5 Healthy Superfoods You Need Now

5 Healthy Superfoods You Need Now

Health Benefits of Black Garlic 5 Healthy Superfoods You Need Now

Read the 5 Healthy Superfoods You Need Now

GREEN TEA
Green tea has been popular for centuries throughout Asia. Of all teas, it has the richest amounts of antioxidants, promoting strong immune function. In recent years it has gained even more popularity because it is said to help people manage their weight. A study featured in American Family Physician in 2009 showed that obese adults who consumed a beverage containing green tea extract for 12 weeks lost significantly more body fat than adults who consumed a placebo. Green tea may help minimize the effects of bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, inflammatory diseases and diabetes. While the tea itself is considered safe, green tea supplements can cause side effects. Before taking green tea capsules, seek guidance from your doctor.

BLACK GARLIC
Black garlic is just regular garlic that has been fermented for about a month in a temperature-and-humidity-controlled space. “Black garlic is sweeter in taste,” says Tan Ai Shan, a dietitian in Singapore. “The pungent smell and spiciness in fresh garlic is removed during the fermentation process.” Although research in humans is limited, it does seem to provide benefits. An animal study published in Nutrition Research and Practice in 2009, showed that aged black garlic provides more potent antioxidant effects than regular garlic and may help prevent diabetes complications. Use black garlic as you would white garlic, adding it to vegetable dishes, meat marinades and sauces. You can also bake black garlic cloves for use as a spreadable, dairy-free butter.

ALOE VERA
Aloe vera is a prickly plant with gel-filled leaves that consist of 99 percent water. Aloe vera juice and gel have been used for thousands of years to treat skin irritations and constipation. Aloe juice may help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. And while research is lacking, aloe gel may guard against dental cavities by reducing oral bacteria. Another benefit is that aloe vera extract may help reduce liver damage associated with alcohol abuse. The bitter liquid in aloe leaves can stimulate bowel movements, but because it causes painful cramping, it isn’t considered safe for laxative use. Aloe vera is available in juice, cream and supplement forms.

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GINGER
Feeling nauseous? Ginger could help settle your stomach. A report published in the Journal of the Australian College of Medicine showed that ginger syrup, ginger tea, grated ginger and ginger ale (made with real ginger) can safely and effectively reduce pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. And though research findings are mixed, ginger may also help reduce motion sickness and nausea related to chemotherapy and surgery. Standard dosage to treat nausea is 1 gram of ginger per day and no more than 4 total daily grams. Ginger has also been used to relieve pain, inflammation and symptoms of the common cold. To make a tincture (similar to tea), soak fresh ginger root in hot water. No ailments to treat? Then enjoy ginger’s warm and spicy flavor in soups and casseroles.

SEAWEED
Among the most nutritious foods available, seaweed is loaded with vitamins A, B-6 and C as well as iodine and fiber. “Some people are turned off because they think of the stuff that washes onto the shore and gets stuck in their toes, but most of us have already eaten seaweed without knowing it,” said registered dietitian Tina Marinaccio. For example, the sea vegetable carrageenan is used as a stabilizer in ice cream, vegetarian milks and pâté, nori is used to wrap sushi and wakame is used in miso soup. “Try adding kombu [seaweed] to a soup stock to make it flavor-and-nutrient-rich,” Marinaccio suggested. You can also snack on dried seaweed, add dried or fresh seaweed to tossed salads and sauté seaweed for use in pastas and stir-fries.
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