It seems like every year there are certain health foods that constantly make headlines, whether they are featured on a TV show, marketed heavily at grocery stores, or promoted by nutrition experts. This year is no different.
Although many of the foods promoted have been around for years, it seems as if 2012 was there year to shine.
Here are the top 5 health foods of the year:
Chia Seeds: Chi-chi-chi-chia! These little seeds to have made a comeback since the Chia pet days. Despite the name and history, these little seeds are nutrient packed, high in fiber, and a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Not only do they give you a mental boost, but they also make you feel fuller faster. Sprinkle them on your salad or add them to a smoothie for a quick and easy nutrient boost!
Quinoa: It’s pronounced “Keen-waw” not “qua-know-ah” in case you were still confused. Quinoa is an amazing gluten free grain that has made its way mainstream this year. It wasn’t long ago where it was tricky to get your hands on this wonder grain and now it seems to be available at almost every grocery outlet. It’s jam packed with protein and contains all the essential amino acids. Makes for a great side salad or entrée dish.
Dairy Alternative Milks: Soymilk seems like a thing of the past now that other “milks” or dairy alternatives have sprung up. With the wide variety of “milks” such as almond, coconut, cashew, sunflower, and hemp, it’s no wonder more and more people are choosing to go “dairy-free.” These milks are not only healthy, but they are also delicious. They are great in cereals, smoothies, or even lattes.
Kale: Do you remember picking that leafy green garnish off your plate as a kid? Yes, this once sought after garnish has made its way to be a nutritional powerhouse. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense greens and it is also extremely versatile to use. You can bake it, steam it, sauté it, or even eat it raw. It helps boost your mood, detox your body, and keep you energized all in one serving.
Nutritional Yeast: Sorry, but this yeast will not make your bread rise. In fact, it won’t even make it remotely stand up. However, this powerful topping is great for vegans or for dairy-free people who like the taste of cheese. This yellow powder is high in protein, fiber, and B vitamins. It’s great to sprinkle on soups, salads, or kale chips to give them a cheesy like flavor.