In the last couple years, I’ve eaten more kale than I care to admit. Kale chips, kale salads, kale smoothies. At one point, I even tried to sneak that earthy cabbage into my kid’s muffins. Needless to say, they were not having it. At a certain point, I turned on the fibrous superfood, too. One day as I was sawing through some unmassaged leaves in my salad, it occurred to me that there had to be a more pleasant way to get my vital nutrients. I had a similar epiphany with chia seeds: Though I had come to love the taste of the coconut milk puddings I made every Sunday night, I eventually did some calorie math and discovered I was unwittingly slurping down around 800 calories every morning with my “healthy breakfast.”
Well, good news for those who’ve been similarly disenchanted: A fresh crop of beauty superfoods has risen up to take both of their places (and join the ranks of still trending foods like bone broth, cacao nibs and maca root). Herewith, the seven buzziest new snacks and supplements to add to your next Whole Food or Amazon Prime beauty food haul.
Beauty superfood: Red algae
This bacon flavored seaweed—which you may have spotted before at sushi restaurants—is like the nutritional love child of kale and chia seeds (hence it’s placement at the top of my 2017 “to eat” list). In addition to being rich in omega‑3 oils and fiber, this “plant of the sea” is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that promote circulation and regulate blood sugar. Translation: less wrinkles, more glow.
Clean eats: SeaSnax Raw Raw Raw Seaweed Snack, 1 Ounce — 16 per case, $66, amazon.com
Beauty superfood: Sprouted watermelon seeds
Rich in magnesium, vitamin B and good fats, a small handful of watermelon seeds also offers 10 grams of protein. To get the biggest bang for your beauty buck, the seeds should be sprouted, shelled and dried rather than eaten straight from the fruit.
Clean eats: Go Raw Sprouted Watermelon Seeds Celtic Sea Salt, 10 Ounce, $12, amazon.com
Beauty superfood: Black bean pasta
Spiralized zucchini is so 2016. Like it’s veggie predecessors, black bean pasta is high in fiber. But unlike typical zoodles, black bean pasta is also high in protein making it a win win for vegetarians. TBN tip: Be careful not to over cook it! Bean noodles become mushy much more quickly than regular pasta. Directions say 8-10 minutes but try pulling them out after 5 minutes for the perfect al dente texture.
Clean eats: Explore Asian Organic Black Bean Spaghetti, 7.05-Ounce (Pack of 3), amazon.com
Beauty superfood: Black currant supplements
Rich in antioxidants anthocyanins, blackcurrants are believed to increase muscle recovery and fat-burning and slow down the aging process. Studies show the extract (300 mg a day) can increase fat loss by up to a third during exercise. It may also dilate the body’s blood vessels, resulting in increased blood flow and a healthier, more glowy complexion.
Clean eats: Black Currant Fruit, Pure Premium Black Currant Fruit Extract, 2oz, $28, amazon.com
Beauty superfood: Inulin
If there was a nutritional boogeyman of 2016, it was definitely sugar. In addition to being implicated in a wide range of chronic diseases, it was also shown to accelerate aging through a process known as glycation. Don’t want to extract your sweet tooth? Fear not: Scientists have finally found a healthy sweetener to replace sugar. Studies show inulin, a starch commonly found in chick peas, chicory root, bananas, asparagus and lentils can actually help reduce stomach fat. Sweet.
Clean eats: Inulin fiber, $11, amazon.com
Beauty superfood: Maqui berries
Blueberries, acai, blackberries: none of these superfruits have the antioxidant super powers of this wild berry found in the rainforests of Chili near Patagonia. Studies show maqui berries provide up to 300% more anthocyanins and nearly 150% more polyphenols than wine or any other fruit or vegetable on the planet. What that means to you: With regular supplementation, you should see less redness (inflammation) and fewer lines.
Clean eats: Kiva Organic Maqui Berry Powder, 4-Ounce Pouch, amazon.com