“Superfood” is a term assigned to foods that possess exceptional health properties. While there is no formal definition for the nutrients a food must contain to be considered a superfood, there are generally accepted ideas of what constitutes a superfood. For example, foods that contain high concentrations of antioxidants, fiber, or certain fatty acids that are beneficial to health, could be considered superfoods. Although you may have considered this term to be a trendy nutrition buzzword, there are plenty of reasons to take these foods seriously.
As a rule of thumb, the majority of the foods you eat in a day should be dense in nutrients. This helps to ensure you are consuming adequate amounts of a wide variety of nutrients each day, contributing to your overall health and wellness. There is a long list of nutrients you must consume in order for your body to operate optimally, and some of these nutrients provide exceptional health benefits. For instance, some antioxidants appear to lower your risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke, and some cancers, and they stabilize free radicals in your body, preventing them from damaging other cells.
Many fruits and vegetables are considered to be superfoods, and some proteins, grains, nuts, and seeds earn the title as well. To make the most out of your diet and support your health to the best of your ability, you should be eating a variety of superfoods on a daily basis. While some can be added to meals you are already enjoying, others can replace your go-to recipes. Here are 10 healthy superfoods you should eat every day. And for more healthy eating advice to take your lifestyle from basic to super, be sure to find out more about why Eating More Superfoods Should Be Your #1 Goal.
Berries are also relatively low in calories, allowing them to fit well into a wide range of energy needs. As a superfood, berries contain antioxidants, like anthocyanins and resveratrol, that may reduce inflammation disorders and heart diseases and may help lower your risk of certain cancers. Berries can be added to your morning cereal or oatmeal added into a fruit smoothie or simply enjoyed with cheese or nuts as a snack.
Another antioxidant-packed fruit, pomegranate is known for its unique arils and bold, sweet, and tart flavor. Similar to berries, pomegranate contains a variety of antioxidant compounds that possess a wide range of health benefits. In fact, studies suggest pomegranate appears to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and researchers have explored the potential contribution of pomegranate in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Pomegranate can easily be found in your grocery store during the winter months; however, it may be hard to find the fresh fruit during the summer and spring months. Luckily, pomegranate juice and packaged arils are available year-round and possess the same antioxidants as the fresh fruit. Add pomegranate juice to your favorite smoothie recipe or enjoy a small glass as part of your morning routine, and consider adding arils to your salad, parfait, or oatmeal for a boost of antioxidants.
Speaking of oatmeal, it is also considered to be a superfood. A breakfast staple that can also be added to baked goods, enjoyed hot or cold, and even added to smoothies, oatmeal is known for its fiber content. While many foods provide fiber, oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble forms of this nutrient, which is just one reason to consider oatmeal a superfood.
Soluble fiber can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and improve satiety, while insoluble fiber can promote digestive health and regularity. To boost your daily fiber intake, swap your morning cereal for oatmeal, incorporate oat flour into your baked good, and pair it with other superfoods at meals and snacks throughout the day for added superfood benefits.
A food that has become wildly popular over the last many years, avocado is versatile and packed with important nutrients. To name only a few, avocado has notable amounts of potassium, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin E, and provides about 13 grams of fiber per 200 grams.
This impressive array of nutrients allows avocado to aid in gut health, improve blood cholesterol levels, and may even help lower body fat. Avocado can be mashed and added to toast, diced and incorporated into your favorite salad or grain bowl, or tossed into a smoothie for low-prep enjoyment.
One of the best things about eggs is they can be enjoyed in so many different ways. Scrambled, boiled, or fried, eggs possess a number of properties to make them a superfood. Eggs are a source of protein and are considered to be a complete protein as they contain all essential amino acids.
Additionally, eggs contain lutein, an antioxidant that benefits eye health. Another important nutrient found in eggs in choline, which is needed to make the fats that support the cell membrane and is also a component of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating your heartbeat, amongst other functions. Enjoy eggs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even at snacks for a boost of satiating protein and other important nutrients.