The Next 5 Superfoods to Try in 2017
Super healthy and super tasty
With a consistent wave of healthy and organic foods making their way into the mainstream diet and consciousness, there is plenty of awareness of so-called superfoods. Even the tastiest and healthiest treat gets a little boring when you eat it too much, so we've singled out the top five superfoods you may have not yet tried or even heard about. Take out your shopping lists and get ready for the newest delicious and extremely healthy superfoods.
WHAT IS IT? Mucuna is a velvet bean that can be found on vines growing all over India, and in particularly tropical regions of Africa and the Caribbean.
WHAT DOES IT DO? Mucuna has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2,000 years – and for good reason: Mucuna pruriens are well known for promoting brain health, increasing levels of dopamine (that's the neurotransmitter that helps control the pleasure centers in the brain) and preventing damage by free radicals – stimulating an overall positive mood and wellness.
HOW DO I EAT IT? Mucuna usually comes in powdered form or as a liquid extract, and can also be found as a key ingredient in a number of herbal tablets.
2. ASHWAGANDHA ROOT
WHAT IS IT? Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is a powerful, therapeutic herb commonly used in traditional Indian medicine.
WHAT DOES IT DO? Like Mucuna, Ashwagandha has been used as an Ayurvedic herb for centuries and offers a range of benefits – including strengthening the immune system, balancing hormones, upping energy levels, and boosting mood. Research has also shown that Ashwaganhda improves long-term visual memory and aids in difficulties in concentrating.
HOW DO I EAT IT? Ashwagandha can be brought as a liquid or in capsule form and is sometimes mixed with other herbs designed to promote female health.
3. SCHISANDRA BERRY
WHAT IS IT? Schisandra berries, also known in Chinese as the Wu Wei Zi berry (five-flavor berry) are the fruit of Schisandra chinensis, a woody vine found mostly in northeastern China.
WHAT DOES IT DO? Named in Chinese for its blend of flavors – sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent – the exotic and unusual Schisandra berry has superior medicinal benefits. Its protective antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties are significant, and it is known to reduce the levels of stress hormones in the blood, while also improving energy and promoting coordination and endurance in both the mind and body.
HOW DO I EAT IT? Schisandra can be comsumed in a multitude of ways, the most common being as a tincture, powder, capsule, yam, or even tea. The Korean version is called Omija tea, while the Japanese know it as Gomishi.
4. REISHI MUSHROOM
WHAT IS IT? Red Reishi, commonly known as Ling Zhi in Chinese, is a herbal mushroom known to have powerful health benefits and one of the oldest symbols of well-being in Asia cultures.
WHAT DOES IT DO? The Reishi mushroom is primarily known for detoxifying the body and balancing organ functioning, while also regulating and fine-tuning the immune system and improving blood circulation. Research has even indicated that reishi may eliminate existing cancer cells in the body.
HOW DO I EAT IT? Reishi is available in a variety of forms ranging from teas and tinctures to capsules and can also be found in superfood protein powder blends.
WHAT IS IT? Another 'medicinal mushroom' commonly used in Eastern Asia for its health benefits, Chaga mostly grows wild in the cold birch forests of Russia, Korea and Eastern and Northern Europe.
WHAT DOES IT DO? Boasting the highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbant Capacity) score for antioxidants than any other natural food - more than acai, pomegranates and blueberries - the Chaga mushroom possesses an extremely powerful concentration of antioxidants that have the capacity to protect human cells from being damaged by free radicals.
HOW DO I EAT IT? Just like it's Chinese relative, Chaga comes as tea, poweder, tincture, and in capsule form.