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Nine Superfoods People Do Not Know About

Update Date: May 07, 2013 02:04 PM EDT

When people talk about superfoods, the most popular items that come up are often berries, nuts, and greens. Although these foods offer huge health benefits, they are not the only ones that do. There are nine other superfoods that might not be as popular as these foods, but sure do they have amazing health benefits.


Fennel seeds are cultivated and used as additives to foods. This product has been a popular ingredient in alternative medicines for over 4,000 years due to its ability to help with detoxing the body. Fennel seeds, which are rich in fiber, antioxidants and iron, have also been known to help with digestion and inflammation. Aside from these benefits, fennel seeds are easy to eat. Simply add a small amount of them onto daily foods, such as salads and vegetables.


Although curry might be too spicy for some people, this special ingredient comes with a great deal of health benefits. Curry, which often contains turmeric, is full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and even cancer-fighting abilities. Curry has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia to relieve menstrual cramps, ulcers, intestinal worms, inflammation, liver complications, and respiratory issues.


Umeboshi plums are hidden gems that come from Japanese cuisine. This plum is often pickled and tends to have a salty and sweet taste. Despite the intense taste, these plums can help with digestion, bloating, and can boost the immune system. These plums are often accompanied with rice or used as a paste.


Although sea vegetables are on a different level from vegetables in terms of taste and texture, they still share some of the same health benefits. Sea vegetables are vegetables that are grown underwater, such as seaweed, kelp, agar, and sea palm and often originate from Japanese cuisine. These vegetables are packed with iron, fiber and chlorophyll, and sometimes with potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A in select types of sea vegetables. This category of power foods also contains vitamins C, B12, and omega 3 fatty acids.


Freekeh is another type of grain that is harvested from young wheat. This type of grain, which has been slowing gaining popularity within the United States, contains more protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins than other grains. Freekeh also has a lower glycemic index, making it a great option for people with type II diabetes or people who might be at risk for this disease. Freekeh has also been linked to protecting eyes because it also contains lutein, zeaxathin and carotenoids, which have been linked to preventing macular degeneration that comes with aging. Although this particular grain might take a bit longer to cook, it is worth the wait.


Another category of foods that yield amazing health benefits is fermented foods. Fermented foods are most common in Asian cuisine, such as Korean pickled cabbage, kimchi. However, other types of fermented foods include popular hot dog topping, sauerkraut and dill pickles. Fermented foods are known to aid digestion and improve the immune system because these foods have enzyme activity that helps breakdown foods and support healthy bacteria.


People have heard of roasted garlic and cooked garlic, but black garlic definitely has not received the attention it deserves. Black garlic is garlic that has been fermented at an extremely high heat. Black garlic contains nearly double the amount of antioxidants as regular garlic and definitely tastes better than raw garlic. This type of fermented garlic has a tender and sweet yet savory taste that melts in the mouth.


Raw hemp seeds are small seeds that are full of omegas three, six and nine. These seeds, which can be added to pretty much any meal, have been linked to helping people lose weight, boost energy, and improve the recovery process from an injury. These tiny seeds are believed to also lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduce inflammation.


Maca is a root vegetable native to the Andes Mountains in Peru. This vegetable is very similar to the radish and turnip, but unlike those vegetables, maca has amazing healing powers. The root is often used to make medicines that have been effective in treating anemia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Maca is most often used in soups or ground up as a powder. 

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