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Superfood status: Meet the new kids on the block

Popeye ate his spinach to get super strong, and many other so called "superfoods" followed in this leafy green vegetable's wake, with nutritionists touting their "super" health benefits. Spinach, blueberries and beans are some of the more well-known superfoods, nourishing your body with disease-fighting vitamins and minerals. You should definitely eat these foodstuffs on the regular, but there are some new kids on the superfood block that also have "the right stuff, baby."

Kefir

Although there is nothing wrong with using plain yogurt in your smoothies, salad dressings and other dishes, kefir might be a good substitute if you're looking for more probiotics, more protein and less sugar. This dairy product is made by fermenting milk with lots of different types of bacteria, which means it has more of the microorganisms, called "probiotics," that boost your immune system and promote healthy digestion.

Sprouts

If you thought those crunchy baby broccoli plants just added some nice texture to your sandwich or salad, you thought wrong. Sprouts may taste and feel like they are full of water, but they also pack plenty of nutritional punch. Sprouts are actually three-day old broccoli plants, and their stalks contain as much as 50 times more of the anti-cancer agent the mature plant boasts.

Kelp

Also known as seaweed, kelp used to be one of those foods you could only get at the health food store. No more! Thanks to the popularity of sushi and the health food push of recent years, you can get kelp at just about any supermarket today.

Kelp has tons of vitamin K, calcium and other nutrients, making it a leader in the nutrition fight against breast cancer. It also has plenty of B vitamins to energize your body. Wrap your own sushi rolls in it or crush it up and add to meatballs or soups.

Barley

We all know that we need to eat whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal, but we might have been overlooking barley. Probably best known for its role in beef barley soup, this whole grain is quite versatile in terms of cooking and the way it nourishes your body.

Its high levels of niacin will nourish your hair and skin, while all the dietary fiber will keep you regular and support healthy digestive health. Plus, this grain has high levels of soluble fiber, which keep your cholesterol levels steady to reduce your risk of heart disease. 

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing lrstewar@gmail.com.