Countless food trends have come and gone over the years. From the Atkins Diet to supposedly life-changing superfoods (and everything in between), there’s a lot of hype to sort through when it comes to figuring out if a food is truly good for you.
Before you buy into the buzz, make sure to read up on the nitty gritty details of these foods. To help you get started, we’re going to take a look at 4 different health foods to determine whether they’re really healthy.
This Korean staple is made from salted, seasoned, and fermented napa cabbage. It can be made from a seemingly endless array of spices and seasonings, and it’s a tasty way to up the nutritional value of your side dishes.
Yes, you read that correctly — kimchi is indeed healthy, thanks to the fermentation process. To make kimchi, napa cabbage is soaked in salt water. This kills off harmful bacteria, leaving behind “good” bacteria called lactobacillus (the same bacteria found in yogurt and healthy guts around the world). It’s also full of vitamins A and B, plus minerals like calcium and iron.
Chia seeds are a great energy source full of fiber, protein, and omega-3’s. But, they aren’t a miracle food.
While these little seeds are a “healthful addition” to your diet, a single serving size of one Tablespoon is plenty. Opt for adding them to smoothies, oatmeal, and other foods, but don’t worry about stocking up on chia-infused snacks at the grocery store.
Activated charcoal is used in hospitals after a patient has been poisoned, because it helps limit the body’s absorption of toxins. Now, some juice makers are including it in their beverages.
Healthy, glowing skin, improved digestion, better breath, and more are all promised to consumers who drink the dark concoction. According to Juice Generation founder Eric Helms, the juice is, “Just basically drawing toxins out of your body for improved organ function.”
Unfortunately, this trend looks to be all hype and no substance. Based on current research, we can’t be sure if drinking charcoal juice flushes out beneficial nutrients along with toxins.
Celebrities, food bloggers, and other groups with media influence have been raving about the health benefits of bone broth for several years now, and it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Nevertheless, is bone broth all it’s cracked up to be?
According to Kristen F. Gradney, R.D., operations director at Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group in Baton Rouge, LA, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "A lot of athletes use it instead of a juice-based sports drink to replace electrolytes after a workout and because of the collagen.” However, while collagen (a protein) is beneficial for joints and skin, the small amounts found in bone broth aren’t enough to repair and regenerate cells and muscles.
Drinking bone broth won’t turn you into a superstar athlete or all-around health maven, but it also won’t hurt you, either. Just watch out for the sodium content, and consider adding some veggies and other ingredients to make a delicious, nutritionally complete soup.