It’s always fun to spice up your normal cooking regimen, and finding new, healthy ingredients to try is both exciting and rewarding. There are lots of lesser-known spices and foods that have tons of hidden health benefits, like ingredients that boost your immune system or help ward off disease. Of course, it can be a little tough to experiment with new ingredients, especially when it’s unfamiliar and has a wacky name like spirulina. But don’t let an unknown ingredient stop you from getting creative with your recipes. To help you out, here are some interesting ingredients that you probably haven’t used before but are sure to fall for.
Seasonal allergies got you down? Get this: bee pollen can help by curing itchy eyes and an allergy-induced runny nose. Plus, the ingredient has an anti-inflammatory effect that seeps into the tissues of your lungs, which can prevent asthma. It also works with your immune system to protect your blood cells from contracting certain viruses. And ladies have even more of a reason to include this new ingredient in their diets, since bee pollen also works to restore ovarian function.
Recipe Pick: Turmeric Mango Smoothie with Bee Pollen
Get the recipe from Will Frolic for Food.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in teff flour seems kind of out there (we’re talking a lot of vitamins and minerals), but you’ll definitely want to take advantage of each and every one. In just one cup of the flour, you can expect a hefty dose of iron, lots of B vitamins, and a ton of calcium and manganese. What all of that means is that you’ll reap benefits like increased oxygen flow throughout your body, better blood circulation, a stronger immune system, and increased bone health.
Recipe Pick: Teff Almond Butter Cookies
Get the recipe from Salted Plains.
Behold, the healthier version of soy sauce. The main difference between the two sauces is that they’re made of totally different components. Namely, soy sauce actually has gluten in it, while tamari is made with a soy protein, so is usually gluten-free – and amino acid-rich, instead. Tamari has significantly less sodium than soy sauce, too, which adds to its healthier makeup.
Recipe Pick: Vegetarian Pho
Get the recipe from Cookie and Kate.
Even if you’ve never tried persimmon yourself, the fruit is popular enough around the world to have made a name for itself as the national fruit of Japan. As for why it deserves a spot on your grocery list, there are tons of minerals in this fruit, like potassium, calcium, and iron, and it’s been proven to lower the risk of heart attack and heart disease. Even the peel of the persimmon fruit comes packed with benefits and may help reduce signs of aging in older individuals.
Recipe Pick: Persimmon Bread
Get the recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen.
All beans have some sort of protein in them, but these mysterious beans are definitely worth trying. They help with inflammation and assist the functioning of your kidneys and liver. Mixing these into your breakfast is a great idea because there are tons of soluble fibers that will help you stay full throughout the entire day.
Recipe Pick: Mushroom Lentil Adzuki Bean Soup
Get the recipe from Soup Addict.
You may think that you’re a die-hard potato devotee, but when you give celeriac a go, you’ll find yourself coming more and more to terms with the fact that you might be able to do without it after all. And in addition to making a pretty good substitute for your starchy potatoes, you can look forward to a whole host of health benefits when you make celeriac a staple in your diet. Not only does it help cure kidney disease, but when consumed, it relaxes your nerves (goodbye, stress) and regulates your bowel movements (bye, constipation, too).
Recipe Pick: Celeriac Fries
Get the recipe from Viktoria’s Table.