There's a lot of talk about superfoods lately. There's no set definition of what a superfood is but they are widely recognized as foods that are particularly nutrient-dense (delivering a large number of nutrients for a proportionately low number of calories) which means they may help ward off certain ailments and diseases. Superfoods often tout multiple health benefit. No doubt you've heard of superfoods like blueberries, avocado, and salmon, but there are a number of other superfoods — some of which have not yet gained widespread popularity in the United States.
Fruits from around the world are some of the most common superfoods. These fruits often come in a wide variety of colors. Color is related to nutrient content — beta-carotene gives carrots their orange color and lycopene gives tomatoes their red color. Many nutritionists recommend that you eat a wide variety of colors when it comes to fruits and vegetables so that you also eat a wide variety of nutrients.
There are a number of grains that are considered to be superfoods as well. Though much higher in calories than fruits or vegetables, these grains offer more health benefits than their equally-caloric counterparts. Eating one cup of brown rice or one cup of teff will cost you the same calories, but teff has 19 times the amount of calcium as brown rice; teff packs a whopping 40 percent of your daily recommended value of calcium. Eating "super" grains is well worth the calories.
Ultimately, eating a variety of foods is the best way to ensure your body is well nourished. But, if you're getting tired of salmon and are looking for a new way to get an extra nutritional boost you may want to try one of these lesser known superfoods.
Noni fruit grows on trees in warm tropical climates. It has powerful anti-inflammatory qualities which are believed to relieve and prevent a wide variety of diseases.
Often considered a weed, purslane is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. As an added benefit, it’s delicious; purslane is somewhat crunchy and has a slightly lemony taste.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.