Here at Ethnic Foods R Us, we like to share ethnic foods that are everyday fare for cultures around the world, but unusual and “ethnic” foods to people of other cultures. But we also promote healthy diets and eating habits.
So, in keeping with that secondary purpose, this post will provide you with a list of 20 bizarre but healthy super foods you should know about and have in your diet. Looks can be deceiving, but these foods are loaded with health benefits.
Yep, good old bird feed, a staple in lots of the mixes you put out for our feathered friends. But you should be eating this yourself.
A gluten-free food, Millet is chocked full of phytic acid, fiber, magnesium, and Magnese, and not only safe for human consumption, very beneficial. Magnese promotes good development of connective tissues and bones, and get this – Millet is sexy too, it promotes the production of sex hormones in the body.
If you can’t find millet locally, you can purchase some if you go here, on our online foods store.
2. Chicken Liver
Lots of people are familiar with, and like, chicken liver pate, but with its ability to deliver to the body a lot of iron, Vitanims A and B12, it should be an inclusion in your diet as an ingredient in menu items as well. Or just sauté some up in butter and eat with a little salt and pepper – delicious.
Another health benefit is how it helps keep your thyroid healthy, because of the Folate it contains, which also promotes fertility.
This weird looking vegetable is actually a cousin to broccoli and cabbage, but looks more like a turnip with a bunch of spires sprouting out of it. Usually purple or sometimes a light green color, kohlrabi contains a large level of potassium and Vitamin C, as well as many cancer-fighting phytochemicals.
It makes a great addition to salads, and can be added as a tasty and healthy addition to your stir-fry dishes.
This attractive plant produces a grain that excels over wheat with its extremely high fiber content. Loaded with Vitamins A and C, and potassium, Amaranth is a very good food anytime, but especially good for people recovering from injury or illness, because it is very gentle on the digestive system.
If you can’t find Amaranth locally, you can purchase some if you go here, on our online foods store.
5. Blood Pudding/Sausage
I know, I know, most people are like, “Seriously? Pudding made from blood?”
But yes, this food, quite popular in England, is made from the dried blood of cows or pigs. It tastes like sausage, is often sold in sausage form, and contains “heam,” which is a type of iron.
Heam happens to be the form of iron most readily absorbed by the human body, hence, it is valuable in aiding in the defense against anemia.
Brave enough to try it? You can get some if you go here, on our online foods store.
6. Calf Liver
People who suffer with migraine headaches should be taking this food, which studies have proven reduces the severity and frequency of the dreaded migraine.
It is also a real delicacy when prepared properly, and super healthy for you, with high levels of Vitamins A and B.
7. Cod Liver Oil
I remember my Grandmother Vanbuskirk always swore by this stuff, she took it in liquid form, claiming it alleviated her arthritis pains, and would make me take a tablespoon of the nasty tasting elixir whenever I had a bad cold or the flu.
Turns out she was right about the arthritis, as well as the aches and pains symptoms of a severe cold or the flu, too. Chocked full of Vitamins A and D, cod liver oil has been scientifically proven to indeed help alleviate pains associated with arthritis, various body aches and pains, and additionally can lessen pains for those suffering from MS.
And nowadays you don’t have to insult your taste buds with cod liver oil, because it comes in soft gel form, which glides down the throat with ease and gets to work for you. Want to try some? You can purchase cod liver oil if you go here, to our online foods store.
Made from the extract of yeast, Marmite is tasty in spread form, and has several valuable qualities, being very low in calories and suger, and it is 100% vegan.
Also, Marmite is an excellent source of protein and various minerals which aid in breaking down the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in your foods intake – which creates fast delivery of energy to the body and promotes health in the digestive and nervous systems.
Use it as a yummy and healthy alternative to sugar-saturated jams, jellies and preserves.
9. Wheat Grass
Becoming popular to athletes, joggers, and health nuts alike, Wheatgrass is usually pulverized into a liquid form and taken as a drink, either in power shots by itself, or as an ingredient in superfood smoothies or shakes.
Regarded as healthier than almost any other veggie on the planet, Wheatgrass is a health supplement that cleanses and purifies the body from toxins. To purchase wheatgrass, Click Here.
When I first tried eating a Rambutan (you eat the white, soft, kind of gooey flesh inside) I felt like I was munching on a big, sweet and sour eyeball.
Now I’m not a cannibal, and no, I’ve never really eaten an eyeball. But if I were to imagine what the texture of an eyeball is in the mouth, it would be quite the same, I think.
Nevertheless, this bizarre looking critter (if you saw one on the floor, you’d react by wanting to stomp on it like some ugly and scary, spiny red bug) has tremendous health benefits. Native to Malaysia and Indonesia, Rambutans look similar to a cherry, but with little hairy spikes all over it.
Rambutans are a true fruit, growing on trees, and is a super-duper-superfruit, loaded with many essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and zinc. Eat them raw, or use them to make uber-healthy jams and jellies. Get some here, in our online foods store.
11. Jack Fruit
This ugly and odd superfruit is a monster – one Jack Fruit, when mature and ripe, will weigh between 15 and 18 pounds!
The name is rather put-offish, too, conjuring up images of some back-alley creep, or perhaps a stuffed animal you might let your dog chew on.
The largest of all tree-growing fruits known to man, Jack Fruit supplies to the body copious amounts of Vitamin C, as well as a generous helping of manganese, which is well known for its aid in facilitating maximum function of the brain.
Just don’t be standing under the tree when one drops and your head and you get “brained” by a Jack Fruit!
12. Star Fruit
The “star” like appearance happens when you slice (in a crosscut) these yummy superfruits. Indigenous to regions of the world such as Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, where they are also known as “carambola”, the whole fruit is edible – including the skin.
It can be picked off the tree and eaten right then and there, because Star Fruits are 100% natural and organic. Star Fruit Trees have never been sprayed with pesticides or fertilized with chemical-ridden fertilizers. This tasty little treat will deliver your body many benefits, including high portions of Vitamin C, and also potassium and fiber.
Star Fruits are delicious raw, and also make for delicious juices and preserves. You can purchase Star Fruits here, on our online foods store.
13. Hemp Milk
Now don’t go getting all excited. Drinking Hemp Milk will not get you high. (wink) But the health benefits will surely make your body more euphoric. One of the more recent additions to the growing “alternative” milks, like soy milk and almond milk, Hemp Milk has an amazingly long list of ways it can improve and assist your body’s health.
The poor, much-maligned marijuana plant, which has been the cause of millions of incarcerations over the years due to illegal smoking or intake of the THC cannabis produces, has scads of useful purposes – one of which is drinking this amazing milk elixir.
An excellent source of calcium, iron and vitamins, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, try drinking a tall glass of Hemp Milk instead of cow’s milk before your morning jog or exercise session.
14. Beef Brain
This superfood is another one of those, “Oh. My. God. You have got to be kidding me!” items. Well, unless you’re from Mexico or certain regions of Europe, like Italy and France, where it is considered a delicacy.
But yes, we are discussing, and recommending, that you eat the brains of cows.
Because beef brains are jam-packed with protein, for one reason, and they also deliver to the body an extremely valuable omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA.
There was a frightening occurrence of “mad cow” disease some years back, but reports are that the scare is over, and cow brains are again completely safe to eat. Sorry, our online foods store does not carry them, but you can surely put in a request and obtain them at your local butcher shop or meat market.
Also known as a “custard apple” because of its creamy and soft interior flesh, the Cherimoya looks a tad like an avocado at first glance.
I’ve not yet tasted this one, but I want to, with several people having told me it is absolutely delicious with a flavor and texture reminiscent of pineapple and banana combined. You can eat it raw by itself, or as an ingredient in an exotic fruit cocktail of smoothie.
Packed full of Vitamin C and containing more fiber than an apple, definitely add Cherimoyas to your regimen of healthy eating habits.
Seafood is always healthy for you, but this particular seafood is not fish or lobster or squid, no – we’re talking about a plant.
Collected off the coast of Japan, Arame is typically sold in dried form, and rehydrated before used in meal preparations. Japanese cooks use Arame in lots of dishes such as soups and even muffins.
The reason Arame is on the list of superfoods is due to its rich amounts of iron, magnesium, vitamin A, calcium, and iodine, supplies.
You can get some if you go here, in our online foods store.
To me, the “Dragonfruit” looks more like a pink hand grenade than a dragon. Sometimes known as a “pitaya”, the Dragonfruit is actually the fruit of a cactus plant.
Unfortunately, Dragonfruit is not the tastiest of fruits, but the health benefits make its consumption well worth it. Low in sugar, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin C, it might be a bland tasting experience, but this odd looking fruit is excellent food for you. Try blending it together with some more tastier foods in your dishes, and let the goodness roll!
18. Buddha’s Hand
It really does look kind of like a hand. A weird hand, to be sure, like something out of an alien or monster movie, but hey – you can see why Buddha’s Hand got its name. Personally, I think whoever named this superfood was high on LSD, teehee, but it matters not. Buddha’s Hand, native to Japan and China, is well known there for its aromatic qualities – they actually use it as a room and/or clothes freshener.
With a taste reminiscent of lemons, it is chocked full of Vitamin C, and I’m sure if you try a Buddha’s Hand, my bet is it will really grab you!
Sorry, our online food store does not currently offer the fruits, but you can buy and grow your own potted and already flowering Buddha’s Hand plant, if you click here.
You might think this fruit looks more like a weapon, maybe medieval, than something you eat. A spiked orange globule that appears like it could do severe bodily harm, it is quite the opposite – a superfruit that will do nothing but aid in your body’s health.
I found Kiwano to have a taste that combines those of kiwi, cucumber and zucchini, with even a hint of banana. Really tasty. Kiwano is indigenous to Africa, and is an excellent source of potassium and vitamins C and A.
20. Kim Chee
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the original to and popular in Korea food, spicy fermented veggies (usually cabbage and radishes), called Kim Chee, or Kimchi. It is definitely an acquired taste, although I took to it right away. Most people either like it immensely or dislike it equally as much. It comes in mild to medium to hot to very hot levels of spiciness, and has a tangy flavor with a lot of zing to it.
Not only packed full of “good for what ails you” nutrients, this tasty superfood deliver a whopping dose of vitamin C as well as an injection of bacteria that is healthy for your digestive system and intestines.
Nowadays many of the major metropolitan food stores will carry Kimchi, but it is also fairly easy and fun to make your own. For a recipe and “how to” video, please go to this page.
Can’t buy it locally and want to purchase some already made? Find Kim Chee here, on our online foods store.
So there you have it, my list of 20 superfoods that, despite (in most cases) their odd appearance, are extremely healthy for you.
There is one more superfruit, not included on this list, that you should know about. It is not on this list because it is a superfood to beat all superfoods, in a class of its own.
I’m talking about Baobab, a fruit so rich in goodness, I did an entire post on that one by itself. To read up on Baobab, Click Here.
Chow Y’all, and please be sure to leave a comment. We are always interested in feedback, suggestions, questions, and will respond to and engage with anyone who drops us a comment, okay?
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