5 Hottest New Superfoods
Is Greek yogurt already old hat? If you love expanding your nutrition horizons get ready for a whole new crop of superfoods bound to become the next big thing:
This Icelandic yogurt is technically a soft cheese, but its texture and nutrients are similar to Greek yogurt, and it includes the same basic ingredients: skim milk and live active cultures. Skyr is made using a centuries-old straining process that removes the whey (liquid), which makes it creamy and thick (stick a spoon in it and turn it upside down - it won't fall out!) without providing any fat. A single serve 6 oz container of plain, nonfat sykr packs 17 g of protein compared to about 15 g in Greek and 8 g in traditional yogurt.
Whole grains have been white hot for the past few years, but the most recent trend is 'what's old is new again' and teff is an ancient grain that fits the bill. This African whole grain is used to make spongy Ethiopian flatbread. It's known for its sweet, molasses-like flavor and its versatility; it can be cooked as an oatmeal alternative, added to baked goods or made into "teff polenta." It packs twice the iron of other grains and three times the calcium.
Finding the next obscure fruit with a high nutrient profile is big business. Some such as pomegranate, goji berry and açai have enjoyed serious staying power, while others have been more fleeting. Experts predict that cupuaçu will be the next to test its trendiness. This creamy-fleshed, distinctly flavored fruit related to cacao grows in the Amazon and is known for its high levels of antioxidants. Its juice tastes like pear with a hint of banana.
Free from additives and preservatives, black garlic is made from whole garlic that's been aged for a month in a special fermentation process under high heat, where it develops its darker color, softer texture and sweeter taste. It's been shown to pack twice as many antioxidants as raw garlic and because it's soft you can easily spread it on whole grain bread or crackers. It's sweet and delicious and won't give you garlic breath like its unfermented cousin!
These small oval seeds pack more heart- and brain-saving omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds, don't go bad as quickly, and have been shown in research to lower blood pressure and inflammation, a known trigger of premature aging and disease. Just one tbsp provides 5 g of fiber, about twice as much as golden flaxseed. Whip some into a smoothie - just be prepared for gel-ish result since these gems soak up about 12 times their weight in fluid.
Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV she's a SHAPE contributing editor and nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Her latest New York Times best seller is Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.