You’ve likely heard the term ‘superfood’, but what is it exactly? ‘Superfood’ is defined as ‘a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for your health and well-being.’ There are no specific nutrition requirements a food has to meet in order to be labeled a superfood. It is simply a broad term referring to healthful foods.
In case you missed it, January 16th was National Superfoods Day! We partnered with Rhythm Superfoods and 15 of our other favorite superfood brands to host a huge giveaway. Thank you to all who participated! If you don’t already, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss out on fun giveaways, recipes, and more.
Superfoods and healthy food trends are on the rise. We wanted to share a few of our favorites that we suspect you’ll be seeing more of this year. Keep reading for some more unusual superfoods you may want to try this year.
While some parts of the world eat the roots and berries of the ashwagandha plant, it is more widely available in supplement form in the US. This adaptogen is most often used to manage stress and anxiety but may have other health benefits as well. Adaptogens are a family of natural substances that are said to help the body normalize and adapt to stress. While more research is needed, ashwagandha may also help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes, lower cholesterol in those with high cholesterol, and even relieve symptoms of arthritis.
You may start seeing these more and more often! Some farmers argue that crickets may be more ecologically sound than raising meat for protein consumption. Crickets are a complete source of protein and provide about 10-12 grams of protein in a 2 tablespoon serving of cricket flour. Cricket flour is being used as a protein powder as well as in snacks like chips and energy bars.
Chaga mushrooms are very high in antioxidants. They are anti-inflammatory and a good source of vitamin D and B vitamins. Chaga mushrooms may help with stress support, immune system support, and aid in digestion. They are most often consumed in the form of a tea or powder but can also be consumed whole. If you choose to consume them whole, boil them first to breakdown the hard, fibrous, outer layer which is indigestible to humans.
Our favorite superfood! Flax can be added to just about anything – smoothies, salads, yogurt, baked goods, meats, etc. You likely know the many health benefits of flax, but just to name a few:
- Can help to lower cholesterol
- Great source of fiber
- High in omega-3s
- Good source of lignans, which are antioxidants
- There is also some evidence linking flax with a reduced risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer
Microalgae like spirulina and chlorella are over 50% (by weight) complete protein. They contain antioxidants and have been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol, improve immune function, and even improve allergies. They are also a good source of B vitamins, iron, vitamin C, and have some omega-3s. Some studies have shown them to bind to heavy metal toxins and aid the body in natural detox. Depending on how the microalgae is grown, it is possible for it to be contaminated with toxins which can cause liver and nervous system damage. Because of this, it’s important to purchase from a reputable supplier. Other side effects include: allergic reactions, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
What is your favorite superfood? Let us know in the comments below!
Note: Please consult your physician or dietitian before starting any supplement. Note that everyone’s needs are different and supplements in high does may have side effects.