The Hot Superfoods of 2014

January is the month when seemingly everyone adopts the “new year, new you” philosophy. This means more frequent trips to the gym, diets and a whole lot of talk about superfoods. Eating superfoods is a great way to boost your nutrition, and new superfood trends spring up all of the time. By learning about the latest and greatest, you’ll be able to spice up your healthy eating and join in the discussion when you hear fellow gym-goers and coworkers talking about them. Here are the top superfoods for 2014:

People are referring to these North American berries as “the berry to replace all other antioxidant-filled berries.” They are small, red, tart and incredibly rich in lycopene. Their antioxidant properties have anti-inflammatory effects and help protect against cell damage at the molecular level. They make a tasty snack when they’re fresh, but they can also be dried and added to different dishes.

Kefir is a slightly fizzy fermented milk product that can be enjoyed as a drink or eaten like yogurt. It’s a superfood because it acts as a natural probiotic, improving digestion and protecting against gastrointestinal diseases. If you’re not so keen on eating it plain, look for dressings and dips that include it.

Chia Seeds
Chi-chi-chi-chia! These seeds are packed with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and can help you feel fuller longer. As an added bonus, they store longer than flax seeds and don’t have to be ground. Blend them in a smoothie or sprinkle them on oatmeal, salads and yogurt.

Kale isn’t exactly new to the superfood scene, but its amazing qualities are keeping it at the top of the list for 2014. It contains high doses of chlorophyll with easily digestible protein, enzymes and a ton of vitamins and minerals, meaning it can majorly boost your immune system. Cook it as a side dish or make a smoothie by blending it with apple, lemon and ginger.

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Cacao has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries, is the highest plant-based source of iron and is full of magnesium that keeps your heart healthy. Although raw organic cacao isn’t exactly the same thing as the powder found in packets of hot cocoa, it still has a rich and chocolatey taste. Mix it in your oatmeal or add some to your favorite smoothies.

Hemp Hearts
It may sound strange, but hemp hearts are becoming an increasingly popular ingredient. They’re packed with good fatty acids, B vitamins and proteins. Since they have a nutty, crunchy texture, they make great toppers for other foods.