It can be confusing to navigate the health food space with new fad diets and sexy ingredients boasting everything from clear skin to weight loss and even curing cancer. The message continues to get convoluted as testimonials claim that one magic ingredient can transform your life and medically unqualified social media influencers give health advice around quick “detox” weight loss products.
We rounded up some key facts from health experts to help clear up some of the confusion surrounding trendy health foods.
Poke is a delicious Hawaiian dish of cubed raw fish atop a bowl of sushi rice that has become a popular alternative to “unhealthier” lunch options.
According to a Huffington Post article, “Poke is packed with nutrient-dense ingredients,” Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition, spokesman for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Hawaii native, tells HuffPost. “Its main ingredient is (usually) raw fish, either salmon or tuna, both of which are great sources of heart-healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B12, magnesium, iron, and calcium.”
He says that added seaweed is rich in iodine and tyrosine, “which are important for thyroid function,” and swapping out white sushi rice for brown rice will keep you satiated for longer due to its higher fiber and protein content. Add-ins like probiotic-rich kimchi and vegetables up the health factor of customizable poke bowls.
Try not to overdo it on the soy sauce, though, as it’s high in sodium. “The sauces used to marinate the poke already add plenty of flavors,” Valdez says. If you’re pregnant, you should avoid eating poke that contains raw fish entirely.
“The FDA recommends that pregnant women choose fully cooked fish to lower their risk of potentially life-threatening foodborne illness,” Megan Meyer, Ph.D. and director of science communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation, tells HuffPost.
Matcha is a green tea made from ground whole tea leaves mixed with hot water and contains more antioxidants than traditional green tea because it’s made with the whole leaves of the tea plant. ECGC, a compound that contributes to fat oxidation during exercise, is also found there.
You can reap the health benefits of matcha in a variety of ways beyond making matcha tea, but some options like matcha lattes may be filled with additives like syrups and sugars.
3. Celery juice
Despite the rave reviews, just know that this “healthy” food probably