The New Superfoods You Should Be Eating

Eating healthfully just got a lot more interesting. Introducing eight fresh cancer-fighting, age-defying, energy-boosting ingredients to add to your plate now

March 30, 2012
glass of kefir
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It has more protein and less sugar than yogurt, but with the same creamy texture, tangy taste, and probiotics. These healthy bacteria are a known immune enhancer, and may protect against colon cancer, says Tamara Freuman, R.D. (Search: What is kefir?)

Try It Instead of yogurt in salad dressings or smoothies. Plain kefir is in the dairy aisle, but Lifeway makes a dessert-ready frozen variety too.

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This slightly sweet and crunchy root veggie stars inulin, a belly-flattening fiber that acts as a prebiotic to promote helpful bacteria in the gut. It's also an excellent source of vitamin C, which may boost collagen and fight wrinkles. (Related: Anti-Aging Powers of Exercise)

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Try It Cooked or raw in slaws, stir-fries, tacos, and salads, or tossed in lime juice and sprinkled with chili powder. Find it at farmers' markets or Mexican groceries.

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chia seeds
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One tablespoon of these nutty-tasting edible seeds has as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal, plus bone-building calcium and heart-healthy omega-3s. Chia is also a good source of iron, which many women don't get enough of, notes Freuman. (Related: 8 Surprising Foods for Heart Health)

Try It On cereal, salads, and soups, or use it to thicken puddings and stir-fries. (The seeds absorb liquid and acquire a gel-like texture.) Available at natural grocery stores.

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Three-day-old broccoli plants may contain up to 50 times more of the anticancer agent sulforaphane than mature stalks, but without the pungent taste, says Kate Geagan, R.D., author of Go Green Get Lean.

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Try Them On sandwiches, wraps, pizza, baked potatoes, stews, stir-fries, tacos, and just about anything else you can think of. Pick some up at your grocery store or local farmers' market.

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black garlic
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Black Garlic

Fermentation gives this garlic its sweet, clove-and-caramel flavor and concentrates its natural antioxidants to nearly double that of a raw bulb. These compounds help lower cholesterol and can help decrease cancer risk, says Janet Helm, R.D., of And the black stuff comes with no nasty breath! (Related: 7 Salt-Free Ways to Flavor Food)

Try It In fondue, sauces, pizza, and, believe it or not, cookies, brownies, and cakes. Order some at

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A possible anti-breast-cancer crusader, kelp is loaded with vitamin K, calcium, and other essential nutrients. And its natural alginate fiber may help block fat, says nutritionist Christine Avanti.

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Try It In powdered form, mixed into meatballs and soups; use sheets (kombu) as uber-low-cal wrappers. Some specialty stores carry Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles (, which have just six calories per serving!

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nutritional yeast
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Nutritional Yeast

A single serving of these cheese-like flakes has an incredible nine grams of satiating protein and provides more than your RDA of B vitamins to help boost energy, squash stress, and decrease your risk for chronic diseases.

Try It As a dairy-free sub for Parmesan on popcorn, potatoes, pasta, or scrambled eggs. You can find this yeast in specialty markets or health-food stores.

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This sweet, nutty supergrain is rich in niacin (for healthy hair and skin) and cancer-fighting lignans. Plus, "the soluble fiber keeps your cholesterol levels healthy, cutting your risk for heart disease," says Geagan.

Try It In place of pasta, rice, or oatmeal. Or swap Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Barley Flour ( for up to a third of the flour in baked goods. Both are available at regular grocery stores.

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Next Up: Sneaky Ways to Eat More Superfoods