Most of us want to include more superfoods in our diet. After all, these foods pack a huge nutritional punch and have amazing health benefits. However, a quick perusal of the typical superfoods list can be disheartening to say the least. For many of us, it’s simply not practical to eat foods like salmon every single day.
Likewise, we’ve all heard that exotic superfoods like Goji berries and seaweed are full of health benefits, but it is not realistic for most people to eat them every day due to their limited availability and high price.
In the spirit of helping you in your quest to eat more superfoods, here is a list of delicious ingredients that meet the superfood definition but won’t require you to hike up a Himalayan mountain to collect or get a second job to afford. If you’ve been wondering which are the top superfoods to eat daily, we’ve got 10 of them right here!
Oats boast a long list of health benefits, making them one of the absolute best superfoods to eat daily. Plain oatmeal is low on the glycemic index and keeps you feeling satisfied for a long time. They’re also full of minerals, protein and soluble fiber.
Oats are dirt cheap and easy to find, and there are countless ways you can incorporate them into your diet. Oatmeal is a classic breakfast, and it never gets old when you vary the toppings. Try it mixed with berries, apples and cinnamon, or homemade nut butter. For a refreshing alternative, soak oats overnight in almond or help milk with your favorite flavors, such as vanilla, chopped peaches, or strawberries, and wake up to a superfood breakfast! Oats can also be added to any homemade baked goods for added nutrients.
Blueberries are usually one of the first things that come to mind when people think of superfoods. After all, they are loaded with phytoflavinoids and antioxidants. Besides being anti-inflammatory, they can also reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.
Of course, blueberries can be expensive when they’re out of season. Thankfully several other berries are also superfoods. Raspberries are packed with fiber, which is something most people lack in their diet, and they also contain ellagic acid, which has anti-cancer properties. Strawberries also contain fiber along with an impressive amount of Vitamin C.
Nutritionists advise eating ½ cup per day of berries. You can enjoy them fresh or frozen, and eat them solo or mixed into yogurt or smoothies. Keep in mind that the more color a berry has, the more antioxidants it is likely to contain.
Beans are an excellent all-around food. They are a terrific source of iron, which is particularly useful for those who avoid meat. Pairing them with a Vitamin-C rich food can boost iron absorption even more; try lemon juice or sweet potatoes. They also contain an impressive amount of fiber, the majority of which is the soluble variety that can help your cholesterol.
You can incorporate beans into your diet in many ways. Mix red beans with lime juice, chili powder, red onion, red pepper, and corn for a delicious cold bean salad with a Mexican twist, or try smashing them up with some lemon juice and olive oil to make a bean dip or hummus to go with raw vegetables.
Pumpkins are one of the most nutritious fruits that exist, and their bright orange hue should be your first indication that this is no ordinary food. They are full of immune-boosting beta carotene, which can also prevent coronary disease and boost eye health. Pumpkin contains an impressive amount of vitamins such as vitamin K, not to mention that all-important fiber.
The seeds are even better. Their high content of phytosterols means they can help reduce cholesterol or prevent certain cancers, while they can also help reduce the risk of bladder stones, stave off depression, and improve prostate health.
You don’t have to eat it fresh to reap the rewards; canned pumpkin is also a worthy choice. Try it mixed with oatmeal or bake some whole-wheat pumpkin bread. When you feel like a snack, munch on some roasted pumpkin seeds.
While much has been made of green tea’s unmatchable benefits, black tea actually has a similar level of antioxidants. However, the edge green tea has is its high amount of ECGC, which is a unique and powerful antioxidant that has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. As if that weren’t reason enough to brew yourself a cup, regular tea drinkers have also been shown to have a reduced risk of diabetes and Alzheimer’s along with better bone and dental health.
Green tea is the best choice, but any type will do as long as you drink it freshly brewed and keep sweeteners natural and to an absolute minimum.
Walnuts are a pretty specific item, but we’re including it on our list because it is so versatile and can be consumed in a number of different ways, making it ideal for everyday consumption. While all nuts are fabulous sources of unsaturated fats that are great for your heart, walnuts are superior on account of their high levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This omega-3 fatty acid has several benefits, including mood improvements. Walnuts can also help reduce your bad LDL cholesterol levels thanks to their high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
You don’t need to munch on walnuts straight out of the shell every day. You could try adding them to your morning breakfast bowl or smoothie, or chopping a few up and sprinkling them over salad. Toasting walnuts brings out a whole new dimension of flavor if you get tired of eating them raw.
Tomatoes have a host of phytochemicals that bring a number of useful benefits. They are full of lycopene, which boasts powerful antioxidant activity, and they can reduce your stroke risk and improve prostate health.
Opt for organic tomatoes whenever possible; home-grown is even better. You can chop them up and eat them cold in a salad or on their own; try a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a little tang. Tomato sauce is another great way to eat more tomatoes. You probably won’t want to eat spaghetti every day, but you can always add tomato sauce when making food like zucchini noodles, burritos, sprouted rice, or hearty tomato-based soup like minestrone.
Did you know that chia seeds are the richest source of plant-based Omega 3 fatty acids available? These tiny nutritional powerhouses are loaded with fiber and antioxidants. They also help you feel full faster thanks to their unique ability to swell. These are easy to eat every day because they are so small and flavorless that you can truly add them to anything.
Coconut, Soy or Almond Yogurt is an obvious choice, and they are virtually undetectable if you stir them into oatmeal. You can also add them to sauces, salads, and even soups. The sky really is the limit with chia seeds, and you don’t need a lot to get the benefits.
Yes, you can have dark chocolate every day - in moderation. Not only can it boost your circulation, reduce your blood pressure, and give your mood a lift, it also reduces bad cholesterol levels and inflammation. Like all superfoods, it has a high level of antioxidants.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can eat all the candy bars you want. Stick to no more than one ounce per day, and be sure you choose a variety that is at least 70 percent cocoa. Keep in mind that the darker it is, the lower its sugar and fat content.
If you thought that eggs were something to avoid, think again. Eggs have gotten a bit of a bad reputation, but studies have shown that they do not have the impact on cholesterol that many people believe. To select the best eggs, check out this Organic Egg Score Card.
Nutritional scientists say that eggs are actually one of the most nutrient-dense foods that you can eat. They’re low in calories and high in protein as well as essential nutrients like vitamins B12 and D, choline, and selenium. They also have a great mix of essential amino acids and a tremendous amount of antioxidants.
There are lots of creative and healthy ways to fit in eggs at dinnertime, such as shakshuka. Serve a poached egg over whole wheat toast with a bit of mashed avocado, or make a healthy omelet with a your favorite chopped vegetables. You can also hard-boil a bunch of eggs at the beginning of the week so you’ll have a highly portable and satisfying snack ready any time hunger strikes.
As you can see, plenty of great superfoods are not hard to track down, and you definitely don’t have to eat foods you don’t like every day to get the benefits. These ten versatile superfoods can be enjoyed in a number of ways, so you’ll never feel like you’re eating the same thing over and over. Head to your local farmer’s market or grocery store, and you should have no trouble at all finding anything on this list so you can be on your way to better health in no time!
Also, check out our post on how to create 10 Delicious Superfood Smoothies for Summer!
Article Categories: Food & Nutrition Science