We’re not belittling regular food but these nutrient-packed choices could make you a healthier person in the long run

By Christelle Tolisora | Photo by Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

Superheroes do exist—at least on your dining table.

Labelled superfoods, these act as lifesaving heroes packed with large amounts of vitamins and minerals that complement the regular food you consume. Each year, various fruits, vegetables, and grains are hailed as superfoods. You’ve probably heard how kale and quinoa took over the title last year. Well, not for long. These powerhouse foods are ready to take their spot as the nutritional superstars of 2016. Here are some trendy superfoods on our list:

Chia Seeds

These tiny, energy-boosting seeds are not new to the superfoods category. Chia meaning “strength” in the Mayan language is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. Originally grown in Mexico, chia seeds improves stamina and provides hydration that athletes, particularly runners, need during long laps. These seeds are easy to prepare and are versatile as it can be mixed with liquids or into flour to bake with.

Black Beans

Black beans, or commonly known as tausi in the Philippines, are packed with fiber, carbohydrates, and protein. They help keep you fuller for a longer period of time, thus avoiding extra calories. Black beans fuel your body with energy to get you ready for exhausting physical activities. They’re also a good source of magnesium, potassium, and iron that help improve muscle and nerve functions. An added factor that makes it a superfood to watch out for is its flavor. Black beans can be incorporated into numerous recipes such as soups, tacos, and salads.

Black Rice

Known as the “forbidden rice,” this dark purple grain was once served only to royalty—at least, a Chinese history book will tell you as much. This valued grain has anthocyanins similar to acai and blueberry, which are both popular antioxidants. Black rice also has no gluten and is rich in fiber. Research also says that Cyanidin-3-glucoside or C3G found in black rice helps burn stored fat and stabilizes blood sugar level.

Seaweed

We commonly see seaweeds in salads and sushi but we haven’t been paying attention to its health benefits. Seaweed is rich in calcium, iron, and fiber, which prevent fatigue after long hours of training. Kelp, for example, has energy-boosting attributes and dietary fibers for better digestion and weight loss. Though seaweed has numerous health benefits, experts say that one should eat it in moderation as it also high in sodium and iodine.

Turmeric

Curcumin, a chemical responsible for its bright yellow color, is what everyone should rave about. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory attributes that help relieve sore joints, a practical benefit especially for athletes after hours of hardcore sessions. It is also good for digestion and helps prevent arthritis, cancer, and even neurodegenerative diseases. Curcumin stabilizes one’s mood and is used as a treatment for those with mild depression.