10 Best Super Foods You Have Never Heard

Slide 1 of 21: It's time to rethink how you feel about your weekly grocery shop—starting with the shop itself.Your local market may feel like a sterile, fluorescent migraine of marketing come-ons and disillusioned checkout teens—or, if you're shopping at Whole Foods, an overwhelming bounty of overpriced organics. But imagine it instead as a vast frontier of hidden treasures and untold adventures, a place packed with new sights, flavors, and textures.See, most big supermarkets are loaded with cool weight loss foods that you have never tried—exotic fruits from the Amazon, heirloom vegetables nurtured by family farmers, spices and herbs from Asia, ancient grains loved by civilizations long forgotten. Of course, there are plenty of Frankenfoods concocted by food marketers, but there are even more stalks and roots and vines that have been grown for centuries that deserve more attention.The great thing about these 20 superfoods below is that they're phenomenally nutrient-dense and nutrient-diverse, meaning they bring potent quantities of the vitamins and minerals we need every day. The next time you head to the store, find them and discover new flavors, unique sensations—and a healthier, happier you.And while we're on the subject of eye-opening discoveries, don't miss out on 30 Nutrition Myths—Busted!

Slide 3 of 21: This cousin of durum wheat was once considered the food of pharaohs. It's now embraced by mere mortals as an alternative to brown rice.Why it's healthy: Kamut has higher levels of vitamin E and heart-healthy fatty acids than most grains. It also has up to 40 percent more protein than wheat. Pick up kamut products at bobsredmill.com.How to eat it: Boil it in water for up to an hour, until the grains are tender. Drain and toss with sautéed vegetables, a dash of soy sauce, and a squeeze of lemon.RELATED: Learn how to fire up your metabolism and lose weight the smart way.

Slide 4 of 21: A fermented Chinese tea with an earthy flavor, Pu-erh can literally shrink the size of your fat cells.Why it's healthy: To discover the brew's fat-crusading powers, Chinese researchers divided rats into five groups and fed them varying diets over a two month period. In addition to a control group, there was a group given a high-fat diet with no tea supplementation and three additional groups that were fed a high-fat diet with varying doses of pu-erh tea extract. The researchers found that the tea significantly lowered triglyceride concentrations (potentially dangerous fat found in the blood) and belly fat in the high-fat diet groups. It's a natural fat-blaster, along with barberry, rooibos, and white tea.How to drink it: When you find some, just get sipping!Love tea? Don't miss the 22 Best Teas for Weight Loss.

 

Slide 5 of 21: Like quinoa, this nutrient-packed seed is native to the Americas and was a staple of the Incan diet. The grain-like seeds have a mild, nutty taste.Why it's healthy: Gram for gram, few grains can compete with amaranth's nutritional portfolio. It's higher in fiber and protein than wheat and brown rice, it's loaded with vitamins, and it's been shown in studies to help lower blood pressure and harmful LDL cholesterol.How to eat it: Amaranth cooks up just like rice, but it's even more versatile. Toss it with grilled vegetables as a bed for chicken or steak, or with apples, almonds, and goat cheese for a serious salad.

Slide 6 of 21: These crunchy, nutty-tasting sprouts arise when sunflower seeds are grown in soil for about a week.Why they're healthy: They contain much of the heart-healthy fat, fiber, and plant protein found in sunflower seeds, but with fewer calories. Locate the greens in your local farmers' market or in the produce section of some higher-end grocery stores.How to eat them: Wash the greens thoroughly, then drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on them for a simple and crunchy side dish, salad, or bed for grilled chicken. They're also great on sandwiches.Looking to stock up on more? Here are The 40 Best-Ever Weight-Loss Superfoods.

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