If you're a health-conscious foodie like us, you've been incorporating nutrient-rich staples like kale, blueberries, and quinoa into your menu for years. As happy as we are to keep adding them to our carts, for the sake of variety, we we hunted down a trio of newly minted superfoods—and asked the professionals to break down why they're worth a try.
The New Green: Dandelion Greens
If you’re tired of kale, make dandelion greens your new go-to leaf. “Dandelion greens are one of the most nutrient-rich greens at the market,” says Kate Geagan, registered dietician and author of Go Green, Get Lean ($10, amazon.com). “These greens are a powerhouse of vitamin K, which is important for making the proteins for proper blood clotting, plus healthy bones and tissues.” If you prefer drinking your greens, dandelion green juice is a powerful antioxidant, detoxifier, and diuretic, making it great for anti-aging, says Dr. Susan Bard of Vanguard Dermatology.
The New Grain: Amaranth
“Amaranth is the unsung hero of the grocery store bulk bin aisle,” says Geagan. Once considered a life-sustaining food by the Aztec and Incan cultures, this ancient grain packs nine grams of protein per cup and contains all nine essential amino acids, which is on par with animal protein, says Geagan. Amaranth is also a great source of fiber (five grams per cup), which is necessary for gut health. Plus, it keeps blood sugar stable longer after eating, keeping energy crashes and hunger surges at bay. If you’re still not convinced to trade in your traditional white rice, the grain is also packed with nutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium—all of which are important for bone and heart health. Toss it into a batch of homemade soup or use it as a replacement for pasta in your favorite pasta salad.
The New Fruit: Mangosteen
It’s more likely that you’ve encountered the vaguely citrus-scented fruit in a beauty product than in your neighborhood grocery store. Because mangosteen is a tropical fruit with a shorter season, it’s not easy to find in your average produce bin. If you do happen upon its typical May-to-August season, it’s worth stocking up on. “Research revealed that mangosteen contains xanthones, a type of antioxidant that is known to have anti-inflammatory benefits and to be an effective remedy against cardiovascular diseases,” says Dr. Luis Navarro of The Vein Treatment Center.
If you can’t find it to snack on, then a beauty product with mangosteen extract might still might be worth a try. “The antioxidants found in mangosteen have healing properties which aid skin cell renewal, helping to prevent aging,” says Bard, who adds that the fruit also has antibacterial properties. Try Origins VitaZing moisturizer with mangosteen ($36, origins.com) or Skin Owl Mangosteen Beauty Drops PM ($85, skinowl.com).