Science continues to discover healthy substances in foods beyond vitamins and minerals. Though no one food provides everything you need, here are four trending superfoods — all high in antioxidants — that belong in your kitchen.
Green tea has been studied for a possible role in helping to fight everything from cavities to cancer. Among the varieties available, matcha, the special powdered version used in the Japanese tea ceremony, is especially healthful. It easily dissolves in beverages and can add a subtle taste to baked goods. In fact, at many bakeries it’s all the rage. However, you don’t need the calories of cake or pastry to get its nutrients. Sipping the tea is all you need.
Kefir is a fermented milk with probiotic benefits that may even surpass those of yogurt. It’s available right alongside yogurt in the dairy aisle, but some people have started making their own by buying kefir grains. Kefir adds a tangy flavor to salad dressings and dips, and can be used as a base for smoothies.
Cinnamon is so common that you might not realize it has special properties, but it may boost heart health and even fight metabolic syndrome. One study found that the Ceylon, or Sri Lanka, variety is among the most potent anti-inflammatory foods around. Liberally sprinkle cinnamon in coffee, tea and milk, and on top of the froth in your lattes. You can use it to add a sweet flavor to hot and cold cereals as well as cooked root vegetables and squashes.
Pure cocoa powder is the perfect low-calorie way to get great chocolate flavor. Whisk it into milk — dairy, soy or nut-based types — for a hot or cold drink. For added spice, stir in some of that healthy cinnamon and a hint of cayenne pepper.
The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has more on green tea and research being done to better understand its benefits.