“Superfoods”. The word itself conjures up images of overhyped foods that somehow deliver enough nutrients in a single package to make your life instantly better. But we already know that a balanced diet is only one component of a healthier and better life; it should also be combined with good exercise and sleep habits, as well as good mental health.
However, that doesn’t mean that some foods aren’t worth adding to your diet. If you find that you are lacking in a certain nutrient, some superfoods can give your body the boost that it so desperately needs. Other foods may reduce certain cravings for unhealthy victuals, or may help keep you feeling fuller for longer— which means fewer unhealthy snacks!
While some “superfoods” are already embedded in our minds (think salmon and almonds, for instance), others are a bit more obscure. Fortunately for all, Real Simple recently decided to compile an awesome list of some of the lesser-known superfoods. Below are the profiles of several foods of note.
It’s pronounced “a-SIGH-ee”. Now that the tricky part is out of the way, we can get into what this fruit can do for your system. These berries are full of antioxidants, which can help fight various cancers. It also contains oleic acid, which is a rarity for fruit— olives are one of the only other fruits that have it. The unfortunate catch is that açai berries are rare in supermarkets, and the açai that is most available is usually found in the form of sugary drinks. So, if you can find it, opt for the unsweetened frozen açai that you can blend into your own homemade shakes and smoothies.
Yes, chocolate can be good for you, especially when it’s in its purest form— cocoa powder. Cacao is heavy in flavonoids, which can aid in lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to vital organs. Like açai, you must be wary when you buy it. Many products labeled “cacao” may be quite high in sugar. Avoid labels that read “Dutch” or “alkalized” cacao. These products contain cacao, but are missing a lot of the antioxidants that make it so healthy in the first place.
Imagine garlic that is not off white in color, but instead black. Black garlic has long been used in some cuisines throughout Asia, but the West is just now coming around to appreciating its particular benefits. The garlic is blackened through a fermentation process that involves high heat and humidity and, like Acai berries, it is loaded with antioxidants, so you would do well to use it in your next sauce or dip!