We humans are creatures of habit. We tend to stick to the 4-5 foods we enjoy most and rarely deviate from our routines, if at all possible. But occasionally it’s good to step outside our box and try something that we may have never heard of before. Here, we’ll discuss four fantastic foods that you may not know about, all of which will help you become a healthier you!
In the gym, you are encouraged to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself. That is, if you want to see a positive change in your body. But do you ever try new foods to give your body the proper fuel it needs to achieve your goals?
Changing up your foods can give your diet a bit of variety and ensure that you’re not lacking essential nutrients to your overall health. Give these four a shot and take your tastebuds for a wild ride!
A fermented tea native to the southwestern part of China, Pu-erh tea is used for improving mental alertness and sharp thinking, as well as reducing high cholesterol. Pu-erh tea does contain caffeine but not as much as other teas. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system (CNS). In small doses, this stimulation of the central nervous system can aid the function of the heart and muscles.
Furthermore, Pu-erh tea is thought to have a contribution to weight loss. It is speculated that Pu-erh tea can blunt lipogenesis (the creation of fat by liver). Caffeine has been shown to increase mobilization of stored fatty acids in fat cells.
One can also expect to get a nice reduction in stress and better sleep quality when consuming Pu-erh tea. As I said earlier, Pu-erh tea’s caffeine content is much lower than many other teas and won’t provide the jittery energy sometimes felt with higher caffeine containing beverages. Pu-erh contains GABA and theanine, which help with brain function to relieve stress and increase the natural melatonin production in the brain.
Whether you’re a tea drinker or not, the benefits I’ve listed here would provide you a few good reasons to at least give it a shot. You may just become an avid Pu-erh tea drinker after just one cup. In doing so, you may find you have greater focus and energy, you’re leaner and meaner, and sleeping like a baby.
All my sushi lovers unite! Now, if you’ve eaten sushi before, you may have eaten nori. Nori, otherwise known as seaweed, is the dark wrap that many sushi rolls are wrapped in.
Nori is far more beneficial than simply holder the contents together. It provides many benefits of it’s own, including taste and nutrition, and it is high in fiber and protein. Nori also contains phytonutrients called lignans that are considered to be ‘cancer fighters.’ These lignans have been shown to help prevent tumor growth.
Don’t worry; if you’re not a sushi lover, you can use nori can in other ways. Try wrapping burritos and soft tacos with nori instead of a tortilla to dramatically cut down your carb intake. Plus, you’d be providing your body with essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, and iodine.
Macadamia Nut Oil
I’m sure you’ve heard of macadamia nuts but I’m surprised to find out many haven’t heard of macadamia nut oil. Some have called this the “new and improved olive oil.” Personally, I agree. Its nutty and buttery taste is more versatile than olive oil and it provides a lot of flavor when used on meats and vegetables.
Macadamia nut oil has a much higher smoking point than olive oil making it ideal for sautéing foods. Macadamia nut oil is also more stable than olive oil when exposed to light and carries a longer shelf life. With the mass production of olive oil and manufacturers cost cutting strategies (such as using clear plastic bottles), there’s a good chance you’ve come across some spoiled olive oil. Some industry analysts have estimated that more than 50% of all mass-produced olive oil is spoiled when consumed. Nice!
Macadamia nut oil is also the lowest in omega-6 fatty acids compared to other cooking oils. Many Americans consume far too many Omega 6’s, making their ratio of omega 6’s:omega-3’s out of balance. This increase in Omega 6’s is largely responsible for the inflammation that causes millions of Americans health problems. Omega-6’s are “pro-inflammatory.” Omega-3’s are “anti-inflammatory.” There needs to be a balance within the Omega’s. A 1:1 ratio would be ideal. However, a 2:1 (Omega-6:Omega-3) would be more realistic.
Using macadamia nut oil may help improve your omega ratio and help reduce inflammation. I think you’ll also enjoy the additional flavors that macadamia nut oil brings to the table.
Similar to quinoa, amaranth is a nutrient packed seed native to the Americas. It’s estimated that humans have been eating amaranth for over 6,000 years! Amaranth contains more protein and fiber than wheat and brown rice and it’s packed with many minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorous, and carotenoids. Per cup, amaranth contains 28 grams of protein, which doubles the protein found in rice.
For those with a gluten-intolerance, amaranth is a solid carb option, as it is gluten free. A few studies show that amaranth is great for heart health. The oil found in amaranth could lower total and LDL cholesterol.
To top it all off, amaranth contains a significant amount of fiber, which is critical to gut health and keeping you regular. Amaranth provides many nutritional benefits and it would be a good idea to consider putting it in your nutritional arsenal.
There you have it! Four fantastic foods that will help you along your health journey. It’s important that we step outside our boxes and try some new things. It’s easy to stay in what we know and not venture out. In doing so, we miss out on all this world has to offer. Let’s not leave any stone unturned.