With the expansive list of foods on our planet, it’s incredible to think that there are so many we have not tried. Food is both a cultural and social experience and diversity in the diet is essential to a healthful lifestyle. As more research emerges about foods around the world, new superfoods are periodically touted for their amazing nutritional value.
Today begins our three-part series on new superfoods. We’ll explore phenomenal foods that you’ll probably see pop up in markets near you soon. We’re starting with wholesome seeds, grains and pulses that can be used in a variety of ways to increase flavor, nutrition and excitement in your diet.
Teff: This fine gluten-free cereal grain is terrific for eating plain or baking. It’s common in Ethiopian food and is rich in protein, fiber and the antioxidant Vitamin C. If you can’t find it raw, look for teff flour and try it in your next baking project.
Sorghum: Although you may have never heard of it, Sorghum is the fifth most popular grain in the world. It is grown mostly in the warmer climates on earth and in the U.S. is primarily fed to livestock. Like teff, sorghum is gluten-free and is versatile for baking, adding to soups and salads or eating straight-up.
Amaranth: Quinoa has risen in popularity in past few years and amaranth may be on the same trajectory. Like quinoa, it is a seedy grain that cooks quickly and is high in amino acids that are the building blocks of protein. It makes a great side dish and can be flavored with a variety of spices.
Sacha Inchi: This star-shaped nut-like seed is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber. The raw seeds can be eaten as healthy treat. Recently Sacha Inchi oil has become a hot ingredient in many beauty products because it has age-defying effects. The oil can also be used for cooking and preparing foods.
Pulses: This is not just one food but a category of foods that includes lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas. These foods are high in protein and fiber, making them terrific for lowering cholesterol, cleansing the body, stabilizing blood glucose levels and assisting in weight loss. Get creative with your pulses. Add them to salads and smoothies, or try purees or roasting them for an on-the-go snack.
Next time you’re bored with your go-to seeds, grains and pulses, look for these new superfoods at your grocery store. Until they gain popularity they may only be available in specialty stores. If you cannot find them in their whole, raw format, look for powdered versions that offer the same great health benefits.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more on new superfoods including fruits, vegetables and drinkable superfoods!