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5 New Powerhouse Super Foods

1. Teff

This grain, which is commonly used in Ethiopian cooking to make inerja bread, is growing in popularity.Teff packs a nutritional punch to your diet if you are looking for a super food that gives you excellent combination benefits," says Rosanna Lee, a nutrition educator based in Toronto.  Along with being gluten-free, high in iron and super tasty, teff has also recently been called out as being Hollywood's new superfood and the new quinoa. Gwyneth Palrow and Victoria Beckham are both fans of teff and the grain's multiple uses, according to the Daily Mail. According to the Dr. Oz Show, teff is also known to reduce PMS symptoms and help you lose weight, and Lee says it's ideal for vegetarians looking for sources of protein.

2. Kimchi

Noticing this Korean ingredient in more and more of your favorite stores? That’s partly due to the growing popularity of fermented foods — kimchi is made with fermented cabbage — and other new-to-us ingredients, as well as an extension of the yogurt and probiotic trend.  In addition to the great (but pungent) taste, kimchi is low in calories, helps boost metabolism, and contains immune- and digestion-boosting probiotics. You won’t just find kimchi in Korean dishes. One of the biggest trends of the last year is kimchi hot dogs.

3. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut delivers some solid health benefits, including providing fiber and a significant amount of vitamins C and K. It also boosts your energy and immune system with iron. As cabbage ferments to produce sauerkraut, it produces a diverse population of live bacteria. These probiotics replenish good bacteria and help inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. Probiotics may also boost your immune system, synthesize B vitamins and relieve diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics.There’s also a focus on eating authentic or raw fermented foods vs. the sauerkraut you’d find on your average grocery shelf, in order to get the full health benefits.

4. Amaranth

This tiny grain-like seed, native to Oaxaca and once very commonly eaten in Mexico, is high in protein and fiber and gluten free. Most grains like wheat are short on lysine, an amino acid, but that’s not the case for amaranth. This makes amaranth a complete protein, because it contains all the essential amino acids. Amaranth’s protein content is about 13 percent, or 26 grams per cup, which is much higher than for most other grains. To compare, a cup of long-grain white rice has just 13 grams of protein. Amaranth can be cooked and substituted for rice or pasta, or popped when raw to use as a topping or eaten as a snack. 

5. Hemp Hearts

Hemp hearts are the edible insides of hemp seeds. Many health benefits accompany the consumption of hemp hearts because of their high and diverse nutritional content. Hemp hearts are a complete protein that also contain the essential fatty acids omega 6 and omega 3. In addition, hemp hearts are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E, as well as the minerals calcium and iron. Hemp seeds contain 25 percent protein, 35 percent fatty acids and 27 percent carbohydrates (primarily fiber).