The Best New Superfoods
It has more protein and less sugar than yogurt, but with the same creamy texture, tangy taste, and probiotics. These healthy bacteria are a known immune enhancer, and may protect against colon cancer, says Tamara Freuman, R.D.
Try it: Instead of yogurt in salad dressings or smoothies. Plain kefir is in the dairy aisle, but Lifeway also makes a dessert-ready frozen variety (lifeway.net).
This slightly sweet and crunchy root veggie stars inulin, a belly-flattening fiber that acts as a prebiotic to promote helpful bacteria in the gut. It's also an excellent source of vitamin C, which may boost collagen and fight wrinkles.
Try it: Cooked or raw in slaws, stir-fries, tacos, and salads, or tossed in lime juice and sprinkled with chili powder. Find it at farmers' markets or Mexican groceries.
One tablespoon of these nutty-tasting edible seeds has as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal, plus bone-building calcium and heart-healthy omega-3s. Chia is also a good source of iron, which many women don't get enough of, notes Freuman.
Try it: On cereal, salads, and soups, or use it to thicken puddings and stir-fries. (The seeds absorb liquid and acquire a gel-like texture.) Available at natural grocery stores.
Three-day-old broccoli plants may contain up to 50 times more of the anticancer agent sulforaphane than mature stalks– but without the pungent taste, says Kate Geagan, R.D., author of Go Green Get Lean.
Try them: On sandwiches, wraps, pizza, baked potatoes, stews, stir-fries, tacos, and just about anything else you can think of. Pick some up at your grocery store or local farmers' market.
- Black Garlic
Fermentation gives this garlic its sweet, clove-and-caramel flavor and concentrates its natural antioxidants to nearly double that of a raw bulb. These compounds help lower cholesterol and can help decrease cancer risk, says Janet Helm, R.D., of NutritionUnplugged.com. And the black stuff comes with no nasty breath!
Try it: In fondue, sauces, pizza, and, believe it or not, cookies, brownies, and cakes. Order some at blackgarlic.com.
A possible anti-breast-cancer crusader, kelp is loaded with vitamin K, calcium, and other essential nutrients. And its natural alginate fiber may help block fat, says nutritionist Christine Avanti.
Try it: In powdered form, mixed into meatballs and soups; use sheets (kombu) as uber-low-cal wrappers. Some specialty stores carry Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles (kelpnoodles.com), which have just six calories per serving!
- Nutritional Yeast
A single serving of these cheese-like flakes has an incredible nine grams of satiating protein and provides more than your RDA of B vitamins to help boost energy, squash stress, and decrease your risk for chronic diseases.
Try it: As a dairy-free sub for Parmesan on popcorn, potatoes, pasta, or scrambled eggs. You can find this yeast in specialty markets or health-food stores.
This sweet, nutty supergrain is rich in niacin (for healthy hair and skin) and cancer-fighting lignans. Plus, "the soluble fiber keeps your cholesterol levels healthy, cutting your risk for heart disease," says Geagan.
Try it: In place of pasta, rice, or oatmeal. Or swap Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Barley Flour (bobsredmill.com) for up to a third of the flour in baked goods. Both are available at regular grocery stores.