyone needing a mood boost, sardines contain a fatty acid (eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA) that may actually lessen symptoms of depression.
So the next time you’re feeling blue, try a nutritious, fishy snack!
Marmite is one of those foods that you either love or hate – with no in between. Despite its questionable taste, when you look at its nutritional profile, you’ll see why it’s considered a new superfood.
Marmite is gluten-free, vegetarian, low-calorie and so rich in B vitamins that it could replace costly vitamin B supplements. One serving contains 50% of the recommended daily amount of folic acid and a decent amount of thiamin and iron.
Marmite is often spread on toast for a quick on-the-go treat, but it can also be incorporated into a main or side dish.
If nothing else, jackfruit deserves attention for being the largest of all tree-growing fruit, capable of growing up to 3 feet long and weighing 100 lbs.
You’d never guess that this enormous, bumpy, oblong, green fruit is a source of vitamins A, B, and especially C.
The seeds of the jackfruit are also particularly high in protein and minerals and are often roasted and eaten on their own or added to soups or salads. The pulp of the jackfruit works well in both sweet and savory dishes and is often used as a meat substitute.
There hasn’t been much research done on a little fruit called camu camu, but one thing is for certain: it’s chock-full of vitamin C, making it one of the best superfoods for healing.
This reddish fruit has 60% more vitamin C than an orange; up to 3% of the fruit is vitamin C. It’s thought to combat viral infections, eye conditions, gum disease, and to increase energy.
Camu camu is a shrubby plant that grows in Amazonian rain forests. Due to its acidic taste, it’s best consumed as a powder, in a capsule, or blended with other ingredients (like milk) in a smoothie.
Quark is at the top of the dairy superfoods.
Quark is a spoonable cheese that looks similar to Greek yogurt but has a milder (some say more pleasing) flavor. Recently, Quark has been appearing on the shelves in American grocery stores.
Quark has been popular in Europe for centuries, enjoyed at just about every meal.
Finally, Quark is catching on in our neck of the woods, being eaten on its own or used as a low-calorie, high protein substitute in recipes of all kinds.
But the real bonus of Quark is that it’s incredibly nutritious.
Not only does it have more protein than Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or cream cheese, it has fewer calories with no sugar or salt added.
It’s gluten-free, lactose-free, and 100% natural (zero additives or preservatives). Quark is packed with vitamins and minerals, too.
Quark is an ideal example of why superfoods are important.
It’s versatile, much more nutritious than your average food item, and will be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. We think it’s only a matter of time before it steals the spotlight from Greek yogurt.
It’s great news that superfoods are on the rise. Through them we benefit from dense nutrition and also get the chance to enjoy a wide range of culinary experience.
Whether it’s a fiber-rich seed from Peru, a bizarre Indian fruit bursting with vitamin C, or a low-calorie, fresh cheese from Northern Europe, superfoods enrich our bodies and our minds.