7 Lesser Known Foods & Why You May Want to Try Them

by The Morrison Center: Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, Debra Kaplan & Melissa Wood

Healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains have benefits that keep us strong, fit, and resistant to illness and disease. Then there are also some foods with a higher health I.Q, that actually target different body systems to keep us at peak performance. We call these the SUPER SMART FOODS. Check out a few of the lesser-known, mega-powerful super foods from Dr. Jeffrey Morrison and the Health Coach Team at The Morrison Center.  



A healthy, energy boosting substitute for coffee. 

Yerba mate tea is derived from the dried leaves and stems of the South American yerba mate plant.  It’s been used as a daily energizing beverage in many South American countries, like Argentina, where people drink from a carved gourd, through a special filtered straw.  Few know that yerba mate has 90% more antioxidants than green tea.  It is also gives a cleaner energy boost than coffee, without the jitters.   This may be because it has only 80mg of caffeine per serving, compared with coffee at 100-200mg per serving.  So, next time you reach for your energy drink, think about reaching for yerba mate for a healthy substitute. -Dr. M


More energy, stamina, and a general sense of well-being.  

Maca is an herbaceous plant that grows at very high altitudes in Peru and Bolivia. It’s been used by Andean cultures to increase energy, stamina, and libido for millennia.  Add a teaspoon of this super powder (it has a mild taste akin to butterscotch – yum!) to your morning smoothie to help regulate and support endocrine health, increase energy, and put you in a zen-like mood. -DK



Improves heart health, reduces inflammation, excellent protein source.

These mini fish are true nutritional powerhouses, loaded with healthy omega fats, minerals, and vitamins B12 and D. One can has a whopping 37 grams of protein which builds lean muscle mass. Forget the fishy taste myth - sardines are actually meatier in taste and texture than other fish. Add them to a salad or try an avocado/sardine crostini - the perfect flavor combo.  -DK



Super immunity booster to fight cold and flu.

This tiny berry packs a powerful antioxidant punch. European studies have shown that the anthocyanins that give elderberries their dark purple color enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines, messenger proteins that help regulate immune response. Take a teaspoon of elderberry juice daily to prevent cold and flu. Or, at the first sign of symptoms, add a teaspoon to hot water with lemon and honey to stop it dead in its tracks. -DK


Improves heart health and contains a great source of fiber.

Seaweed is high in antioxidants and contains calcium and iodine, as well as vitamin B-12 and vitamin A. Alginate, the natural fiber found in some seaweed, such as kelp, may help with digestion and reduce fat absorption. Fiber is a key component to keep you feeling fuller longer. Roasted seaweed is a great go-to snack option. Simply add a Tbsp. of olive oil and a dash of sea salt to seaweed pieces, and roast in oven at 350F for 5 minutes. -MW



Improves brain function, reduces inflammation, and lowers the risk of heart disease.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in Turmeric. It’s a staple used in Ayurvedic medicine for its health and beauty benefits, such as improving brain function and lowering the risk of heart disease. Women of India are known to apply curcumin to their faces to achieve a youthful glow.  In order to maximize the benefits of curcumin, combine it with black pepper in order to dramatically enhance its effectiveness.  Add this vibrant yellowish-orange colored herb to salad dressings, roasted vegetables, or green juice to reduce inflammation in the body. -MW



Strengthens the immune system, aids in weight loss, relieves constipation, and removes toxins from the body.

Sunchokes are easily mistaken for a potato, but these irregular-shaped root vegetables with a yellowish to white color contain more than 3 times the amount of iron than broccoli, and vitamins B6 and C. The sunchoke root is great for diabetics because it helps regulate blood sugar levels. Sunchokes can be eaten raw or lightly roasted in the oven with coconut oil and a dash of sea salt for a crunchier texture. -MW



Debra Kaplan and Melissa Wood are certified health coaches working at The Morrison Center, in NYC, where they partner with clients to develop personalized health plans, and provide in-depth support to help individuals discover their healthiest self.



Dr. Jeffrey Morrison is a medical doctor, the author of Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind, and founder of The Morrison Center, in NYC.  He partners with patients to find the underlying cause of their symptoms and provide a thorough, individualized treatment and nutritionally-based program to achieve optimal health result.

Learn more about Dr. Morrison and The Morrison Center.