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Home/Blog/13 Underused Superfoods to Get Into Your Diet

13 Underused Superfoods to Get Into Your Diet

By Ethan Boldt

March 7, 2024

Underused superfoods

The term “superfoods” is used more often today than ever. At Ancient Nutrition, we certainly use it, both in our language as well as in our products, such as in our Organic Supergreens and our new Multi Collagen Advanced line. After all, superfoods are some of history’s most powerful ingredients.

But what about the superfoods that are not making their way into most people’s diets? Below we detail the most under-used superfoods, which have either been forgotten or not used much in the first place.

What Are Superfoods?

While some in the food or supplement industry use the term to market a processed “health food,” genuine superfoods are a single ingredient that features at least some of following attributes:

  • Nutrient-dense, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more

  • Help support one’s health

  • Contribute to healthy aging

  • Detoxification benefits

  • Boost energy levels

  • Promote the balance between the body and mind

Superfoods do more than just help you meet your nutrient needs or aid in shedding a few extra pounds when it comes time for swimsuit season. These foods can help you maximize health and help boost the way you feel day in and day out. As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen.

13 Underused Superfoods

1. Alfalfa Sprouts

This “hippie sprout” used to be on every sandwich but not much these days! The sprout of the alfalfa flower seed is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, yet low in calories — plus its mild flavor makes it easy to use in recipes. Research shows that sprouts are filled with many of the same nutrients found in seeds, but they’re actually often healthier because the process of sprouting unlocks many nutrients and enzymes.

They make easy nutritious additions to many meals, including salads, tacos, soups and sandwiches.

2. Bone Broth

Most of us know what bone broth is but still too few of us get it into our diets. It supports a healthy gut, joints and response to inflammation. As a nutrient-filled stock made from slowly simmered animal bones and connective tissues, there are many different types of bone broth, such as chicken, beef or fish broths.

Don’t have time to make broth at home? Bone Broth Protein can be used solo with water, mixed into smoothies or even used in recipes. The most popular flavors include pure, chocolate and vanilla flavors. It’s high in protein and offers beneficial amino acids. Ancient Nutrition now features savory sipping broths, such as those with chicken, tomato basil or butternut squash flavors.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

While apple cider vinegar has become a trendy “detox” ingredient in recent years, it still doesn’t make its way into the average person’s diet too often.

Besides helping to unlock the nutrient content of certain foods such as vegetables, health benefits of apple cider vinegar include: supporting healthy microbial balance (in vitro studies), promoting a healthy pH balance in the body, potentially supporting a healthy body weight and composition (in conjunction with an overall health diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise), and more.

You can use apple cider vinegar in recipes such as mocktails, smoothies, marinades or salad dressings.

4. Nutritional Yeast

High in protein and B vitamins, nutritional yeast can be valuable for many folks, including plant-based eaters who are concerned about getting enough B vitamins in their diet.

Nutritional yeast is an inactive type of yeast made from sugarcane and beet molasses. It’s available in flakes, granules or powder form and is sprinkled over dishes or used to enhance the taste and texture of soups and sauces.

5. Functional Mushrooms

While common mushrooms may get cooked and added to the diet often, functional mushrooms like chaga, reishi, lion's mane, maitake, cordyceps and turkey tail are less featured.

These mushroom species naturally feature beneficial compounds such as polysaccharides and polysaccharide peptides, beta glucans, glycoproteins and triterpenes, which may be lacking in your diet if you don’t regularly consume a variety of nutrient-rich plant foods. Indigenous people living in Asia and elsewhere have long admired their unique superfood properties that are generally capable of benefiting multiple systems in the body.

Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Mushroom Daily Immune Defense supplement is a full-spectrum formula made with a blend of organic functional mushrooms.

6. Acacia Fiber

How much fiber per day do you consume? If you’re like most Americans, it’s not enough. One natural fiber getting more attention is acacia fiber, a type of soluble prebiotic fiber that comes from the sap of the acacia tree. Once the sap is made into powder, it’s high in fiber, with about 7 grams of fiber per tablespoon.

Prebiotics in general are a group of fibers that are non-digestible, meaning once you eat them they won’t be fully broken down inside your gut, but instead will foster the growth and production of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics.

Powdered acacia fiber is basically tasteless, allowing you to use it in many ways such as in smoothies, soups, sauces, dressings, healthy desserts and so on. You’ll find acacia fiber in Ancient Nutrition’s Vegetarian Collagen Peptides.

7. Beef Liver

Beef liver has been considered a superfood for much of history, considering it’s packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, iron, vitamin A and zinc. But the practice of eating liver has long left the average household.

Beef liver benefits include helping you to feel energized, supporting healthy blood and a healthy metabolism, and supporting detoxification.

You can cook a delicious beef liver and onions dish. But if you’re not likely to make it, a good alternative is taking liver supplements — such as Ancient Nutrition’s Grass-Fed Liver capsules, made with beef and sheep liver.

8. Ginger

Ginger is loaded with antioxidants and health benefits, including supporting a healthy response to inflammation and promoting detoxification. But unless you’re cooking Asian food often, you’re not likely getting it into your diet.

One easy, fun option is making up ginger shots, a very popular wellness drink.

9. Turmeric

Like ginger, turmeric doesn’t get used very often in the diet if you’re not cooking Asian dishes, especially Indian and Pakistani meals. Turmeric has a long track record (over 4,000 years) of benefits, including supporting healthy joint function, a healthy response to inflammation and muscle strength.

In addition to turmeric supplements — such as our Organic Turmeric Tablets — there are several other options for getting in your daily serving. Turmeric powder, for example, can be used to make turmeric tea, turmeric shots or added to dishes for a bit of extra flavor and color.

10. Ceylon Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the world’s most widely used spices, with its distinctly sweet, warming taste and ease of use in recipes. While cinnamon cassia is the most used type of all, ceylon cinnamon is considered the true or real cinnamon.

Lighter colored with a more delicate, citrusy taste, ceylon is more expensive because of its superior flavor, quality and benefits. These benefits include promoting a healthy body weight (in addition to an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise), supporting healthy inflammation levels and being high in antioxidants.

Compared to other types of cinnamon, including cassia, it has more health benefits. As a result, ceylon is considered a better option for supplements or recipes.

Because it has a much more mild, subtle flavor, ceylon works well in dishes that contain fewer ingredients. It can add a bit of depth and warmth to savory dishes as well, so give it a try in your next bowl of soup or stew.

Also,Multi Collagen Advanced Lean Powder (ceylon cinnamon flavor) is a healthy weight management* supplement designed to help you burn calories and boost your metabolism.

*In addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise and muscle-building exercise.

11. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are the seeds of the hemp plant, or Cannabis sativa. They are technically nuts but are often referred to as seeds. Hemp seeds are commercially manufactured products that don’t contain cannabinoids.

Hemp hearts are an excellent source of nutrients, especially unsaturated fatty acids and essential amino acids. They’re considered a “perfect protein” — containing not only all 20 amino acids, but also each of the nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce.

Add hemp seeds to smoothies or grind them up and sprinkle them on your yogurt, cereal or other meals. You can also buy hemp nut butter and hemp protein powder.

Hemp seeds are also found in the organic seven seed blend featured in Ancient Nutrition’s Plant Protein+ powders.

12. Red Marine Algae

While seaweed is definitely more popular these days, few people are aware of red marine algae. It’s believed to possess properties that support a healthy immune response and are used in traditional health practices for various purposes. Extracts from red marine algae are also used in dietary supplements and skin care products due to their beneficial mineral content and other bioactive compounds.

Supplements designed for skin health may include red marine algae extracts, such as Multi Collagen Advanced Hydrate. The minerals and antioxidants in red marine algae are believed to benefit the skin, supporting overall hydration.

13. Brazil Nuts

The No. 1 food source on the planet for selenium, this superfood is also high in protein, fiber, thiamine, copper and magnesium. While many of us get other nuts like almonds and pecans into our diet, Brazil nuts often are ignored.

It’s best to eat Brazil nuts raw or blanched, although they can be roasted and salted like most nuts. Brazil nuts can also be sweetened and crushed for dessert toppings or even made into puddings, dips and cheeses.

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