It’s no secret that a well-balanced, nutritious diet can help you feel healthier. We’ve put together this list of superfoods that could be incorporated into your diet to help you feel like the best version of yourself. Try integrating nutrient-dense ingredients into your everyday meals to get the boost you need.
What is a Superfood?
Though “superfood” is neither a scientific nor medical term, the descriptor is often attached to foods that are rich in nutrients and vital to healthy body functioning.
Let’s talk Omega-3s
One of the most important nutrients found in many of the superfoods that we’ve included on this list is Omega-3 fatty acids. As a key functional component to every cell in your body, these essential nutrients support several different bodily functions, including heart health and joint function.
Your body doesn’t produce Omega-3s; they’re nutrients that must be ingested through the foods that you eat. We can get Omega-3s from foods like fish, nuts, and chia seeds (all amazing superfoods). However, most people don’t get the recommended daily dose of Omega-3s from diet alone. Fatty fish is the best source of EPA & DHA Omega-3s, but in the United States most of us don’t consume anywhere near the recommended 2 servings per week. Nuts, chia seeds and other plant-based foods only deliver the ALA or SDA form of Omega-3s. Our bodies can convert ALA to the EPA & DHA forms we need, but the conversion process is highly inefficient. That’s why adding an ocean-sourced supplement rich in EPA & DHA Omega-3s to your daily routine, such as krill oil, can help you to maintain a healthy diet.
The Ultimate List of Superfoods
The following list of superfoods includes some of the most nutrient-rich, wholesome ingredients you can incorporate into your diet. Each of these incredible whole foods offer a plethora of health benefits when included in a well-balanced diet.
Eggs can get a bad rap because of their high cholesterol content, but they offer plenty of health benefits. Packed with B vitamins, choline, selenium, iron, folate, phosphorus, and more, eating a few eggs per week can pack a nutritious punch. There are also two antioxidants - lutein and zeaxanthin – that can support cognitive function through your life. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that higher lutein concentrations in adults is related to overall better brain functionality.
These sweet, natural morsels are not only delicious, but the antioxidants found in many berries may support heart health, and they may also aid in managing systemic inflammation.
On the list of superfoods, the most recognized berries include:
Popular across the world thanks to their high nutritional value, sea-based vegetables and greens certainly can enhance the nutritional value of your favorite dishes. Some compounds found in seaweed have been identified as those that may promote weight management and support heart health.
Alright, so you may know you need to eat your veggies, but leafy greens should be at the top of your list. Typically, the darker the green, the better for your health. Darker leaves indicate a high concentration of zinc, calcium, iron, vitamin C, folate, and fiber.
Not to mention, the high level of carotenoids means that leafy greens may contain high anti-inflammatory properties.
Healthy, dark leafy greens that make the list of superfoods include:
Mushrooms are becoming increasingly popular on the list of superfoods. Research is still new, but the consumption of edible mushrooms as part of a balanced, healthy diet has been around for millennia.
Root veggies are a long-time staple in the human diet, and sweet potatoes are no exception. Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index ranking, making them a great food for those managing their sugar intake and insulin balance.
Another delicious treat loaded with antioxidants, pomegranate seeds are abundant in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. These essential nutrients help support your immune system, digestive tract, and bone health.
Who doesn’t love their (whole grain!) avocado toast? Packed with 7% of your daily value of magnesium, avocados have a wealth of health benefits. Magnesium helps to regulate your blood pressure and blood sugar. Additionally, these creamy green fruits also have plenty of fiber to help keep things moving, digestively speaking.
Nuts and Seeds
Different nuts and seeds offer different health benefits, but the general consensus is that both nuts and seeds are a great source of fat, protein, and fiber. The high fat content in nuts sometimes turns people off, but when eaten in moderation, nuts can offer a ton of nutritional benefits while also keeping you fuller for longer. Nuts and seeds to add to your diet could include:
An “ancient grain” is something that the Whole Grains Council considers to be unchanged over the last hundred years. 100 years is maybe not so ancient, but either way, these whole grains are a part of a healthy diet. Most have higher amounts of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins compared to their GMO counterparts. Notable ancient grains include:
For thousands of years, Indian cuisine has used turmeric as a spice, and the root has also been used as a medicinal herb. One of the most important nutrients in turmeric is the compound curcumin. Some studies have shown that it may aid in the healing of wounds and lessen pain, while other studies have noted its big impact as a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient.
The benefits of Omega-3s have long been well known for heart and brain health. Getting enough fatty fish – such as salmon, tuna, and more – into your diet is a great way to get the recommended amount of Omega-3s. But if you’re not into fish or you’re finding that you can’t get enough Omega-3s in your diet, a krill oil supplement could be an efficient way to get those vital nutrients.
Krill oil delivers Omega-3s in the same mix of phospholipid and triglyceride forms that you would find in a healthy fish diet. Fish oil loses phospholipids during processing. As a result, krill oil has superior Omega-3 absorption compared to fish oil. It also has and no fishy aftertaste since this natural form is more easily digested by our bodies.
Historically, ginger has been used as herbal medicine for managing nausea and pain, which makes it a strong contender on this list of superfoods. Additionally, you can use ginger in conjunction with many of the other foods on this list to season a deliciously healthy meal.
Arguably the world’s most well-known aromatic, garlic is also a nutrient-rich ingredient. With high concentrations of copper, selenium, B1, B6, vitamin C, and potassium, it’s highly nutritious too. There is a lot of research to support the idea that garlic may help regulate blood pressure.
Legumes: Peas, Beans, and Lentils
Legumes are an extremely important plant-based source of protein and a must-eat in any diet. Peas, beans, and lentils are all packed with fiber, vitamins, and protein. Whether you follow a plant-based diet or you’re eager to get more nutritional value out of your meals, you can incorporate legumes into your favorite dishes for maximum impact on taste and nutrition.
Cruciferous Veggies: Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels
You were always told to eat your broccoli as a kid, but do you know why? Packed with fiber and lots of compounds called glucosinolates, the broccoli family (or cruciferous veggies) helps aid in digestive health.
Learn More About Superfoods for a More Super You!
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