You only have to flirt with the idea of healthy eating to know a little about superfoods; even if it’s just enough to feel guilty about the lack of #kale in your Chipotle. If you’re a total rookie, you only need to understand that they’re a seriously hyped, wondrous group of edibles—such as #kale, #chia, and #acai—that wellness insiders promise can basically solve all of your life issues. Whether you’re stressed out, struggling to get a full night of sleep, or fighting off an illness, there’s a superfood for that.
The latest items to earn super status are herbs, a food group wellness insiders are touting as the next ultra-healthy ingredient, and one that’s primed to trend in a major way during 2016. Perhaps you’ve spotted #superherbs on Instagram lately, or noticed wellness blogs hail the tasty ingredient as brilliantly potent, but this isn’t any health fad—even experts agree herbs have their benefits.
Ahead, we’re breaking down seven superherbs tipped to trend this year—and every single one’s packed with health benefits. Yep, even some of your everyday, garden-variety herbs boast potent health properties.
If you’ve never tasted it, think of a subtle but slightly sweet flavor, and you’re halfway there. Holmes explained that this Chinese herb can help stimulate the immune system (because winter), help out with any niggling digestion issues, and give your metabolism a kick. “Astragalus helps to reduce stomach acidity and increase the body’s metabolic rate. It’s also a good herb which can promote the elimination of waste material and help digestion,” Holmes explained.
If you’re looking for a post-holiday detox, consider adding schizandra berry to your next smoothie. “It’s a liver cleanser and antiviral herb used in Chinese medicine,” Holmes explained.
Probably the most timely of the bunch, licorice root is the MVP of immune-boosting superherbs thanks to a substance called glycyrrhizin. “Glycyrrhizin has been shown to be effective against various flu viruses,” Holmes said. She also warned that licorice can interfere with some medications, so it’s a smart idea to check with your doctor before eating it regularly.
Turmeric started having a major moment in 2015, with celebrities like Karolina Kurkova swearing by the healthy herb. It turns out that the buzz is completely valid: Turmeric is intensely anti-inflammatory and packed with antioxidants.
Rosemary and garlic
Chances are you already eat both of these common herbs regularly—well, good, because according to dietitian Marie Spano, they might actually be able to help prevent cancer when used alongside cooked meat. “When used in a marinade or incorporated into ground beef, chicken, or turkey patties, both herbs help decrease the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs), compounds produced during cooking that are known as cancer-causing compounds in animals, and suspected human carcinogens,” she said.
Ginger’s a great herb to eat when you’re exercising heavily, as it can help the body to recover after a big workout. “Just two grams of ginger consumed daily will help decrease muscle soreness due to hard bouts of exercise. Plus, ginger is essential for calming an upset stomach or motion sickness,” Spano elaborated.
Chili, jalapeño, and cayenne peppers
According to Spano, spicy foods like chili, jalapeños, and cayenne are herbs you want when trying to lose weight. “The active compound found in hot chilis, jalapeños, and cayenne stimulate calorie burning,” Spano said.
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