Nutrition has food fads just like fashion and home decorating have their trends -- one year everyone's eating quinoa and munching on kale. Then gluten-free foods and chia seeds become the next big thing. Following these trends can be a little confusing, very expensive -- and in my opinion, not necessary.
Now don't get me wrong, I love quinoa and I'm happy to try every kale recipe that comes into my email inbox, but when it comes right down to it, I'm a fan of the simple superfoods that tend to go unnoticed on the 'whats' trendy in nutrition lists.'
Seriously, superfoods don't have to be exotic roots or berries that cost a small fortune at the trendiest health food stores. There are plenty of untrendy superfoods waiting for you on the shelves of any supermarket.
These ten foods are not weird nor unknown, but they often go under-appreciated. Flip through the slideshow and take a look.
Apples contain several vitamins and minerals, with higher amounts of vitamins C, B-6, and potassium, plus they're high in fiber. The colorful red skins are rich in a phytochemical called quercetin that has anti-inflammatory properties. Eating apples has been associated with several health benefits including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, asthma, and Alzheimer's disease.
Artichokes are high in vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium and niacin. They're also high in fiber and low in calories. Artichokes also contain polyphenols that may work as antioxidants to help protect the cells in your body from free radical damage. An extract from artichokes may help treat high cholesterol levels too, but more research needs to be done to know for sure.
I'm pretty sure bananas are the most popular ingredient used in fruit smoothies, which makes sense because they're sweet, and they're so good for you. Bananas are high in potassium, which helps balance out the sodium in your body. Plus they contain antioxidants and compounds similar to dopamine, a neurotransmitter.
This leafy green vegetable contains lots of vitamin K that's needed for normal blood clotting, and a fair amount of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and B vitamins. Cabbage also contains other compounds such as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid that may good for your health. Cabbage is extremely low in calories as well.
Eating carrots is an excellent way to get vitamin A that your body needs for normal vision and cell differentiation. Carrots are also a good source of fiber and low in calories. In addition, they contain beneficial antioxidants called polyacetylenes, beta-carotene and lutein, which may have health benefits.
Celery is a great source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, so it's good for healthy bones, muscles and nerves. Celery is also rich in vitamins A and K, is low in calories, and high in fiber. It's perfect for a weight loss diet or any healthy diet. Celery also contains flavonols called luteolin and apigenin, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Eating this flavorful vegetable as a side dish might help reduce inflammation because it contains flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds. Using onions as a seasoning might be a good way to cut back on your sodium intake by reducing the amount of salt you need. But be sure to use fresh or dried onions -- be careful with onion salt and various seasoning blends that include onion because they may also be high in sodium.
Oranges are usually consumed as orange juice -- usually with breakfast. They're known for their vitamin C content, but they're also a good source of potassium, folate, and fiber. It's best to eat the whole orange -- rather than the juice -- to make sure you take advantage of fiber that's normally lost by the time it's turned into juice. But, still, even regular orange juice is a good anti-inflammatory beverage.
Sweet juicy strawberries are high in vitamin C that your body needs for normal immune system function and strong connective tissue, and folate, one of the B vitamins. They also contain an assortment of beneficial compounds called ellagic acid, anthocyanins, quercetin, and catechins that may have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. Tomatoes also produce compounds called lycopene and α-tomatine that are reported to have potential health-promoting benefits. Just like strawberries, tomatoes may have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.