Cultures around the world tend to eat foods that appear strange or even disgusting to most of the western world. Many of these foods were cherished for their high nutrient density and are still eaten to this day.
1. Beef Brains
You don’t have to be a zombie to appreciate the nutritional value of brains. Stick to the bovine variety of grey matter and you’ll take in healthy nutrients like iron and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an Omega-3 fatty acid.
Four ounces of beef brain provide about one-fifth of the daily-recommended amount of protein for an average 150-pound person.
Arame looks like something you might clean out of your shower drain but it is a highly nutritious form of sea kelp commonly used in Japanese dishes. Arame is packed with nutrients including iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin A. Arame also promotes a clear complexion, strong nails, and shiny hair.
3. Blowfish Sperm
Fox News sent Dr. Manny Alvarez and Chris Kilham, also known as the Medicine Hunter, on a quest to find bizarre but healthy foods. Blowfish sperm was among their discoveries. According to the chefs at a Japanese restaurant, blowfish sperm contains zinc and DHA, which is considered a brain booster.
Beer lovers may be excited to learn that a byproduct of the brewing process offers some surprising health benefits. Yeast extract is mixed with sodium chloride to create Marmite.
Although the quality of the taste is debatable, there’s no doubt that it offers health benefits. Marmite contains high levels of the B3 vitamin, which produces a white blood cell that boosts the immune system.
5. Raw Catfish Nuggets
Many Americans prefer their catfish battered and fried. Instead of frying up a whole filet, go for the catfish nuggets instead. Catfish nuggets are cut from the filet and often found in the seafood section. They’re high in protein, low in calories, and provide healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12.
6. Dandelion Greens
The next time you’re pulling weeds out of your garden, throw the dandelions in the good pile with your harvested vegetables.Dandelion greens are surprisingly healthy thanks to the high levels of folate, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus. Dandelion greens also contain vitamins like A, C, E, K, and B6.
7. Sea Buckthorn
Sea buckthorn is a bright orange-yellow berry found mostly in Asia and Europe. They’re found on shrubs that are commonly used in landscaping. They also happen to contain twelve times the amount of vitamin C found in oranges as well as other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Like many other superfoods, they’re also full of Omega-3 fatty acids.
8. Enoki Mushrooms
Enoki mushrooms may look like a weird plant found in a video game but they’re very real and very healthy. Some studies have linked them to a reduced risk for cancer. They are high in antioxidants and contain little to no cholesterol. Enoki mushrooms have also been used for development of cancer immunotherapy and vaccines.
Romanesco is a close relative of cauliflower but resembles some kind of fractal pattern that you might see under a microscope. In spite of its unusual appearance, romanesco provides numerous health benefits. This bizarre vegetable is rich in vitamins C and K and carotenoids. It’s also a great source of dietary fiber.
10. Blood Pudding
Blood pudding, a type of blood sausage, is a common dish served in England and Ireland and the name is an accurate description of its contents. Also known as black pudding, blood pudding is made from oatmeal and pork blood. It is high in iron, which can reduce anemia and help treat chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and arthritis.