A superfood is a nutrient rich food considered to be beneficial for health & well-being.
But let’s be honest, “superfood” is a loaded term these days. How can we tell if this is just a marketing ploy or if there is real hard research and evidence to support the fact?
According to the American Heart Association and Harvard Medical School, there are ten natural superfoods.
1. Beans & Legumes – This category includes soy, kidney, black, garbanzo and red beans as well as peas. They’re a great, economical way to power your body with plant-based protein. They also contain fiber and folate which studies have shown reduce the risk of heart disease.
2. Berries – These naturally sweet treats are high in fiber and antioxidants. They’re easy to throw together into a salad or smoothie and you can even find them in the frozen aisle if you don’t have access to fresh!
3. Dark Leafy Greens – They’re packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. Try throwing some spinach into your salad or sautéing some kale with olive oil & spices.
4. Nuts & Seeds – They provide protein, fiber, and unsaturated fats, just make sure you grab the unsalted kind!
5. Whole Grains – A great source of fiber, grains like whole wheat, oats, quinoa, and brown rice are perfect substitutes for that traditional baked potato.
6. Olive Oil – Easily used as a dressing for a salad or for cooking, this oil is full of vitamin E, polyphenols, and monounsaturated fatty acids.
7. Yogurt – This creamy dessert-like treat is full of calcium and probiotics. However, watch out for fruity or flavored yogurt, they’re full of added sugars.
8. Fish – Salmon, tuna steaks, mackerel, herring, and other fish are full of omega 3 fatty acids and healthy proteins.
9. Cruciferous Vegetables – These include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, and turnips. All of these veggies contain a ton of vitamins, fiber, phytochemicals including indoles, thiocyanates, and nitriles, which may prevent against some types of cancer.
10. Tomatoes – Tomatoes can be used in a variety of dishes like pastas, salads, and appetizers. They’re high in vitamin C and lycopene, which has been found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.