The ‘health craze’ is stronger than ever, but there are some foods that will never go out of style.

It’s been three years since the United Nations declared 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa. The following year was teff’s (a cereal grown in Ethiopia) turn and, later on, kale made it into every single health and beauty article published in 2015. So, now what? Should we turn whatever ‘miracle’ food with a weird and hard-to-pronounce name we can come up with into the latest trend? Or shall we just stop creating food hypes and go for what has been scientifically proven? In the meantime, the FAO is celebrating 2016 as the International Year of Pulses…

A recent health trend is ruling and changing the way we eat nowadays. It is common to find ingredients that purify our bodies in less time than we actually need to digest them. There are also more organic and flexitarian restaurants than ever—flexitarians base their diet on mix & match, meaning that 80% of their intake is from a vegetable origin and the remaining 20% is from animal origin—and businesses specializing in products containing a high density of nutrients. Or what some would like to call: ‘superfoods’. But what does this term really mean? “Media, as well as some food and agriculture companies, have introduced this term into our lives to give importance to products with a nutritional value that’s very beneficial to our health,” explains nutritionist María Garriga García (Ph.D).

Nevertheless, “the problem comes when these ‘superfoods’ are attributed with ‘miraculous’ properties that aren’t backed up by studies with rigorous scientific evidence; besides rejecting other foods that are just as healthy but haven’t achieved this designation.” Our bodies need macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in a certain amount of quantities per day, depending on each individual’s age, sex, state of health, or disease. On the other hand, those that are harmful need to be reduced. What’s the best advice? Listening to our own body, emotions and digestion is the way to become our very own nutritionist: a theory focused on bio individuality and in which Alejandra Fraile, Health Coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York and author of the blog, believes in. “Our next door neighbor’s medicine could be our poison, so we need to stop and think before jumping into a void and start listening to our bodies. Trends need to be ignored because we have a new one every day. It’s insane! No wonder there are so many people who fail to reach their goal when following a new trendy diet,” she comments. That is why it is important to include foods in our diet that come straight from the soil instead of a can, as well as fresh and seasonable fruits and vegetables. They preserve their properties (taste, smell, color and texture) and also provide us with the right nutrients for every season. Plus, they are much more affordable.

So, to avoid future headaches every time you visit the supermarket and/or health food store, we’ve put together a list of the 10 foods—which are neither super, mega or have any sort of prefix—that should always be in your grocery bag. Go ahead, turn the page over.

How to eat wisley

The king of Vitamin C

We all know man is a creature of habits. Nevertheless, he sure knows how to adapt to change. So here’s something to take into consideration: How about replacing the classic orange juice for kiwi? This fruit from a Chinese origin has twice the vitamin C content than normal orange juice, making it considered one of the healthiest fruits out there. And that’s not all.  Kiwis are also an ally in fighting hypertension, burning calories and boosting the immune system. Eating two a day will improve your health and skin’s radiance, plus it will also help with your cholesterol levels. So, it’s up to you.

How to eat wisley

Regulates mood swings

One hundred grams. No more, no less. And it is not us who say this, it is what the American Heart Association recommends for enjoying this blue fish a couple of times per week. Salmon contains vitamins from the B and D group, selenium and proteins that keep your skin, hair, and nails looking healthy and glowing. Salmon helps reduce cholesterol and prevent heart diseases (since it increases blood flow) and certain types of cancer.  Thanks to its essential fatty Omega 3 acids, salmon is also great for preventing bipolar disorder and diseases like schizophrenia.

How to eat wisley

Social media’s favorite

 Crowned in 2015 as Instagram’s star food, a result of its 2-million shared pics, it seems avocados go a step beyond their hipster status thanks to their nutritional value: rich in vitamins B, K and E, fiber, monounsaturated fats and Omega 3 to protect and avoid the brain’s premature decline. Avocados contain 14 minerals which stimulate growth and regulate bodily functions. But if there is something that is worth highlighting, it’s their high content in iron and copper that aid in regenerating red blood cells, lowering cholesterol levels and preventing anemia.

How to eat wisley

Improves memory and concentration  

Raise your hand if you ever went on a field trip as a kid and have had the chance to come back home with a handful of rosemary. If you thought this plant was only useful for making your closet smell good, then you thought wrong. Rosemary has been around since ancient times as a medicine for both internal and external use, as well as  for improving concentration. A study conducted by Northumbria University (UK) has proven that a high concentration of one of the plant’s compounds (1,8-cineol) in the blood can  stimulate cognitive function, speed and precision.

How to eat wisley

A supplement for malnutrition

Seaweed has been recognized by UNESCO as the food of the millennium and NASA incorporates it into astronauts’ meals during their missions. Also known as ‘blue gold’, these algae are available both in powder and capsules. And even though its flavor is not particularly nice, its range of cooking options go from shakes to ice creams. Seaweed fights anemia and cholesterol and “it is a highly alkaline supplement, turning it into a barrier for a number of diseases. Plus, it helps promote heart health which makes it great for athletes,” says Fraile.

How to eat wisley

Say goodbye to poor digestion

“When it comes to ginger, I’d highlight its anti-inflammatory properties,” says Alejandra Fraile. You can drink it as an infusion or eat it grated over a salad. It calms anxiety, benefits digestions, lowers nausea (eat it during the first months of pregnancy), dizziness, flatulence and improves the assimilation and absorption of nutrients. According to research by Maastricht University (the Netherlands), ginger root helps burn fat and speed up the metabolism, making it the perfect ingredient for those who want to lose some weight.


How to eat wisley

The perfect ally against your nerves

According to a study published by Penn State University, eating pistachios (around 50 g per serving) reduces arterial pressure, as well as the risk of suffering heart diseases. Next to nuts and pine nuts, pistachios contain the most fiber and energy as well as the second highest protein value. They are also the richest in vitamin A and E, effective in the case of male infertility, preventing Parkinson’s disease and even treating sunburns and scars after a surgery. A powerful regenerative and skin protector which also helps reduce stress.

How to eat wisley

Purifies and eliminates toxins

Dandelion flowers are used to make salads, but also to make wines and infusions. You’ve probably tried to get rid of this plant, which oftentimes grows in fields and gardens as fast as bedbugs. Still, the next time you feel the urge to yank it out of the ground, think twice because it could be a natural remedy for many of your problems. It is a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals which helps fight fevers, diabetes and swelling, amongst other properties. It works not only on a physical and internal level, but also as a natural remedy to treat depression.

How to eat wisley

The chef’s seducer

“Black garlic is obtained from the fermentation of white garlic. During the process, allicin (the organic compound which provides garlic with its characteristic smell) turns into S-Allyl cysteine (SAC), a soluble compound with antioxidant properties that duplicates the levels found in the sulfuric compounds of common garlic,” explains Fraile. In Spain, it is grown in Castilla-La Mancha and despite its appearance, black garlic’s flavor is sweet with salty nuances and a soft texture. A great source of antioxidants which improves insomnia, blood circulation and the respiratory system.

How to eat wisley

Better cooked than raw

Thanks to the Mediterranean diet, 
tomatoes are one of the favorite items in European shopping carts. In addition to containing high levels of beta-Carotene and antioxidants that strengthen the immune system, tomatoes’ most beneficial property is lycopene, a carotene providing their red color and the one in charge of preventing breast and prostate cancer, as well as heart disease. “Lycopene is even more assimilated when the tomato is cooked rather than raw, and accompanied by some healthy fat, like olive oil,” says Garriga.