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Say hello to the hottest health foods of 2014
by Laurel |  Jan 20, 2014

Just when you finally figured out how to pronounce quinoa, new health foods have moved into the spotlight. Without fail, trends change in fashion, beauty and other realms each year, and so do nutrition crazes. Fortunately for you, the foods that are getting a lot of attention in 2014 are just as delicious as they are nutritious. Plus, as more research is conducted on their health benefits, it's clear that they're worth adding to your plate.

Ready to meet this year's lineup of must-eats? Make sure to put these items on your next grocery list:

Beet juice
"Juicing" has become more common in recent years, particularly due to the popularity of cleanses, and it makes sense. For a lot of people, it's easier to down the daily recommended servings of veggies in a drink than crunching on a whole plate of them. Still, some are tastier than others. The best thing about beets is that they are one of the sweeter vegetables, meaning they lend themselves nicely to a refreshing juice. Plus, studies have shown that beet juice can lower your blood pressure, support a healthy brain and best of all, improve athletic performance. So make this your go-to beverage before a workout.

Canary seeds
With the rise of the gluten-free diet, lots of people are looking to alternative sources of grains. As a result, millet, buckwheat and the ultra-trendy quinoa were all flying off the shelves in 2013. Now it's time to embrace canary seeds. They may sound like bird food, but actually, a recent study determined that a new variety can be consumed by humans through de-hulling. So what's all the fuss with these seeds? They offer a higher protein content than other gluten-free grains. Additionally, Phys.org noted that scientists are suggesting these seeds could be an ideal option for those with Celiac disease. These de-hulled canary seeds can even be pulverized into a powder as a substitute for flour in bread. 

Cauliflower
Move over kale - the Food Network has declared cauliflower the next "it" vegetable. Whether roasted or raw, this veggie is super versatile, meaning there are endless ways to make it taste good no matter how picky of an eater you are. There's a reason cauliflower is getting more attention, too. It's chock full of vitamins and nutrients, and can even act as a substitute for unhealthy foods. For example, you can easily make a guilt-free creamy sauce with pureed cauliflower, and mashed cauliflower can taste surprisingly similar to potatoes. If you want to shake things up a bit, consider orange cauliflower, which tastes the same but has the benefit of more beta carotene.

Freekeh
This Arabic staple may have an odd-sounding name, but its nutritional perks are not to be ignored. According to Women's Health magazine, Australian research determined that it has more fiber and protein than its more popular wheat counterparts like brown rice. Not only that, but it's low on the glycemic index, meaning it won't cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Its nutty taste lends well to a savory stir fry with chicken and vegetables, or even a sweet dish with butternut squash and cranberries.

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