Aswe know a lot about a lot when it comes to nutrition and healthy ingredients that the layman may never even have heard of. But let’s face it, we don’t know everything. And it’d be boring if we did. One of the best things about working with healthy, heart-loving food is that you get to discover “new” ingredients all the time.
So just in case you need a brush up on your nutrition lingo, or you haven’t actually heard of some of these…here are 5 weird sounding foods that are seriously, like SERIOUSLY, good for you! So much so that if you haven’t used them in your cooking yet, you’d better get cracking real soon.
5 Weird Sounding Foods That Are Helluva Good For You:
What it is: Psyllium Husks aka ispaghula are from the seed of the Plantago plant.
Where it comes from: India and Pakistan
Why it’s good for you: It’s a great source of soluble fiber. Because of this fiber, it’s very hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture. It relieves constipation as it works as a mild laxative. It also lowers cholesterol and glucose levels. And it’s commonly used in gluten-free baking as a binding agent to replace the missing gluten.
What to do with it: Buy it in its powder form to use in baking.
What it is: Amaranth is a gluten-free grain and refers to over 60 species of Amaranthus.
Where it comes from: It’s thought to have been domesticated about 7000 years ago by the Atzecs. It grows in Peru, Africa, India, China, Russia, and North America.
Why it’s good for you: It’s a very good source of protein (about 9 grams per cup!), fiber, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and iron. It regulates digestion, is a great anti-inflammatory and reduces the risk of fractured bones.
What to do with it: Eat it as your morning porridge with fruit, nuts and honey or with your dinner instead of rice, pasta or quinoa or add it to your smoothie for a nutty taste.
What it is: Ghee is quite simply clarified butter. This means the butter was simmered for longer to release its nutty flavor. The process of making ghee removes the water and milk fats, leaving a high-smoke point so, unlike butter, it can be heated at a high temperature before it starts to smoke.
Where it comes from: It was produced in around 2000BC in Southern India.
Why it’s good for you: For people who are lactose or casein intolerant, the process of making ghee removes these allergens so you can actually eat it problem-free. Plus it’s helluva rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and it contains butyrate, an essential short-chain, fatty acid.
What to do with it: Cook with it! Use it instead of butter or instead of oil or use it in baking or spread it on toast.
What it is: Fenugreek is an annual plant aka methi.
Where it comes from: It is native to the Middle and Near East, and is widely used in the Indian subcontinent.
Why it’s good for you: It can give relief from anemia, fever, tummy aches, nausea, inflammation, and is helpful for post pregnancy lactation. It can also lower cholesterol levels, protect your heart and boost your immune system.
What to do with it: Eat the seeds whole or sprinkle on soups or salads. Eat the leaves in salads or sprout the seeds to include in salads. Or grind the seeds to drink as tea.
What it is: Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast sold in the form of flakes or powder popular with vegans and sometimes referred to as hippie dust, yeshi or nooch.
Where it comes from: It is produced from cultured yeast.
Why it’s good for you: It’s an excellent source of B-complex vitamins as well as folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and zinc.
What to do with it: Sprinkle it over everything from salads to grains to pasta to soup to popcorn!
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