Kale is not referred to as “the queen of greens” for nothing. People who are conscious about their health and those who love to eat healthy know that kale is one of the most nutritious and beneficial plant foods in existence. It is loaded with healthy compounds that are even believed to have medicinal properties.
While you can never go wrong with kale as it is on the list of the world’s healthiest foods, there is also nothing wrong in looking for other options. There are a wide variety of wholesome foods that are just waiting to be consumed and below are just five of them.
The Fab Five Superfoods
Kelp can probably be considered as the kale of the sea as this one literally comes from the sea. Kelp is a type of seaweed that is also packed with nutrients that can benefit the body and even help prevent diseases. Like other types of seaweeds, kelp is rich in iodine, potassium, calcium and other micronutrients. It is also enhanced with protein, soluble fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids.
It benefits the pancreas and the prostate, helps the digestive system, builds cell membranes, aids in the prevention of tumors, helps cleanse the body of radiation, and normalize glands and hormones.
While most are not familiar with it, kelp is considered as a staple in many Asian cuisines as it can be an umami powerhouse. For instance, Japanese cuisine is known to extensively use seaweeds in sushi, salads, soups, and other vegan entrees. But, kelp is not only limited to Asian cuisine as it can also be a great ingredient in non-Asian foods.
Cauliflower is a common vegetable that many people are familiar with. However, not a lot are aware of its great health benefits. It is a great source of choline, dietary fiber, omega- fatty acids, manganese phosphorus, and biotin. It can help fight cancer, boost heart and brain health, reduce inflammation, and support detoxification.
Cauliflower is sometimes described as the ultimate chameleon because, like the animal, it also displays a lot of talent and potential. It can even stand in for other foods, which is especially useful for those who want to avoid eating too much carbs.
Cauliflower can replace rice, alfredo sauce, and even mashed potatoes. For the alfredo sauce, all you have to do is puree it with milk and for the mashed potatoes, just steam the florets and then mash it with butter and milk and you have a healthier version of your favorite side dish. You can also try mixing it with cheese and rolling it out in pizzas and calzones. Some even slice big chunks, roast it, and eat it like a delicious vegetarian steak.
Wild blueberries are rich in anthocyanin, which is a flavonoid with strong antioxidant capacity. This is good for the body because antioxidants help protect our bodies against diseases and health risks related to age.
Many fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, but wild blueberries have twice the antioxidant power of the ordinary blueberries that we often eat. This means that it is more effective in combatting diseases and promoting healthy aging.
This superfood can be used as an ingredient for chutneys, salads, different sauces, smoothies, and numerous desserts.
Fermentation not only adds flavor to food, the process also preserves the food and contributes beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and various probiotic qualities.
Eating fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, natto, kimchi, raw cheese, and yogurt, can lead to an increase of antibodies and a stronger immune system. They also help regulate the appetite and reduce the cravings for sugar and refined carbs.
Broccoli rabe, which is also known as rapini, may not be appreciated by most people because of its bitter taste and homely appearance. But, this green, leafy vegetable can be considered as a superfood because it can have a huge impact on your overall health.
It is packed with potassium, iron, calcium, dietary fiber, as well as vitamins A, C, and K. It also contains lutein which can protect your eyes from damages caused by free radicals.
Aside from the benefits to the eyesight, broccoli rabe can also help slow signs of aging, give stronger bones, decrease the risk of hypertension, lessen inflammation, protect against cancer and Alzheimer’s, prevent stroke, and protect babies against birth defects.
Broccoli rabe or rapini, is often found in traditional Italian cuisine. It is usually blanched then sautéed, roasted, or pureed, depending on the dish.