Blueberries, dark chocolate, kale, spinach, pomegranates - you probably know all of these "superfoods" and, if you're health conscious, have added them into your diet to boost energy levels, prevent cancer and other diseases and get the most bang for your nutritional buck.
But move over, blueberries. There are some new superfoods on the block, and they may offer even more substantial health benefits! Here are the ones you should add to your next meal.
Love sushi? Well, here's yet another reason to nosh on this Japanese specialty. Kelp, also known as seaweed, is the brown-black sheet that holds sushi rolls together, but it can be used on a number of other dishes as well. Loaded with vitamin K, calcium and tons of antioxidants, this low-cal ingredient has serious cancer-fighting powers and may promote healthy blood vessels, bones and muscles.
It is commonly sold in sheets for use in sushi and other Japanese dishes, but try it powdered and add it to meatballs and soups for an extra kick of nutrients.
You know flaxseeds are great at keeping you full and giving plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, but try chia seeds for even more of a healthful kick to your meals. Chia seeds have a nutty flavor, and just one tablespoon of them has as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal. They are also the richest plant source of omega-3s, and contain more than salmon! Iron and calcium also make these a good pick for women.
Sprinkle these seeds on cereal, salads and stir-fries. You can also use them like tapioca to thicken pudding - when they absorb liquid, they have a gel-like texture that is super filling.
Think all root veggies are loaded with carbs and sugar? Jicama might just prove you wrong. This root veggie is sweet and crunchy but not as carb-laden as a potato. Although it's a great source of potassium and vitamin C, perhaps its best feature is its inulin, a fiber that works as a prebiotic to promote "good" bacteria in your gut. This can make digestion easier and reduce bloating.
Because it's pretty neutral in flavor, you can sub jicama pretty much anywhere you'd use water chestnuts. It's also great in slaws, salsas, tacos and salads.