As research abounds, experts are constantly adding various fruits, vegetables, grains and more to this superfood category every year. As we look ahead to a new year — and a new decade! — here’s what’s predicted to be trendy in 2020 from doctors, nutritionists and wellness gurus:
Remember when your brother convinced you a watermelon would grow in your tummy if you swallowed a watermelon seed? As a 5-year-old kid you were terrified for days, but don’t worry, you can eat these without trouble. In fact, you will reap big benefits. While watermelon seeds are often discarded in favor of the refreshing fruit, Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition says they are entering the spotlight, thanks to their protein content. Today, you will find them in certain plant-based protein powders as an alternative to other protein sources, like rice protein or hemp. “They are also jam-packed with B vitamins, which are involved in energy production, along with other key nutrients like iron, folate and magnesium. Plus, they are high in heart-healthy fats, which can help keep cholesterol levels in check as well,” he explains.
Axe recommends roasting them in the oven like other seed varieties such as pumpkin seeds and sprinkling on your choice of seasonings to bump up the flavor.
Though tahini is the star of hummus, it is a smart — and delicious! — paste for a vast variety of dishes. Nealy Fischer, founder of The Flexible Chef and author, tahini is quite simply ground sesame seeds and provides a nutritional boost to anything it’s added into. It is loaded with unsaturated fats and amino acids and is 20 percent protein and 55 percent oil. “That is one of the highest oil contents by weight compared to other nuts and seeds,” she shares. This is good since few nuts offer the healthy oil that is packed with goodies for our bodies, including calcium. “It is a rich source of key vitamins and minerals, such as thiamine, magnesium, copper, anemia-fighting iron, and immunity-boosting zinc,” she adds.
View this post on Instagram
Fresh+roasted artichoke hearts smothered in lemony tahihi=the kind of food I like to eat. So satisfying. Ditch the bread and dip the tahini with romaine hearts. PS head over to @aaptiv they asked me to predict the next superfood can you guess what it is? Check it out in my story to find out! #israelfood #tahinisuperfood
A post shared by Nealy Fischer (@theflexiblechef) on
She suggests implementing it into your dressing-and-dip rotation, since it acts like mustard, creating a thick and creamy texture. Add a bit of lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, and you have a dressing for your fave salad.
Ever heard of this vegetarian powerhouse? If not, you are about to love it. Not only is it vegan, but it’s considered a fermented food that produces a healthier gut and digestive system. Plus, as people become more concerned with the environment — they seek a plant-based diet to reduce their footprint on the planet — to decrease the amount of land that is turned into livestock grazing pastures. Axe says this is partly why tempeh will continue to soar in popularity. “It is loaded with key nutrients such as iron, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. It has been shown to reduce bone loss, prevent oxidative stress and decrease cholesterol levels,” Axe explains.
View this post on Instagram
This better than take out tempeh and broccoli fried rice is new on the blog! It’s totally customisable so you can add any protein or veggies you like. So next time you have leftover rice or veggies that need eating up whip up this fried rice in just 20 mins! #veganfriedrice 🥦 . Recipe on the blog! https://cupfulofkale.com/vegan-tempeh-fried-rice/
A post shared by Tamsin | Cupful of Kale (@cupfulofkale) on
When cooking with it, use it as you would tofu. Axe says it can be seasoned or marinated to amp up the flavor and then cooked and added to stir-fries, sandwiches, wraps and Buddha bowls.
As more socially-consciousness generation who wants to protect the environment, Kimberly Snyder, author and founder of Solluna, a health supplement company, says mushrooms will become even trendier. They have anti-inflammatory compounds, offer 15 vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and serve as a tasty meat alternative. Nearly any mushroom you choose will benefit your immune system. However, in 2020, Snyder predicts the medicinal mushroom category to heat up, as more people discover the healing properties of ‘shrooms like chaga, reishi and shiitake. Available in pill or powdered elixir, these have been found to cleanse our blood, promote digestion, lower cholesterol and more.
Axe says it has been used medicinally for centuries but only recently has become part of the health nut’s diet. It is a tree commonly found in India and subtropical regions of South Asia. The leaves are typically ground up, and it is made into a supremely healthy powder or herb that offers disease-fighting antioxidants, like quercetin and chlorogenic acid. “Studies on this medicinal herb have also turned up some pretty impressive health benefits, demonstrating that it could help stabilize blood sugar levels, decrease inflammation, and even enhance heart health,” Axe adds.
To test it out, grab some moringa powder at your local health food store and add to smoothies or juices. It doesn’t have much taste, so you won’t notice a difference on your tongue — but definitely in your energy levels.
Originally from South America, these yellow-tinted berries resemble a marble — and will wow you in flavor. Though many locals in Peru, Argentina and Colombia are used to these as a snack, Fischer says they are becoming more popular in North America because they are often considered the ‘anti-berry’ because they don’t have the same sweet taste that others do, like raspberries or strawberries. They are more tart, and they offer an impressive concentration of cancer-fighting antioxidants. They also offer anti-inflammatory and antihistamine benefits, as well as antiviral properties. They are the ultimate multivitamin, with tons of vitamins A, B and C, and are 16 percent protein.
Whether you eat them fresh or dried, look forward to a sweet and tart flavor that’ll keep you munching. They are great for salads, trail mixes and even on top of sweet potatoes for a fun fall dish.
Part of the same root vegetable family of potatoes and yams, cassava is commonly found in the diets of communities around the world — from Peru to Thailand. It is starting to make its entrance to North America, in the form of flour! As Axe explains, it is an easy way to create gluten-free pasta, bread and other baked goods. But it can also be used in its straight-outta-the-ground form, too — Axe shares it makes an easy swap for starchy vegetables in soups and stews. So, what is it doing for your body, under the hood? “Besides bringing a hearty dose of fiber to the table, cassava is also rich in thiamine, phosphorus and resistant starch, which is a special type of starch that helps feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut to support the health of your gut microbiome,” he explains.
You can bake up cassava snacks, roast some cassava with garlic and oil, or make some paleo treats with cassava flour.
Small yet powerful, these mighty gems contain a high amount of sulforaphane that upregulates a specific enzyme complex called NrF2, says Sarah Morgan, CEO of Even Health Co, a vitamin support company. “This upregulation leads to a large increase in the production of your body’s antioxidants such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase. Think of them like the superheroes fighting the crimes of inflammation in your body,” she continues. “Free radicals can do damage to our DNA and cells if left unchecked.”
View this post on Instagram
The sun came out today and my broccoli sprouts are ready, needless to say it's a pretty good day. Broccoli sprouts are packed with vitamin A & C, calcium & iron. Yes, they are also easier to digest than its cruciferous grown self (for those with sensitive stomachs 🙋🏻♀️🤭), but most importantly they have the highest amount of sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is known to have anticarcinogen & antibacterial compounds, by neutralizing free radicals. Basically, sulforaphane helps facilitate the defense of normal cellular function. Pretty cool! PLUS! they are easy to make and are pretty delicious, tastes kind of radishy, radishy? Anyways, I love all sorts of sprouts actually! Should I make a video on how to make sprouts? It's so easy! Extra tip: don't buy sprouts at the store, those things are dead and expensive and sold in single-use plastic.
A post shared by Maite Aizpurua (@the.mighty.spoon) on
Broccoli sprouts help you become a warrior, and you can even grow them at home. Morgan suggests buying sprouting seeds and jars and soaking for six to eight hours. Water daily and within a week, you will have sprouts to add to your salads, smoothies and dishes.
They are striped, just like the animals they are named after, but Fischer says these superfoods aren’t actually nuts. Rather, they are edible tubers, like sweet potatoes, and they come from a plant called yellow nutsedge. Fischer says they have been around for thousands of years and were a beloved snack by Egyptians, who used them for nourishment and medicine. Though their name may suggest they are intense, they taste sweet, almost like a mix of coconut and almond. “Tiger nuts tout various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Yet, health nuts shine a spotlight on their high fiber content,” Fischer explains. A single serving has 10 grams of fiber (which is nearly half of what we need every day!), and as resistant starch, they aid with digestion, prevent constipation and benefit weight loss. They’re also good news for our heart, with high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids.
View this post on Instagram
TigerNuts are not nuts, they are highly nutritious, sweet and delicious root vegetables mostly grown in West Africa. TigerNuts have always been an important component of our ancestors’ diets and now we know why. Get yours today! Link in bio 👆 #goodsoultigernuts #superfoods #natural #goodness #plantbased #vegansnack #african #healthysnack #natural #vegan #plantbaseddiet #tigernuts
A post shared by Good Soul Company (@good.soul.tigernuts) on
Best of all, you can simply eat them raw as a snack. Or, for those who don’t like the chewy texture, Fisher suggests soaking them in water overnight and then adding them to breakfast cereals and smoothies. You can also create tiger nut butter by grinding them up!
We only recommend products we’ve independently researched, tested, and loved. If you purchase a product found through our links, Sunday Edit may earn an affiliate commission.