Remember when your friend’s healthy food tips convinced you to try tofu, Greek yogurt, quinoa, or kimchi for the first time? You probably thought these weird foods wouldn’t make it into your diet, regardless of their benefits. But a funny thing happened once you actually gave them a shot: you realized they really weren’t that strange after all. In fact, we’d bet that many BerryBreeze™ readers eat at least some of those foods every single week.
Still, healthy dietary changes do sometimes require an adventurous spirit, and so with that in mind, we’re about to stretch your boundaries. The following 5 foods are both weird and healthy. Any one of them could catch on with organic living fans here in America, and if you train your palate early, next time you’ll be the one who’s dishing out the healthy food tips.
Are you ready for the strangest list of health foods you’ll see today?
5 Weird Foods With Big Health Benefits
1. Natto. If you can get into the stringy, slimy texture, the assertive flavor and a smell that has been compared to ripe cheese, eating this fermented soybean dish from Japan might be one of the best dietary changes you can make. Natto is made from cooked beans and friendly bacteria, and the mixture is aged for at least a week. That’s why for many people it’s an acquired taste. Natto’s fans swear by the stuff, though, and it contains tons of protein, vitamin E and vitamin B2. Like other fermented soy products, it also has high levels of vitamin K, and a diet rich in vitamin K has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
2. Durian. Not turned off by the thought of beans that smell like pungent cheese? There are other weird foods with funky odors and great health benefits, and one of the most infamous is the durian fruit. The smell of durian is hard to ignore – some compare it to rotting garbage (or worse). But in Southeast Asia, the “king of fruits” is cherished for its large size and creamy, custard-like flesh. Durian is high in fiber (over 9 grams per serving) and protein, and one serving contains 80% of your daily requirement for vitamin C, so adventurous eaters that can get past the smell will be rewarded with a sweet, healthy treat.
3. Kohlrabi. Don’t worry: kohlrabi isn’t slimy or smelly. Still, it’s not exactly standard fare in your grocery aisles. That’s too bad, because this mild-flavored veggie, which is related to cabbage and turnips, is packed with nutrients. Kohlrabi is full of potassium, which can help to stabilize blood pressure and increase bone density. It’s also a great source of vitamin C. In fact, kohlrabi contains more vitamin C (54 milligrams) per 100 grams than strawberries, orange juice and cauliflower.
4. Arame. Even though sushi has become a staple for Americans who love to dine out, sea vegetables haven’t yet gotten the recognition they deserve in the U.S. That’s why one of our favorite healthy food tips is adding kelp and seaweed, like arame, to your diet. This slightly sweet sea veggie is full of vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, iodine and fiber, plus manufacturers have found ways to reduce the high sodium content. Arame is a great addition to a soup or stir-fry. It can even give your salads a little extra pizzazz.
5. Bean chips. If you’re not ready to fully immerse yourself in the world of weird foods, make some healthy dietary changes that are relatively low-key. Take bean chips, for example. We’ve all had corn chips and potato chips – and everything from rice to kale can be turned into a thin snack crisp. But bean chips could be the next big thing. They go great with healthy dips and salsas, they’re lighter on the calories than their junk-food cousins, and they’re higher in fiber and protein than veggie-based chips. Some bean-based snacks will even give you 10 times the antioxidants found in a cup of green tea. Not bad for a handful of legumes.
Are these health benefits significant enough to get you to try some weird foods? What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten for the sake of healthier organic living? Answer those questions below, or just let us know what makes a food too strange to end up on your plate!