By Jenna Blumenfeld
These ingredients have been cropping up in unexpected places lately—and they’re packed with nutrients. Here’s how to take advantage of them in your diet.
That scourge on your lawn is actually a nutrient-dense powerhouse. Just one cup of raw dandelion greens delivers high levels of vitamins A, C and K. Innovative brands are even incorporating bitter dandelion root into tea for liver and digestive support. Just don’t forage for dandelion greens if you live in an urban or suburban place—opt instead for pesticide-free organic varieties. Check out Traditional Medicinals Organic EveryDay Detox Dandelion
This beautiful, tropical flower grows prolifically in warm climates, and it’s typically found in tea. One 2013 study suggests this tart, slightly sweet and refreshing tea effectively lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Researchers believe hibiscus’ ample anthocyanins are the source of its health benefits. One product you might want to try is Runa Hibiscus Berry Guayusa
Is kelp the new kale? Although it’s an acquired taste (if you don’t like eating seafood it’s a tough sell), this sea vegetable is loaded with folate, magnesium and vitamin K. Plus, kelp can absorb fertilizers like nitrogen and phosphorus, making the ocean a better environment for fish to breed. We like Kaibae Seaweed Baobab Coconut Pineapple Sprinkle for a snack, but if you’re looking for a great salad recipe, Grace O’s Seaweed Salad blends kelp, wakame and dulse seaweeds in a delicious dish that is packed with plant protein and other age-fighting ingredients. You’ll find it in her new cookbook, The AGE GRACEFULLY Cookbook.
Now available as a tea, supplement or juice add-in, this yellow root delivers a peppery and tart punch to dishes from curries to rice pilaf. Ayurvedic practitioners believe turmeric balances the three doshas, or energy centers, for optimal health. Plus, ample research supports turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the root’s active compound curcumin. You can find recipes for golden milk or try turmeric in your own concoctions, but if you’re pressed for time, try Temple Turmeric Golden Mylk. Gaia makes a powdered Golden Milk that is a blend of turmeric, dates and herbs that you just mix into any warm milk (preferably a dairy-free milk). You can also find more recipes with turmeric in the FoodTrients recipe section.
Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.
Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.
Improves mood, memory, and focus.
Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.