Okay, so that may not be an actual thing—but for wellness aficionados and nutrition neophytes alike, there’s nothing like the thrill of getting creative in the kitchen with a new ingredient. And with items like cacao now pantry staples, we wanted to know: What’s the next wave of superfoods to get our blenders going?
Sophie Jaffe knows. The Los Angeles-based certified raw food chef and founder of superfood blend brand Philosophie has had her finger on the pulse of nutrient-packed ingredients for more than a decade. You could call her a superfood savant.
In her early twenties, when Jaffe worked as a juice barista, she started experimenting and “noticed how [different components] affected my body,” she recalls. When a medical condition disappeared two weeks after she started taking maca, Jaffe devoted herself to the superfood lifestyle.
While she’d never ditch her acai or goji berries, the nutrition guru is just as enthralled by items like camu camu, mesquite, and ho shu wu (no, that’s not a typo). Keep reading to learn about the eight under-the-radar superfoods you should try—with Jaffe’s insights on what you can expect from each…
(Photo: Katie Shuler)
This medicinal mushroom has been hailed by Asian cultures for thousands of years for its incredible wellness properties. The fungi’s polysaccharides are said to do everything from bolstering immune system function to promoting healthy cells and your longevity.
Want to try it? Reishi, which has a bitter taste, has traditionally been taken in teas and extracts, but you can benefit from the mushroom by adding Philosophie Cacao Magic Superfood + Protein Blend (which, in addition to the mushroom, includes cacao, the superfood behind all things chocolate) to cookies, brownies, and oatmeal for a wholesome treat.
This powerful root has been a culinary staple in Peru for over two thousand years. Maca, a natural energizer and aphrodisiac, contains the nine essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own, making it a complete protein. A great source of fiber, magnesium, and B, C, and E vitamins, maca power is also an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to and respond to stress in a healthy way.
Want to try it? Maca has a malty flavor, so mix it up with almond milk, cacao powder, coconut oil, cinnamon, and honey for a superfood-laden hot chocolate.
Spirulina is an ancient, single-cell, blue-green algae and one of nature’s most potent superfoods. It receives its beautiful bluish tint from phycocyanin, a water soluble antioxidant that helps protect our cells against radiation and provides the blood with more oxygen.
Packed with fatty acids, polysaccharides, vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, and chromium, detoxifying spirulina supports healthy brain function, bolsters the immune system, and promotes strong vision and beautiful skin. And at 50 to 70 percent protein, it ranks as the highest source of protein in the plant kingdom.
Want to try it? With a slightly nutty, cheesy flavor, spirulina can bring your kale chips to a whole new superfood level—mix it up with nutritional yeast, sea salt, and a dash of cayenne, and then sprinkle the blend on top of your green chips before sliding them into the oven.
In Chinese, the name for this gentle, tonic herb directly translates to “Mr. He’s Black Hair.” The rejuvenating plant has been historically used to restore hair color, strengthen nails, and increase blood health. In addition to helping reduce hypertension and blood cholesterol, ho shou wu is also said boost blood circulation and treat dizzy spells, blurred vision, and backaches.
Want to try it? Add the herb, which has a sweet, bitter taste, to a warm cup of tea to help ramp up your immune system and lift your energy levels.
Can’t get enough of your superfoods? Us neither—and we’ve got you covered here…
Loading More Posts...