5 healthiest foods you’ve never heard of
1. Hemp seed nuts: Similar in taste to sunflower seeds, these nuts are derived from hemp seeds, which are also used to grow cannabis. By weight, hemp seed nuts provide more high-quality protein than even beef or fish. Each nut is also packed with heart-healthy alphalinoleic acid. Enjoy straight from the bag.
2. Mung beans: Commonly eaten in China and India, these beans have a tender texture and a sweet, nutty flavour. Sure, they’re high in potassium, iron, and fibre, but they’re also 24 per cent protein. What’s more, unlike many other legumes, mung beans retain most of their high levels of vitamin C, even after they’re boiled. Their natural sweetness will add flavour without piling on extra calories or sodium.
3. Nori: This algae is popular in Japanese cuisine; you’ll recognise it as the dark wrap holding your spicy tuna roll together. High in fibre and protein, nori also contains a triple dose of cancer fighters, including phytonutrients called lignans, which have been shown to help prevent tumour growth. Look in the international section of your market.
4. Peppadew peppers: These sweet-and-spicy fruits look like a cross between a cherry tomato and a red pepper. Native to Africa, they’re popular with chefs in the United States. One-third cup of peppadews packs heart-protecting vitamin B6, cancer-fighting lycopene, and a day’s worth of vitamin C. Use in a salad with avocado and almonds or in a simple pasta with olive oil and garlic.
5. Sunchokes: These vegetables are also called Jerusalem artichokes, but they’re neither related to artichokes nor are they from Israel. They look like gnarled potatoes and have a nutty, slightly sweet taste.