Nine Healthy Foods You've Never Heard Of

By Michael Galvan | 04/14/2016

Eating a well-balanced diet is an integral part of staying healthy. Our bodies require a precise mix of carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins to thrive. While we may have more meal options than ever before, the reality is that many of them are secretly loaded with sugar, and artificial ingredients. That’s why it’s important to pick natural and healthy foods that can fuel your success.

Sometimes though, even the most nutritional meals get boring. After five days of kale salad, you may start to crave other options. If you are looking to switch things up and try something new, take a look some foods you’ve probably never heard of.

The Tiger Nut

The tiger nut is actually a misnomer. Cyperus Esculentus is actually a group of small tubers rather than a nut.  This vegetable has a unique blend of probiotic fiber and is low in fat. Fun fact:  The tiger nut is commonly used in the production of the sweet Spanish drink called horchata.

Chlorophyll

Ok, so you’ve probably heard of chlorophyll before. It’s that pigment you learned about in fourth grade that makes leaves green. What you probably didn’t know is that you can mix chlorophyll extracts into a variety of dishes. This green liquid looks beautiful and adds a supercharged mix of antioxidants and vitamins.

Quinoa

If you aren’t on the bandwagon already, now might be the time to start. Quinoa is native to South America and choc-full of protein. The convenient thing about quinoa is that you can cook it and serve it in a similar way to rice. Try substituting quinoa for rice in your next meal.

Camu Camu

Oranges are so last year. If you are looking to find a new way to boost your Vitamin C levels, give Camu Camu a try. It has more naturally occurring vitamin C than almost any fruit on earth and grows on the banks of the Amazon rainforest.

Wakame

This plant is included in many eastern cuisines. Wakame is a type of seaweed that turns a dark green after heating.  Wakame has a large amount of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. For those people trying to focus on smaller portions, many Japanese citizens stand by the claim that Wakame is an excellent hunger suppressant.

Chia Seeds

Cha-cha-cha-chiaaaa. Remember those commercials? It turns out chia is good for more than terra cotta figurines. Chia seeds have been gaining traction as a possible superfood. They are high in fiber, omega-3 fats, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Goji Berries

All about antioxidants? Goji berries are the fruit for you. Goji berries have more antioxidants than ­­blueberries. These bright red berries grow on a shrub native to China, and are thought to have powerful energy-boosting effects.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

This rare mushroom is made up of long white dangling spines. The lion’s mane mushroom is often used as a meat substitute, especially in vegan dishes. A Japanese study showed that these fungi may also help improve cognitive functions.[1]

Nooch

If you haven’t heard of Nooch, that might be because it’s vegan slang. Nooch is the hip term for nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast that comes in small yellow flakes. It may not ever become bread, but it has a smooth cheesy flavor and is a common vegan substitute for cheese. Try it on some popcorn and see what you think!

                                                            

It’s possible to live at the intersection of tasty and healthful. There is a seemingly endless supply of diverse nutritional options that can boost your mind and body. Always keep trying new food and experimenting with fresh options.