Forget kale, forget the goji berry and forget quinoa. Those superfoods are so 2013. This year, there are many new, trendy superfoods that can boost your immune system, reverse the cycle of aging and make you feel all-around healthier and wonderful. We here at Hotspots have the dish on six new superfoods you should be including on your plate, or in your shake, or however you consume them, this coming year.
1) Pichuberries – This superfood comes from the mountains of Peru. Not only do they grow in the land of the Inca, they are also being cultivated in the U.S. Southwest, where they were first noticed by American health nuts. Three-quarters of a cup can provide as much as 40% of your daily Vitamin D requirement. No other fruit offers that much Vitamin D in such a small serving. Pichuberries have a tart sweetness and are colored yellow-orange. A pichuberry is about 25% larger than a raspberry. In addition to Vitamin D, pichuberries are rich in protein, iron, and Vitamins B12 and C. They also have compounds called withanolides, known for their brain and neuron regenerative properties and have been proven key in fighting certain brain cancers.
2) Bee pollen – People have been taking bee pollen as a supplement in pill form for a while now, but what about as its own food? It’s 40% protein, making it an easy choice to use as a sprinkle on salads or on yogurt. Another fun fact: Bee pollen is host to all twenty-two amino acids. An even more fun fact: Dr. Joseph Mercola, a well-known superfood expert, says that bee pollen has more amino acids in it than beef, eggs, or cheese of the same weight! In addition to being rich in protein and amino acids, bee pollen is rich in B-complex vitamins and folic acid.
3) Beluga lentils – Lentils may already be on your menu, especially since there have been many studies that show that lentil consumption can help with bringing down cholesterol levels and overall heart disease risks. This is due to their high levels of fiber, folate and magnesium. But beluga lentils, black in color, are the ones to watch out for this year. Why them specifically? Beluga lentils act like an antioxidant, due to their dark pigment and the anthocyanins found in it, and they can protect against heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and premature aging.
4) Buffalo berries – Everyone is talking about buffalo berries this winter. And why wouldn’t they? Buffalo berries have a particularly high level of lycopene. Now that’s a word you usually hear in the same sentence with tomato ketchup. That’s because tomatoes have high levels of that specific carotene. Buffalo berries, however, beat tomatoes or any other popular fruit (such as watermelons or papayas) in terms of lycopene levels. This new superfood will be a favorite supplement with men, as lycopene consumption has been linked with lower levels of prostate cancer.
5) Beet juice – Now this one was a recommendation that, as soon as I read it, I turned up my nose. I’m not a fan of beets to begin with, but more than one popular health magazine has recommended that this drink, long associated with athletic training, should enter the mainstream. Did you know that the nitrates and antioxidants in beet juice can help normalize blood flow and stabilize blood pressure? This would make beet juice a new fast friend to anyone concerned with cardiovascular health. It also is rich in heart-healthy anthocyanins, also found in the aforementioned “new superfood” beluga lentils.
6) Tempeh – Tempeh, a patty of cooked and fermented soybeans, popular in Indonesia, is slowly making itself known throughout North America, and has been called “the new veggie burger.” It can be cooked that way, but it can also be steamed and crumbled into a hearty stew. People love tempeh because it is rich in Vitamin B12, protein and dietary fiber, and the oligosaccharides present in tempeh can aid in indigestion. Substitute it for tofu and see if you notice the difference; you may be converted and soon you’ll be telling everyone why tempeh is one of the hottest superfoods this year.