The 10 Healthiest Foods You've Never Tried

Many Americans have an adventurous spirit, but perhaps not always when it comes to food.

People tend to eat what they know how to prepare, and they may be reluctant to invest in a new food if they're not sure if it tastes good, said Joanne Ikeda, a nutritionist emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley.

Lack of familiarity may also cause you to shy away from a new food -- a behavior that is at least partly cultural, as we tend to avoid things we have not been exposed to before.

"A lot of it is not knowing what to do with a new food when you get it home," said Beth Kitchin, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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So to steer you toward some new additions to your shopping cart that are packed with good nutrition and also taste good, asked five nutrition experts for their recommendations. They came up with 10 foods not commonly eaten by many Americans that you might not be familiar with. All are worth looking into -- and they won't bust the food budget either.

Best Foods to Pick Up at the Grocers

Brown and fuzzy on the outside, but emerald green and juicy on the inside, these small fruits with the tiny black seeds are worth getting to know.

Kiwis have a lovely flavor, and children are intrigued by them, Ikeda said. She should know -- her home state produces the majority of the fruit that's grown in the United States. Kiwis also are imported from Chile, Italy and New Zealand, and they are sold year-round.


Health benefits: At roughly 50 calories per kiwi, these oval-shaped fruits are vitamin C superstars. Two kiwis have twice the vitamin C of an orange, and they are also rich in potassium and loaded with dietary fiber.

In one study, the kiwi was found to offer the most nutrition per ounce compared with 27 of the most commonly consumed fruits.

How to eat it: Kiwi's thin skins are edible, or you can peel them off with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. The fruit can be sliced and eaten, or it can be cut in half and the flesh can be scooped out with a spoon. They add a nice greenness to a fruit salad that makes it unusual looking and more special, Ikeda said. "Once people taste it, they're sold on it."

If you put them in a fruit salad, add them shortly before serving so the other ingredients don't get too mushy.

You'll know when a kiwi is ripe if you put pressure on the fruit with your thumb, and it gives a little. Otherwise, the fruit is still hard and will taste sour.

Broccoli rabe

Pronounced "broccoli rob," this leafy green vegetable goes by many other names -- from brocoletto and rapini to brocoletti di rape and rapa. Popular in both Italian and Chinese cooking, broccoli rabe is not a type of broccoli and doesn't taste much like it either. This green is actually related to the mustard and turnip family, and it has long, thin leafy stalks and small clusters of florets. It's generally available year-round.

"My daughter actually introduced me to this green, and now my husband and I have become big fans," Ikeda said.

Health benefits: Like other leafy greens such as kale and spinach, broccoli rabe is a very good source of vitamin K, a nutrient needed to help the blood clot properly. It also is a rich source of the antioxidant vitamins A and C, and is a plant-based source of calcium.

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