Are you tired of choking down kale salads and Brussel sprouts in the name of good health? What if there was another, more delicious way to get all your daily nutrients? Luckily, you can incorporate ingredients into your diet that are both tasty and healthy. Moreover, they’re incredibly easy to use in recipes you already know and love. Discover a few unique ingredients to add to your grocery list — and your life.
Also known as custard apple, cherimoya is an acorn-shaped fruit with scaly skin and sweet, creamy flesh. It tastes like a mix between mango, pineapple and banana. Rich in fibre, minerals and antioxidants, this food can boost immunity, reduce stress and improve heart and eye health.
Cherimoyas also contain carotenoids, which may improve cognitive function, cardiovascular health and help prevent certain cancers. Add this fruit to a sweet salad, mix it into yogurt and oatmeal or enjoy its sweet flavour by itself.
Almonds and walnuts may get all the glory, but brazil nuts should be the star of the show. High in protein, vitamins and good fats, this snack is a nutritional powerhouse.
Brazil nuts also contain a concentrated amount of selenium, a mineral experts have linked to enhanced immunity and better outcomes for pregnancy, heart disease and cancer. Chop up two or three of these nuts and add them to your afternoon salad or morning pancakes to soak up the benefits.
This hearty grain is best known for its high calcium content and resistant starch. It’s a dietary fibre that can benefit blood sugar and weight management, as well as improve colon health.
Teff is gluten-free and has a mild flavour, making it incredibly versatile and an excellent substitute for other gluten-containing grains. Use it in pancakes, bread or cereals. Sprinkle it on vegetables and soups. You can even buy teff wraps to make tacos, pizza crusts and sandwiches.
While roses smell good and make beautiful bouquets, they also offer a unique sweet, floral flavour to your food. Every variety is edible and offers vitamin C, yet some have more distinct qualities than others.
A fragrant flower, like the damask rose, is typically more flavourful, while yellow and pink varieties are more versatile. No matter what colour you choose, be sure the roses are free of pesticides and chemicals. Use the petals to make simple syrup, rose water, butter or tea. You can also add them to salads.
Cordyceps is a type of mushroom that grows on caterpillars in the mountainous regions of China. For food purposes, however, most are created in laboratories. Still, the health benefits are the same.
These strange but powerful fungi may shrink cancerous tumors, improve sex drive and prevent kidney transplant rejection. Research is merely beginning but shows that ingesting cordyceps may result in many benefits. Add a powder variety to smoothies and lattes to experience the advantages yourself.
Just half a teaspoon of this medicinal herb in your coffee or fruit smoothie can boost mood and brain function. Ashwagandha also reduces cortisol, a known stress hormone. In one study, those taking high doses of the herb experienced a 30% reduction on average.
Additionally, research has shown that ashwagandha may increase strength and improve body composition. It can also lower cholesterol, reducing blood fats and improving heart health. Add at least 300 milligrams to your daily diet to enjoy these and other nutritious benefits.
Most often found in powder form, maca is a root vegetable that has deliciously earthy flavour notes. Traditionally, people used this root to enhance fertility and boost sex drive.
Packed with vitamin C, iron and copper, maca is low in fat and contains many bioactive plant compounds. These nutrients can boost your mood and, when applied to the skin, protect you from dangerous ultraviolet radiation. Add the powder to lattes, oatmeal, homemade granola bars and baked goods.
Start Small When Adding Unique Ingredients To Your Diet
Throwing all of these unusual ingredients in your shopping cart can be a little overwhelming, not to mention pricey. It’s best to pick only a few at first. Then, try substituting them for unhealthy ingredients hiding in your cupboards.
For example, try replacing that bag of potato chips with brazil nuts for a nutritious snack. Toss some rose petals into your mid-day salad for a boost in vitamins. You might also add small amounts of powdered maca and ashwagandha into smoothies, coffee and other drinks that will mask the flavour.
With time, you can begin to add more unique ingredients to your recipes. However, starting slow is the most effective way to create sustainable, long-term change. Who knows? You may begin to enjoy the earthy flavour of maca or the floral notes of rose petals, making your dishes even more delectable.