Health and beauty circles are predictable in a number of ways. A big one is simply that we’re all always looking for the next big thing to help drive our personal progress forward. This makes us eager to embrace things that show any hint of promise at proving useful. One way we all see this is the routine turnover rate of so-called “miracle” foods that get touted as being able to solve just about every ailment you might be having as long as you’re willing to eat them. In general, we’re all skeptical enough to know that isn’t the case, but there’s always that bit of curiosity on whether the foods are actually any good for you. The fact that so many of them seldom last for very long might seem telling and yet that’s partly because we always move on to the next one so fast. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at some of the current crop of miracle foods to see just how good they actually are for you.
This dark, leafy green is absolutely everywhere these days. People suggest adding it to your diet in any way that you can. This has led to the creation of some questionable smoothies, but also provided a lot of us with a new thing to add to our salads. Kale is actually fairly deserving of its reputation as a powerhouse food. “Super” is selling kale a bit hard though. It actually provides you with many of the same benefits you’d get from similar dark, leafy green vegetables like spinach and collard greens. They’ve got plenty of nutrients that make them a very healthy addition to almost any diet. However, kale doesn’t really deserve all the status it is getting. It just happens to be the one on the stage right now and is actually competing for attention with Swiss chard, yet another dark, leafy green. Do incorporate any of these into your diet, but don’t expect them to solve any major medical issues.
It is hard to say chocolate is “new”, but at the same time it keeps coming into and falling out of favor depending on the most recent research. Dark chocolate is experiencing a resurgence in popularity combined with the eternal “we told you so” of chocolate lovers everywhere. Studies are showing that various compounds in dark chocolate are actually quite good for your health. Antioxidants are often credited as a large part of these benefits, but there are some tentative links to improved memory in some studies. Eating dark chocolate bars isn’t as in favor anymore though. Eating or drinking something with cacao powder is actually the big thing right now. People are leaning on the idea that the more “pure” version of chocolate is somehow better. In truth, it isn’t necessarily and you should still only be having a small amount. The good news is that it does mean you can still tell someone you’re eating health food when you’re having a quick bit of dark chocolate between meals.
There’s some debate on what seeds are the best for your right now. Different people will favor pumpkin or chia depends on who you ask. The catch here is, as with kale, many kinds of seeds are all good for the same reasons people are recommending these seeds. They are all decent sources for fatty acids that the body needs as well as offering a healthy dose of fiber to your diet. Chia seeds, in particular, are a popular addition to oatmeal and similar dishes that add more fiber to it without altering the main dish overmuch. Others seeds are also a good source, but in general they tend to have more of particular nutrients depending on the seed type. Pumpkin seeds, for instance, have plenty of vitamin E. That can contribute to your skin’s health by promoting the production of collagen and elastin within your skin. Neither chia nor pumpkin seeds are really all that new in health circles, but people are recognizing them and thinking they’re something new these days simply because they’d never heard this information before.
The “new” miracle foods that come around every year are seldom either new or miraculous at all. They’re healthy parts of a balanced diet that we’ve known about for ages, but the media has just now gotten around to promoting them. You should be wary of anyone promising one food or another will solve all your problems as a general rule for safety. Don’t let this prevent you from trying a healthy new food or snack though. After all, creating and sticking to a healthy diet is hard enough without making it harder on yourself.