Special thanks to Spork & Barrel Staff Nutritionist Nick Loiacano, for his research for this feature.
Move over, blueberries and salmon. And chia? Not for me-ah! Move beyond those regular ol’ played-out superfoods, and give yourself a health boost with these lesser-known powerhouse foods. In fact, we’ll go one further: Eat a diet of these 10 superfoods, and you’ll become biologically immortal.
The benefits of kale go far beyond the payload of vitamins and minerals they deliver to your system; the world’s most famous superfood is packed with phytonutrients such as glucosinolates and flavonoids, to boot. Kale is thought to help fight cardiovascular disease, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis; to prevent several types of cancer and pre-mature aging of the skin; and to promote the health of the urinary tract. The takeaway? Even if the last few years have got you feeling a little kale-d out, there’s still reason to embrace this superfood in your lifestyle.
Often referred to as the supergrain, quinoa (KEEN-wah) is high in fiber and high-quality protein. In fact, it contains more protein than any other grain, while also packing in iron and potassium. One half cup of quinoa has 14 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, and is naturally gluten-free.
3. Boiled Spinach
A 6 ounce serving of boiled spinach provides 6.43 mg of iron, the muscle mineral; ounce-for-ounce, that’s about the same amount as hamburger! Research also suggests that thylakoids in the leaf membranes may serve as an appetite suppressant…on average, a recent study showed women who drank thylakoids for breakfast (and ate nothing else) showed an average weight loss of over 5 pounds, over a three month period!
4. Açai Berries
Harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, açaí tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and chocolate. Hidden within its royal purple pigment is the magic that makes it nature’s perfect energy fruit. Açaí is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids, and tastes great with vodka.
5. Cadbury Creme Eggs
While filled eggs were first manufactured by the Cadbury Brothers in 1923, the Creme Egg in its current form was introduced in 1963. The white and yellow fondant filling (or more specifically, the inverted sugar syrup filling, processed with invertase) has been proven in clinical trials to help reverse some signs of osteoporosis, including an increase in bone density when applied directly to the important parts of the skeleton.
6. Chicken McNuggets
Introduced by the international fast food chain McDonald’s in 1983, Chicken McNuggets are a quick-service chicken product consisting of small pieces of processed white-meat chicken, coated in a light and crispy seasoned tempura batter. McNuggets are pressed into four distinct shapes, known colloquially as “the bell, the bow-tie, the ball and the boot,” but only the bow-tie shape has been revered for its long-term health benefits, including increased levels of testosterone (male and female), spinal column fusion (5th and 6th vertebrae), and an increased resistance to poison (roll a 3d6 saving throw versus poison +3).
7. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
When it comes to extruded corn snack products, you have to stand in awe of the Frito-Lay Flamin’ Hot Cheeto. Though the bright red, spicy version of the classic snack has been responsible for some injuries, thanks to a few careless middle-schoolers, the overall health benefits of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos can no longer be ignored by medical science: A diet high in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos has been linked to lower blood pressure and increased libido in those under 15; however, some users have also reported the formation of a perfect ring of painful, weeping cystic acne around the mouth, nose, and even inside the throat. These side effects were insufficient cause to discontinue use, in 100% of patients polled.
8. Raw Chicken
There’s probably not an American in America who doesn’t incorporate some form of chicken into their diet. After all, it’s inexpensive, plentiful, doesn’t taste like much of anything, and is high in protein and other nutrients. But did you know that in addition to making nachos, alfredo sauce, and caesar salads more delicious, chicken is also considered a superfood? To extract the maximum health benefit from this trendy protein, we suggest serving it the way the Japanese (probably) do: Nigiri style, sliced thin, uncooked, and served on a small bed of pressed, steamed rice with vinegar. Or, if you’re really adventurous, try dipping your raw chicken in a slurry of soy sauce and imitation wasabi, the way they do at the sushi place at the mall!
9. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal
By now, it’s common knowledge than the Egyptians first began using a puree of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal and purified water from the Nile River as a form of wound care for burns. But did you know that the cereal also tastes great, with milk and an episode of “The Price is Right” on a weekday morning? Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal also contains REAL CINNAMON, long prized for its trade value in the Byzantine spice routes of the mid-1400s, as well as its legendary ability to make cow’s milk palatable.
10. Dicks (1 Bag)
Where previous generations were limited to the much more tame “Sit on it,” or even the more colorful “up yours,” millennials have taken good-natured ribbing to the next level, often encouraging one another to “eat a bag of dicks.” And for good reason! Though studies are woefully incomplete, a diet high in this precious resource has been proven effective for quitting jobs, abandoning unfulfilling relationships, or terminating unbalanced lease agreements, with a minimal amount of side effects, other than a cleared conscience and a renewed zest for life.