Anyone following a superfood-rich diet knows there's a litany of information surrounding the benefits of various ingredients – things like new clinical studies, antioxidant ORAC levels, essential fatty acid balance – the healthy details are endless! And although this data is motivating from a wellness standpoint, let's just say the minutiae doesn't exactly make for edge-of-your-seat reading. But superfoods aren't all cut-and-dry facts and figures! Read on for a taste of some superfood info that definitely errs on the side of fun.
1. Um, what did we do to Chia? While Chia was a staple superfood for many ancient Central American cultures, we culturally forgot about eating the healthy seed for several centuries. When it finally came back in the US in the 1970s, instead of being a food, it was turned into a novelty item, known as, yes: The Chia Pet. Even weirder, the first Chia pet to market in 1977 wasn't even a pet at all – it was just a “Chia Guy,” a sculpture of a man's head with the ability to grow an impressive height of Chia sprout hair. Luckily, Chia has since made its way off terracotta figurines and back onto our plates.
2. Mushrooms: they're just like us. Mushrooms – including all of the incredible medicinal varieties – are more closely related in DNA to humans than plants and produce vitamin D by being exposed to sunlight just like human skin. Mushrooms also have their own immune system, which may partially explain why they're so good for immunity, too.