The benefits: The slightly bitter-tasting dark green is supercharged with vitamin K, iron and folate, and a 3 1/2-ounce serving provides more than half the daily requirements of vitamins A and C, bolstering your body's immunity. The dish: Sautee it with sliced hot peppers, chopped garlic, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon for a vitamin-rich dish. "You're actually seeing a resurgence among chefs using broccoli rabe because of its flavor and nutrient density," Selick says.
The benefits: These little, oval black seeds are loaded with fiber, calcium, antioxidants and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Just 1 tablespoon of these energy-boosting seeds has 1 1/2 times the fiber of a half-cup of quinoa and more antioxidants than blueberries. The dish: Swap out poppy seed dressing for a tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with a basic vinaigrette and distribute over a salad. "This light lunch will power you through the afternoon," says Selick.
The benefits: This sweet-tasting milk is a popular alternative to cow's milk, particularly for vegans and individuals with gluten or lactose intolerances. Its high fatty-acid content is a natural moisturizer that lifts aging skin, plus its lauric acid helps fight viruses and bacteria. The dish: Use it as an ingredient in soups or stews in place of heavy cream. "You can even use it as creamer in your coffee," Selick says.
The benefits: Forbidden, or black, rice is loaded with fiber, vitamin E, iron and antioxidants, which are linked to fighting cancer and heart disease. The dish: Serve it as the base for a plate full of broccoli, red pepper, sweet potatoes and snow peas. "People eat with their eyes first," Selick says. "A plate with some black rice paired with red, orange and green vegetables looks healthy and stunning."
The benefits: They are a rich source of potassium, fiber, vitamin C and beta carotene, which can boost your immune system. The dish: Its naturally sweet flavor and orange hue make it a more interesting complement to the rest of your meal than a white potato. "You don't need to add butter, cream or salt, although you can whip in some coconut milk for that extra superfood punch," Selick says.